Friday, May 24, 2019

Great graphics support from 99designs

What a great experience for my first time using 99designs! I wrote a decent brief and tried to provide fast & honest feedback. I worked through 158 designs from dozens of designers, whether solo artists or companies. Impact Designers stood out through their attention to details in the brief; creative interpretation; spontaneous initiative in providing variations of the design; and showing mock-ups of the design if used in real life... They were fast and accurate in responding to feedback and initiated a call (from India to UK) to clarify their understanding. Nothing seemed too much trouble and I got exactly what I asked for. We deliver value hidden in the depths of data to make money and save money. The logo neatly captures our technical collaboration around data.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Experiencing a personality profile

They labelled me a “Directing Motivator” - Apparently that means I’m Results focused, decisive and assertive; combined with drive, enthusiasm and positive thinking.

We had about forty of us (Executive Leadership Team, regional directors, their reports and some “heads of” from business central operations) go through the Insights Discovery process. It’s probably the most accurate personality profiling tool I’ve yet experienced: almost uncannily accurate, not just for me but most of the others.

  • Mike is a good people manager because he has the ability to see what may lie ahead and then communicate his vision to others.
  • His natural intuition, fed by a drive to discover, brings with it the readiness to work long and hard in the pursuit of an ongoing dream. 
  • Mike is seen by others as pragmatic, dependable and able to get things done. 
  • He exhibits an infectious enthusiasm for living. 
  • Curious and alert, Mike prefers to understand rather than judge. 
  • He is alert to changing situations and will act quickly to get results, giving direction or instructions to others as he thinks is necessary.
The whole report comes to some 22 pages and it includes some great insights into my weaknesses (Becomes impatient with routine and repetition...Sometimes lacks attention to detail...Mike may feel pressured to make decisions too quickly...) as well as a portrait of the “opposite” personality types. I’ve already found a number of occasions when having that detailed revelation has helped me to communicate better with quite different colleagues.

As I hire and engage with new colleagues I’m thinking that I want to make the Insights Discovery profile part of the standard offer. I don’t think it should be mandatory in the environments in which I work, but I strongly commend it to colleagues for the value it brings and the way it offers opportunities for growth and personal development.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Startup, Turn around or Realignment

Frankly I was a bit shocked to realise that I hadn't been blogging since 2014. Of course, I knew it'd been a long time (mostly due to embargo from employers), but I've realised that there's value to publishing my content on a site that's mine and not, say, LinkedIn's.

My first reflection today is that I'm great at leading teams to solve problems and deliver results. I like building teams that make a difference and get things done, while having a lot of fun in the process.

But, secondly, I do this best when there's some element of challenge around starting things up, or turning things around, or maybe making changes to get things back on course. In other words, I don't do well in a routine or stable business-as-usual state.

Of course, I work best in teams. Some recent analysis has marked me out as a "Directing Motivator" and I'm looking forward to developing my strengths in the next venture.

I'll try to establish the blogging routine a bit more frequently once more, but for now I'm just glad to have broken the silence!