The Sock Box

December 31, 2009 § Leave a comment

In my home live five people, all of whom wear different sized socks.  Among these socks of different sizes are different colors and brands.  Laundry must be done almost daily, and we all know there’s a secret land where mismatched, mate-less socks go leaving one stranded.  Matching them up and putting them away takes a lot of time.  There’s also the issue of the kids stripping them from their feet multiple times a day (if you looked under my couch, chances are you’d find some socks).

I’ve tried many processes to mitigate sock loss including buying one brand per person, safety pinning dirty socks, and designating a wash and store bag per person for only socks.  When all these systems failed, I came up with a new one and to my surprise, it’s been very effective: The Sock Box.  Socks get washed with the rest of the laundry, but when it’s time to fold and put away the laundry, ALL socks, regardless of color, size, or brand, go into The Sock Box.  As time permits and on an as-needed basis, socks can be paired, sorted, and delivered.  If there isn’t even time for that (or mainly, there are better ways in which I choose to spend my time), then the sock-less person can go to The Sock Box and there is always a matching pair there.  Beautiful!

How could a technical Sock Box benefit us?  Do we already have a Sock Box? Do our IT organizations have Sock Boxes?  Niche programming, lack of collaboration, working in silos, multiple platforms, good ideas that nobody hears about because they get lost under the couch… These are all lost socks, wanderers, left to attract dust bunnies and eventually are discarded for yet another pair.  Social media, especially within our IT organizations, could create a Sock Box where ideas meet and connect and become useful.  Unified platforms streamline our development efforts and the maintenance that follows.  In need of a new, innovative idea?  Check The Sock Box.

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A Ha! Props to social media.

December 24, 2009 § 1 Comment

I might have had an “Oprah-A-ha” moment.  Twitter has given me the ability to follow any entity I like as long as their tweets are not protected.  A few months ago I created my first Twitter account.  Soon, I’m following people and groups that span a diverse group of interests.  Then, I’m tweeting about my equally diverse areas of interest.  Soon my tweets are in the thousands, and I’m wondering if I need separate Twitter accounts to avoid losing one community over another – my techy followers may get bored with my gifted education tweets or my food tweets.  You’re probably familiar with the dilemma.  There are apps for that.

Because introspection is ingrained in my personality, I had to ask myself  “what is the common thread in all these seemingly diverse interests”?  What is it that has me up at night writing and reading about it?  These questions combined with the ever-prevalent question of “what am I going to be when I grow up” has led me (in a very logical manner, of course) to consider what drives me and what will continue to motivate me and excite me in a career for the next 20+ years.  It’s innovation and enabling great minds to develop their ideas and deliver.  Linda Cureton, the CIO of NASA, shares this vision in her blog.   Whether it is one of my own gifted children or a promising colleague or a brilliant artist or chef… The common thread is helping people live up to their potential and building community so that they can help each other.

Does that mean I’m ready to take my hands out of the technical pot?  No way. I love building and creating too.  I want the same things for myself as I do for others who are intelligent and self-motivated.  Detachment from that process diminishes my ability to ultimately enable others and improve upon their processes and methodologies.  Where that puts me in terms of a job title, I have no idea.

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