Management nugget number 4

Nugget 4: Late night management emails are not an attack.

Explanation:

For once this one is not aimed at managers, it is aimed at the Techs and Frontline associates, I used to hate receiving management emails late at night or at the end of a Friday or the weekend or something like that. It put me under stress, it was uncomfortable and I thought they were watching me and wanting me to work the hours they were, But it turns out this is not always the case, If you’re stuck in bloody meetings all day or constantly on chat being chased for deliverables email takes a second place, and the only time you can sit down and deal with it (Other than the Odd Crisis Email) is when  everybody else has stopped working and therefore stopped chasing you, The reason that management do emails late at night and at the weekends is because that’s the only time they can try and clear their inbox, it’s not a personal thing, they just know that they won’t have a chance to send it during the week.

Weird.

Disclaimer: As always these posts are not aimed at anyone client or employer and are I just my personal observations over a lifetime of dealing with both management and frontline associates.

 

Management nugget number 3

Nugget 3: Office working is far more productive than remote working when dealing with human interaction, but its a mistake to assume it can be maintained at that level forever.

Explanation:

Even before the pandemic, there was a debate over office working vs. remote working and the thing is that both of them are productive in their own way, but after 5+ years of hard remote working and learning to deal with it on a large team scale I think I’ve reached an epiphany.

Day to day working is more efficient from home, you can actually get on with working, you  are actually more productive in completing tasks (providing you actually spend the hours working that you would in an office) as there are far less distractions, Plus there is the absence of Lost time from travelling, but that doesn’t mean that home working is always more productive. For example workshops or large meetings particularly those that involve forms of conflict are far far more productive in person, as sales people have known forever.

But one thing that seems to have been forgotten, particularly by older generations of senior managers is it this kind of productivity cannot be sustained day after day after day, so in my opinion the new hybrid working model is the best, I personally go in for one day a week on a Monday to kickstart me into the work mentality.

But also I have seen the one week workshop where everyone comes together to solve a major goal, get tons done and deliver massively finish with a senior manager saying that we should work like this all the time and this is why being in an office is better,

NO! it’s not, everybody is mentally shattered, such work should be consider a sprint, and while its attractive to think such a pace can be kept up, it cant and should be used now as a usefully times tool to resolve issues or reconnect humans with each other

Sorry if this nugget got turned into more of a rant but it’s something I feel quite strongly about at the moment.

Disclaimer: As always these posts are not aimed at anyone client or employer and are I just my personal observations over a lifetime of dealing with both management and frontline associates.

 

Painting Guide – Asphalt Bases

Painter: Dultoriminis and Stickfight

Model(s): Ebay Tiny Wolds  “Round Urban Rubble Resin Bases”

Paints(s): Chaos BlackCorvus BlackMechanicus Standard GreyDawnstone

Method(s):

  1. Base coat with Chaos Black
  2. Dry brush only the top with Corvus Black
  3. Without cleaning the brush, dry brush the top with Mechanicus Standard Grey
  4. Again without cleaning the brush, dry brush the top with Dawnstone
  5. Then do your road lines, White with pro acryl: Bold titanium White , or Yellow with pro acryl: Bold titanium White and then a layer or 2 of Iyanden Yellow

Paint Time: 15 mins per base

Notes: This kind of dry brushing is easier to do by starting the brush movement lightly back and forth THEN bring the model up to be in contact with the brush, if you are naff with straight lines like me then I recommend using thin strips of FrogTape to outline your area to paint.

Management nugget number 2

Nugget 2: If everything is urgent then nothing is urgent

Explanation:

I don’t know why I’m even explaining this, it even appears in Disney movies for heavens sake but still it seems to be needed to be said, 

You cannot have everything be high priority. It’s just stops things from being delivered, For every given set of tasks you have a limited set of resource, grow up and assign a set of priorities, Yes we know that you’re getting pressure from above, but the point of being a manager involves managing priorities, Don’t chop and change them, manage expectation, Don’t over promise and you will get better deliverables! (I sure as hell am guilty of this and often have to have a stern word with my self for rolling over and just wanting to please)

Disclaimer: As always these posts are not aimed at anyone client or employer and are I just my personal observations over a lifetime of dealing with both management and frontline associates.

 

Painting at Bad Moon Cafe

One of the big problems we hit when my office shut down was finding a location to do painting, we had originally moved to my office when the pandemic hit and GW stopped all painting nights and since they have shown no sign of starting them back up we had to find another venue , homes were not really a solution given that we live in London and space is a premium, plus its nice to get out and make a real day of painting.

The obvious place in central London is the Bad moon cafe (somewhere I had never been) it is the most well known gaming place in London and has been so since before the pandemic, but you would normally go there for a couple of hours of gaming, would they tolerate people turning up and painting for a near full day?

It turns out the answer is yes, I emailed to enquire and they had no problem with me reserving a table for us in the cafe area

Even the smallest cafe table was perfect for our painting case, they provided water for the pots and pallets and even a painting mat so we did not wreck the tables (not that we would have), the light is good and we happily made good progress for the near whole day.

