- Don't rely on a single service: for example, we run a website and a blog on separate servers; and complement both with Twitter feeds and other means of communication. Yes, we use Skype. But we also have regular phone services (land line and mobile). And one falls back to the other if a message doesn't get through.
- Carry out a SWOT analysis of your operations, focusing mostly on the "W" and "T" elements. Try to turn "W" to "S" and "T" to "O" - but also spend ten minutes thinking through the risks you face. What's the Impact of each risk? What's the Probability? If the Impact is High, but the Probability really Low then you don't need to spend as much time worrying or preparing as for something that is a Medium or High Probability...
- Yes, it's boring. But get get into the habit of making regular backups of your key information. And keep a copy away from your main home or office location.
Thursday, December 23, 2010
Friday, December 17, 2010
I described it as a bit like scuba diving: you're fully immersed with no easy or quick way back to familiar ground; and you can see the fish and touch the fish, but you're not a fish and can never become one, no matter how hard you try! At the same time, it's full of wonder and fascination and new learning.
And when you come back you see the old with new eyes and a fresh sense of appreciation for the familiar things previously taken for granted: it's great to breathe freely and not have to consider air levels in the tank and decompression stages, etc.!
We've made close friendships with an American family living in the Cotswolds for 3+ years to accompany the Dad's senior banking job. They immediately "get" the analogy and see we English as strange fish, too!
I looked it up: it was George Bernard Shaw who described England and America as two nations "divided by a common language!" True
But what an experience! My family and I learned so much, made such great friends, received outstanding and generous hospitality from such warm-hearted Mid-Westerners. We continue to be deeply grateful and humbled. Despite our hot tub trauma!
Thursday, December 16, 2010
What a great question! Something I'd never considered before.
It would have been easy to answer a different question, "Describe the sun to someone..." but that's not what I'd been asked!!
My questioner was wondering how good I am at conveying complex concepts to people unfamiliar with the complexity and subject matter. I described my approach, my strategy, which is to evaluate the situation and try to find some area of common understanding with which I could draw an analogy.
For example, the sun is not just a source of light (which the blind from birth have little concept of); but it's also a source of heat which they can have felt on a summer's day; of nurture, nourishment and so on. It could be said that the sun is the most important part of the mechanism to nurture and provide what's needed by planet earth in the way that a parent cares for a child...
Years ago I wrote a school essay on the difference between analogy and metaphor. Frankly, now I can't remember the distinction. I'm too immersed in the pragmatism of getting the job done instead of splitting hairs. But yesterday I got another sharp lesson in checking, on the fly, that I'm answering the right question and focusing on the right things, principles and processes.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
- Use a different password for each service you sign up to
- Never use a name or a dictionary word as your password
- Choose a password that is more than eight characters long
- Do not write your password down where it can be discovered by others - Storing a list as a draft email in Gmail means that Google knows all your passwords, for example!
Friday, December 10, 2010
- Expect further extensions to the provisions of American CALEA legislation that enables law enforcement and intelligence agencies to conduct electronic surveillance, monitoring all telephone, broadband internet, and VoIP traffic in real-time. (More)
- Expect the UK government to press ahead with plans buried in the 2010 Spending Review to revive the controversial 'Interception Modernisation Programme' which will mandate storage of details of all email, electronic communications and website visits for a minimum of one year. (More)
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
- John Naughton wrote yesterday evening that Western governments have a stark choice either to "learn to live in a WikiLeakable world, with all that implies in terms of their future behaviour; or they [must] shut down the internet."
He said, "The attack of WikiLeaks also ought to be a wake-up call for anyone who has rosy fantasies about whose side cloud computing providers are on."
- Today Charles Arthur has built on that thought, commenting "The move to cloud computing is unstoppable – but WikiLeaks gives us pause: Putting data in to the 'cloud' suits companies but does not evade political pressures."
Friday, December 3, 2010
At my core lies inspirational leadership. For example, I worked with a software development team in America that as a result was delivering up to three new software releases each week and with zero bug fixes, which is just astounding.
I’ve been innovative and entrepreneurial in planning so that for example we were able to repurpose assets, to diversify markets and to generate additional sources of revenue after the financial collapse in 2008.
My focus is always on achieving key results and for example I’ve been able to rescue two businesses from loss to operating profit, simply out of cash flow. By holding down cost, increasing revenue, trebling the customer base, achieving a 97% customer retention rate.
And the organizations with whom I’ve worked have been able to cut their costs; and to increase their revenue; at the same time we’ve been able to lock in clients and lock out competitors, to strengthen the positioning of the business.
I have a strong focus on negotiation so that we both win and for example I turned what otherwise would have been a completely failed project into something that had a higher gross profit margin than the original and with a satisfied client as a result.
I’ve consistently held a client-oriented focus and that’s because I had a seven year career at IBM where I learned the mantra that the customer is king. And that IBM background has enabled me to consult at the highest levels on strategy, and change and project leadership; and I’m now advising companies on using IT for strategic advantage and developing additional revenue streams.
I have a very strong personal credibility which delivers solid relationships at the most senior levels of global for profit and not for profit as well as NGO sector organizations.
And a great personal integrity and drive. So that for example, I accomplish a considerable workload as I develop ideas into solid action plans.
And in my last post as a pastor or priest in the Church of England I was leading volunteers to pioneer new ways of achieving objectives. And there one of my colleagues identified me as a “strategic thinking diplomat.”
And yet despite that I’m not too proud to clean the loos or make the coffee or do whatever else needs to be done in order to get the job done right now.
In terms of my background, I have a degree from Oxford University and another one from Bristol University in England. And as well as more than three years experience running companies in America, I’ve spent time working in SE Asia as well as Europe where I’m now based.
I do hope that you’ll be able to visit my website MikeSchorah.com where there’s more information and some contact information. And thank you so much for watching this brief presentation.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
The IT industry has long known and exploited a host of tricks, including cookies and link tracking, but reports in mainstream media will bring this to the attention of a wider, and increasingly paranoid, population of users.