On Memberships

Groups exist for a variety of reasons. Some of those groups are worth joining. For example, professional organizations can be beneficial. Professional organizations charge membership fees. It happens. They are forever searching for funding. That barrier to entry limits the number of members. People are only willing to pay a certain amount. That amount is spread out over all the organizations they join. A few years ago, I elected to pay for a Project Management Institute (PMI) membership. PMI membership includes several publications. I receive PMI Today, the Project Management Journal, and PM Network in print form. They have always been great reads on airplanes. This next year I want to get more from my membership. I’m going to try to figure out how to really learn about project management.

Reading journal articles has always been a solitary activity. Journal articles are mostly written and consumed along. The only real exception happens to be a classroom setting. Even at conferences reading directly from a paper is highly frowned upon. During the course of the last decade, I have really only seen one person read directly from a paper. They stood in front of a room and read from a pile of papers that was being held directly in front of them. The audience was not amused.

The PMI community has all sorts of events. My plan for next year is to attend more of them. Project management is in an interesting area of the academy. It is ripe with research opportunities. Those opportunities help make the cost of the membership worth it. They provide a definable return on investment. The plan is to get a larger return on my investment. I think the plan is reasonable.

On Clark Griswold

It is that time of year. The holiday season has started. Some people get the Clark Griswold experience. Some people will never really understand. Picking a Christmas tree is a family priority. This year I learned a lot about them. More than I really intended to learn. Specifically, I had to learn about Christmas tree recycling this week. A few weeks ago, Jason visited from Kansas. That visit had a specific purpose. The purpose of that visit was to get a Christmas tree. To that end, we elected to take John Paul out to the Red Feathers Lake cutting area to pick out the perfect Clark Griswold approved Christmas tree.

The night before we drove out to Red Feathers Lake we watched Christmas Vacation (1989) on Blu-ray disc. Overall, I have been pretty happy with the Blu-ray functionally of the Xbox One. During the course of the last year, I have been considered replacing my Boston Acoustic sound bar with a more robust home theater system. That level of audio would probably not add to the Christmas Vacation movie viewing experience.

It took two hours to drive from Denver to the Red Feather Lakes area. Jason and I elected to wear our Canadian made Clark Griswold Chicago Blackhawks jerseys. People really seemed to like them. John Paul was super excited about the entire process. We had sandwiches, hot chocolate, and a variety of snacks. The four wheel drive feature on my vehicle was sufficiently tested. It definitely works. We wondered far enough into the woods that we could see the trail back to the car. A few decent trees were located. The one that was selected actually hit our 14’ tall ceiling. We had to cut about 3 feet off the tree to allow it to fit in the room. The most interesting part of the entire experience was the drive back with a huge Christmas tree on top of the car.

I was invested in the process. The Miracle Grow Christmas tree food was ready. The tree stand was already in place. On a side note, I think the tree food really did stop the tree from shedding a ridiculous amount of pine needles. The tree has been standing for a number of days now. I only had to tighten the tree stand once. I’m curious to see if next year we breakdown and buy a tree in a box or if we continue a tradition of venturing out into the Colorado mountains in search of a tree.

One page at a time

Each page contains about 500 words. Based on my chosen typeset only 500 words fit on a page. That amount of words seems manageable. It looks right. It seems reasonable. It seems attainable. Moving forward the unit of measure could be the page. It is always important to have the right unit of measurement. Each day could focus on creating one new page. That measurement could define the day. That target sets a nice output floor. It would be an achievable minimum daily achievement. For years, I have struggled with producing weblog posts that are longer than 500 words. I wrote a very short post yesterday.

Exploring a thought has to be more than an initial reaction. Being word economic while writing prose matters — brevity is the heart of whit. Brevity can also appear to be the key to an unknown door. Telling you just enough to know that it is important, but not enough to know the true meaning. However, really exploring a thought requires building a layered tapestry of examination. Strings of thoughtful imaginative prose can spark the imagination. Passages of solid prose can definitively define a thought.

I have been tinkering with a book titled “Multichannel Contact Strategy for Campaigns” for about a year. The path to completion has been rocky. I’m passionate about the subject, but distractions have slowed me down. Writing academic prose typically requires solitude. I need a few moments of peace and enough time to write. Recently, that has involved waking up extremely early in the morning and battling the keyboard. Those battles need to be more frequent.

The prelude of our time happens to be the quickening intersection of technology and modernity. That burgeoning and inevitable reality defines the necessity of understanding the future of communication. My first attempt to understand that future was a theory related to multichannel contact strategy. A multitude of vehicles for communications exist. The channels we need to communicate are everywhere. Bringing a message to the masses requires more than just a mastery of channels it requires an honest and legitimate strategy. Making contact with the people in aggregate has to be able achieving some degree of permanence with a communication. Some part of the communication has to resonate with people.

It would be easy to future proof the title the book with, “Omni-channel Contact Strategy for Campaigns.” However, in practice no real mechanism for Omni-channel communication exists. Multiple communication channels exist currently. Therefore, based on the current state of technology multichannel strategy has to be addressed. The idea of Omni-channel contact strategy should be evaluated, but it could not be applied in practice based on available technology.

On Routines

Routines happen. People have them. People follow them. People notice them. Given enough time routines typically become rigid. Some of them become very rigid. A certain degree of routine related rigidity creates the potential for surprises. Those surprises could occur in a variety of ways. People will surprise you. Given enough time a surprise or two is pretty much inevitable. As we approach 2015, I have started to think all types of routines. They have been at the forefront of my consideration.

Xbox One Update

Overall, I have been pretty satisfied with my Xbox One purchase. The television pass through is a fantastic feature. It allows me to avoid changing inputs. To be honest — finding the TV remote to change HDMI device inputs is not something I miss. Over the last few weeks — I have thrown YouTube videos up on my TV, watched Amazon Prime movies, used Skype to talk to grandparents, played Blu-ray discs, and played the Titanfall game using the Xbox One system. I’m sure it is more than capable of doing other things, but those are the things that seem to happen. Previously, I had noted how well Skype works on the Xbox One with the Connect device attached. People really seem to like the high quality video Skype experience. John Paul even seems to engage with people using the Skype service. That is my update for now. The Xbox One was a solid purchase.