Sunday, April 30, 2006

When Genetics Fail You, Adapt Your Environment

If there are two detrimental qualities I have inherited from my genes they would be hairiness and a mildly addictive nature. Thankfully, as well as genetics, the man I am today is also shaped by the environment I place myself in.

So environmental cure to ailment one is to be in the presence of razors and clippers. Resulting in the clean shaven, crop haired gent on the left. Only the eyebrows give away what happens when untamed.
And, to ailment two, keep out of bookshops and Games Workshop stores.

When on the web I look to Lee Hopkins' mischievous sense of humour to keep the good feelings going. I thought they were on the way out when there was a long string of posts of a darker nature appearing in my feed reader: Despairing state of Employee Comms, Alan Jenkins Vs Steve Crescenzo, poor performing offline blog editors, Stumpette Vs Shel Holtz...

Thankfully, a return to his light-hearted roots seems on the way with his recent posting I heard you were great in bed... Funny.

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Is the Best HR Department the One You Don't See?

This whole Brand You business which is flooding the web of late has really caught my interest. Hence the latest folder added in my bloglines profile is called Brand Me.

I recently added Mike Wagner's Own Your Brand feed to my reader and noticed the post Do we really hate HR? inspired by the Fast Company article of last year.

Naturally Fast Company feeds off the feelings of its readership and its not like I haven't seen a great deal of ill thoughts towards HR departments expressed on the blogosphere before.

However, thinking of my situation, I've come to notice that I barely give HR a thought in my day to day even week to week work. I haven't been nearly far enough around the block to no whether that's a good thing or not but it does pose the question is the best HR department the one you don't see?

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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Websurfing on Company Time

Shel Holtz has been writing recently about the subject of work-life integration particularly in regards to workplace websurfing.

The biggest problem is always other people's perception. The first thought that goes through someone's head when they spot a colleague, especially of another team/department, on the web is that can't have much to do if they have time for using the internet.

Sure, there are a number of employees that do take work home or stay late so that the half hour they spend playing solitaire is a mere fraction of the extra 10 hours or more they have put into the week already. That being said, it is still always a judgement call to decide whether that person has generally earned the right to use the work-life argument or whether they are a genuine time waster in need of discipline.

Shel seems to have picked a theme of bad apples ruining it for the rest of us. My simple answer is just to avoid doing it without express permission.

Auction you entered last night ending at 10:30am next day? Ask.
Need to track a package? Ask.

If your boss is in anyway sensible they will know that allowing the one or two minutes spent sorting out the matter occupying your mind is a much better idea than saying no and having half your mind on the job.

If you don't think your boss will immediately so it this way, it'll be a good test of your influencing skills at the very least.

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Tuesday, April 25, 2006

First Spin Now Systematic Failures

Today's slow clap award goes to Charles Clarke. Adding a second string to Labours bow of clawing onto power or holding a position we bring on the systematic failure.

Fortunately for Clarke, he's right on this occasion. Not entirely his fault it's something he's inherited. Good for him, he keeps his job.

Unfortunately for Labour, opposed to just hiring poor individuals that have the get the boot, they now admit to letting those poor individuals infect their department so badly that things like foreign convicts that should have been deported not only walk free, but with no monitoring and indeed, not the foggiest idea where they have gone to.

Bra-vo.

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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Addiction

From the Photoshop studio of Richard Stevens comes this brilliant phrase:
Addiction can be neither created nor destroyed, it can only be changed.
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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

What Does SEO Say About You?

Google juice is important and ordinarily a good thing to have. However, when trailing through the means of how you good readers find this humble blog (as one does) I noticed that out of 29,000,000+ hits I'm the top result for How to kill sales on google.

Not exactly something I want to be known for but hell, I'll take what I can get.

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Monday, April 17, 2006

Gear! and Recommendations

After finishing reading Getting Things Done, life now turns to lists and actions. One such list for me is the all important "Gear!" list sitting in the someday/maybe section.

Turns out that one of the key fields, along with item name, price, ID code, etc... that I nailed down was recommendation. Never really given it much thought before but this year recommendation seems to be a real prominent thought when making a purchase.

I was going to add Fish!: A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results to the list purely on the back of Matthew Cornell's recent post. A powerful endorsement, the man does good work on his blog. Combine this with the product being at a very fair price, no need. Sold!