The facilities were excellent with the obvious one being you have paint supplies there in case you need them (and not just GW ones), their excellent miniature and book selection was a constant temptation when ever you go to the back of the cafe, so if you are looking for inspiration its a good place( though I was surprised that corvus belli did not have any models there )

Food and drink were also excellent with something for everybody’s taste, meaning you did not have to leave (always a problem when I used to paint at GWs store)

All in All it was perfect and as long as they put up with us, I intend to go their most weekends.

Now lets address the unsaid part, Bad moon is a business and as such they cant do this for free, when I asked about renting the table, they just said “food and drink” and brushed it off with a smile, but I like to provide guidelines to such things so no one takes advantage of their generosity

In this situation I feel their are 2 “rates” you should be spending at:

“Desk Rate” : this is what I feel you should be spending if they have spare tables and non one is waiting, an office space desk in London in that area would cost you between £25 – £35 for the day so you should be spending this much at least to “rent” your painting space (actually more towards the high end of this range as food and drink has a higher overhead than just desks)

“Coffee Rate” : This is the rate I feel you should be paying if you are actually in the way of normal customers, so lets estimate it, lets make a normal customer turnover guess at “a drink and a sandwich” per 30 mins during the day and “2 drinks” in the evening, in both situations, that is about £7.5, so if you are in the way you should be spending about £15 per person per hour.

Again bad moon staff did not mention any of this, this is just my interpretation of what a business would need to keep running if the cafe was full of painters.

Other things I would note from the trips

1) People are curious, you will get people asking what you are painting, so bring at least one complete mini that you are proud of to show them rather than the half done one you are working on.

2) Don’t block off visibility, first time I set up my case with its back facing the room so no one could see the painting, and frankly it looks boring.

3) Painting after cocktail hour is not a fab plan…. 

 

Fitness Week EOW 2022-05-01

Work done this week

  • 2 x PT sessions (under Sam Bradly)
  • 2 x Spin Sessions (Under Louise)
  • 1 x  Self Driven Session (provided By Sam)

Notes :

On the basis of last weeks goals I did a couple of excellent clean sessions with Sam, then back to the evil set he has come up with

5K on Skierg (10 resistance) at a split of about 2.20

Every 500 Meters, break off and do 20 Kettle Bell snatches (10 each side) with a 24kg Kettlebell (no pause or ‘Faff’) then back to the Skierg

40 mins cut off Time

Tried it again, this weekend is still what I consider a failure, but better this time

No I did not hit the time level and yes I did miss two of the middle snatch sections as I was dying and it was that or stop, BUT it was done cleaner and better, and now I know how to stop the Skierg from timing out while I do the snatches I can use it as a proper stop watch, I WILL get there, one week at a time.

Next came spin, Wednesday was normal progression trying to get back to ftp of 315, but on Friday I asked for a happy playlist and DEAR LORD I have never regretted anything so much

It was one of my favourite old playlist but given a new spin and horror by the fact we are no longer on an ftp of 250 and not in a class where I can die and no one will notice, this was murder, 15 mins in and the first bike dies, the computer gave up the ghost at level 100

We swap bikes and the next thing to die is ME , it was just more than I could do, not not in an unfair way, just in a JUST beyond my current reach, Louise promised we can do the same playlist next week, but just look at that expression, its not often I’m beaten that badly and the satisfaction is real.

Next Weeks Goals

  1. Same as last weeks manage the new set at the same level Just done cleanly and sharply and without missing any parts
  2. Altered from the 2.7 watts per kilo, now I just want to make it through the sodding spin play list without dying at the ftp of 310

Long Term Goals

  1. Continue weight loss in Prep for September

Measurements

now using the posh machine at the gym, and i have lost a bit of weight (though hard to measure till it consistently use it rather than home scales

Pictures

As the kettlebells in the gym are so rubbish, I’ve taken to smuggling my own in, frankly no one cared. so I’m now happy

Management Nugget: Number 1

Recently I rebuilt this blog and noticed many things that I had learnt in the past and had since forgotten and as I am in a new type of role at my new client  I thought I would start writing down all the bits and bobs that I am seeing and dealing with from a senior management point of view while I still retain the twin view points of “doer” / Tech and Manager  

All of these nuggets have been thought of many times by many people and no doubt they exist in a thousand books on the subjects of project and man management but they are new to me and I’m finding them by trial and error as I interact with two worlds

I would like to make massively clear that these are not from any one company or any one industry, it is accumulated stuff I have picked up working with clients big and small, people good and bad over the last three decades of corporate life.

Nugget 1: you can’t run teams at 100% and then ask “surges” of them

Explanation:

If you have a set of teams that you’re constantly pushing to “go go go” “now now now” and running them at full speed you CANNOT then on top of that add things that have to be done TODAY, what you’re doing is giving them impossible goals (which produces a constant feeling of failure in the people under your care), burning them out and damaging their opinion of you as handling or “Managing” these situations IS YOUR JOB.

If you cannot control the surges (say its part of your industry that they happen e.g. retail at xmas) then you have to run at a lower % utilisation for the none crisis times.