Blogs shift product. Fact.

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Sunday, April 16, 2006

Water and Exercise Hack

I've been flagging a little recently. My body goes a little out of sync during springtime as S.A.D retreats. So whilst being in somewhat better spirits, my body clock takes a hit and wants me to hit the sack as soon as darkness falls, trying to get into summer mode a little prematurely.

A rather simple hack to I use to fool my body out of setting in for sleep is to get something physical done:
  • 15 minute evening stroll
  • Chores
    • Hand washing
    • Vacuuming
    • Furniture rearranging
The items that are bound to be on your next action list but not anything you'd ordinarily be looking forward to.
Gents, this is especially good for getting housework done, but on your own schedule. Brownie points and an unharmed ear. Why did I have to wait until I was single before discovering GTD...

As for the water element, doing any sort of activity (mental or physical) whilst hydrated is a good idea. You'll notice the difference if you're not a big water drinker and switch to 8 glasses a day.

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Monday, April 10, 2006

Verbal Inflation

I highly recommend picking up the feed to Slow Leadership. Today the Coyote has been scribing about the negative relationship between value and overstatement in a post titled Really? Is That True?

Personal health and reputation are pricy commodities. Letting your mouth take chunks of value out of them purely by not remaining rational and objective is criminally detrimental to success.

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Sunday, April 09, 2006

Birthday Meme

I thought I'd add to the evergrowing birthday meme, as introduced to me by my aunt Pennski.
Go to Wikipedia, type in your birthday (omitting the year) and list 3 events, 2 birthdays and 1 death.

Events
1399 - Henry IV is proclaimed King of England.
1967 - BBC Radio 1 is launched; the BBC's other national radio stations also adopt numeric names. Tony Blackburn presents the first show.
1982 - The TV sitcom Cheers premieres.

Births
1947 - Marc Bolan, British musician (d. 1977)
1982 - Michelle Marsh, British model

Deaths
1955 - James Dean, American actor (automobile accident) (b. 1931)

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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Too Much Sleep Can Kill You

Communicator and all around nice chap, Neville Hobson, points to an article from the Financial Times regarding the danger of sleep.

The most notable point to my eye was that death rates increased in members of the population getting over 8 hours sleep, where 8 hours is the mark that we are commonly advised to aim for.

A reason for this wasn't offered but I'll throw in my two cents. My opinion is that two type of people sleep this long and skew the death rate. Firstly, observation would say hospitalised population with quite frankly little else to do, are likely candidates. The second type would be the depressed or otherwise "down" person. I've plenty of personal experience of that in the past to back that one up.

As for the right amount of sleep, the prominent spiel that I hear every time this subject comes up is that it depends on the person. I believe that. You're job for giving your body the right amount of sleep is to give it a regular pattern to work with and evaluate what makes you feel best throughout the day.

More time being spent in comfort sleeping is less time awake and enjoying life.

That's why your successful people get by on less sleep. You don't get successful without loving the effort and challenge of a day, therefore sleep is only treated as the natural necessary regenerative process that it is and not a comfort.

Surely comfort sleeping is just as bad as comfort eating...

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Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Being Found on the Internet - Scary Stuff...

There are some very typical searches that find this blog (or me, should I say). Annalise Hemse or Renault Clio, being ever present since I praised the commercial. Evidently loads of people like to read on the subject, but no-one likes to write about it. Any traffic hunters in the audience, think about that last point, it's a nice little earner.

This finding thing, two ways as I see it: search for me or search for what I'm writing about.
As for finding me, it turns out that keywords Badger Dan are far more effective at hunting me down than Dan Hill.

Google hates Dan Hill, I just about scrape into the top 50. Badger Dan, second and fourth result, only to be topped by (and I kid you not) the Badger Midget Auto Racing Association.

And to top that, on MSN search, Badger Dan is a top result and Dan Hill brings me up third, significantly higher on the list than Google.

Anyway, the point of this post isn't just the documentation of an internet SEO ego trip (though I'm not ashamed of the side effect) but to act as an apology placeholder to the poor souls I meet in the future when I introduce myself: "Hi, I'm Badger Dan, pleased to meet you..."

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