Every decision should be made with context (background, circumstances) and in context
(current factors and conditions) of a given situation. There are
always reasons why things were done a certain way and led to a current
situation. The art and science of decision making must consider the combination of past and present to make an effective decision for the future.
"gut" decisions are made by people who believe they know better, so do
not need to understand why things were done a certain way, they just
assume they know better. History repeats itself: if you are not sure,
learn about some of the biggest failures/man-made disasters....after the
incident, you always hear "we knew this was going to happen, here is
We will discuss methods to use common tools such as MS Office, Dropbox or SugarSync,
OneNote or EverNote, Hotmail and SkyDrive or iCloud, Outlook or public
webmail (gmail, live.com, etc) or private webmail, on Mac, Windows, IOS,
Android, on the cloud (or not), hosted website vs a blog, etc – or all
of the above together.
We will leverage practical expertise and useful experience for proper organization and application to drive result, within Context to
‘Think and Act within Context for ... Effective Decision Making ... Efficient Operations ... Simplified Technology, Organization and Process
(this topic is my obsessive/compulsive behavior - according to my wife)
With the translation of the Van Houtte Family story, the Molière à Westford blog and the with/inContext project, I should be writing more content and providing more frequent updates. This post is an update to help followers know what is going on and to keep you interested …. to be a little patient with me…
our assignment in France is ending in a few days. We have been fully engaged in the return plans to the USA, which includes immigration, moving (international !), and the usual income tax – particularly complicated as a Canadian citizen, on VISA in the USA on assignment in France);
saying goodbye to everyone in France. A Fantastic experience that contributed to many things (most good, some not so) such as the creation of ‘Shakespeare in Vélizy‘ leading to ‘Molière in Westford;’
the day-to-day with children…
and….I dived deeply into making www.erickvanhoutte.com and the blogs, make sense. I do not want the blogs to be babble, I want them to have purpose…
so the with/inContext blog is taking on a particular life. Since this is a blog and website that will be a collaborative project with others, I am taking additional care to set it up properly…almost done.
The above is the situation. We will be taking a little vacation in in Spain in two weeks, and I suspect I will have time to work on the Van Houtte Family story. When we land in the USA, ‘Molière in Westford‘ will be much more active; on that subject, I plan on making the connection with ‘Shakespeare in Vélizy‘ stronger as there is good reason to share.
That’s it. Over the next few days I will provide a specific update to each subject. Thank you for your understanding and continued support…..
Avec la traduction de l’histoire de la Famille Van Houtte, le blogue ‘Molière à Westford’ et le projet with/inContext, je devrais écrire plus de contenu et faires des mises à jour plus souvent.
Ce post est une mise à jour pour vous aider à comprendre ce qui ce passe et vous garder intéressé….d’être un peu patient.
Notre assignation en France ce termine dans quelques jours. Nous sommes complètement sur la planification du retour aux USA, ce qui inclut l’immigration et le déménagement (international!), en plus de la préparation du rapport d’impôts – particulièrement compliqué car nous sommes des citoyens Canadiens, en VISA au USA en assignation en France;
Dire au revoir à tout le monde en France. Une expérience fantastique qui à contribuée à toutes sortes d’émotions (des bonnes et des moins bonnes), telle que la création de ‘Shakespeare in Vélizy’ qui a mené à ‘Molière à Westford;’
Le quotidien avec les enfants…
Et…j’ai plongé dans la mise en place de www.erickvanhoutte.com et les blogues pour qu’ils aient du sens. Je ne veux pas un site et des blogues de blabla, je veux qu’ils aient une vraie raison d’être…
Donc le blogue with/inContext prends sa propre forme. Étant donnée que c’est un blogue et un site web qui sera mise à place avec d’autres personnes, je mets une attention particulière pour que le tout soit bien structuré…c’est presque terminé.
C’était la situation.
Dans deux semaines, nous allons prendre prendre une courte vacance en Espagne, et je devrais avoir le temps de travailler sur la traduction de l’histoire de la famille Van Houtte. Une fois aux USA, ‘Molière à Westford’ sera plus actif; sur le sujet, je prévois faire une connexion avec ‘Shakespeare in Vélizy’ car il y a de bons fondements pour partager.
C’est tout pour le moment. Dans les jours qui suivront, je vais faire une mise à jour spécifique sur chaque sujet. Merci pour votre compréhension et votre soutient continue….
In the early 90s, as computers were really starting to be accessible and the Internet was emerging, a trend was accelerating: work from home offices.
At that time, a friend of mine started a business with two other people to help businesses set-up remote environments for their teams, with the biggest challenge being “psychological.”
How could a manager manage people he/she never or rarely saw?
How could you trust employees you could not see?
Could an employee survive without daily supervision….and interaction?
How was company culture maintained?
For the last ten (10) years, we have figured the above are not such a problem. There are also many guides on how to effectively work from home (whether a one-person business or part of a large corporation):
get up in the morning and prepare like going to the office
have a dedicated room used ONLY for work and fully equipped for work
There are tools to facilitate communication and collaboration
File sharing like SharePoint or even Dropbox
Instant messaging with Communicator or Messenger
Practical tools like Evernote or OneNote
Conferencing tools like WebEx or JoinMe
Social Media….indeed…for business, though still being really figured out.
One subject is not resolved and requires a little more thinking….how to handle spontaneity in the virtual world!
Very mature organizations have the discipline to understand and respect that not everyone is in the same building, same floor, same room….interactions are very different when you are face-to-face or via a camera or just a telephone. Structure is important for a sustainable business. As much as spontaneity has its merits, you cannot run a company on it….But…(capital B), there is much to say about impromptu meetings. How many times have you clarified a nagging issue walking down the hall, running into someone accidentally and asking an ad hoc question? How many times have you peered into your partner’s/manager’s/co-worker’s/employee’s office for a 12 minute white-boarding discussion and come out with a clearer thought to help you act and make decisions more effectively?
within Context of remote versus proximity:
in a mature organization/function, with established processes, structure, governance, tools and management….where operations are regular as clockwork, little proximity is required. People know what to do, onboarding is straightforward, tasks are clear…age-old clear.
in a start-up, during a period of change/transformation, with many new faces….spontaneity and informal meetings are essential
The question: in today’s reality, how do you do spontaneity effectively, preserving context, when proximity is not possible?
Think about this one…as it is a fundamental of within Context. If you have some ideas, let’s share!
My assignment in France is ending April 30, 2012. Focus over past weeks has been planning the return trip (new childcare for children…again, moving logistics, plane, transition at work, and also some R&R). Soon enough, we’ll be back home in Massachusetts, starting up the BBQ…with all our friends and neighbors.
This has impacted the progress on the Van Houtte story…..in truth, my “writing/translation time” time has been dedicated on reworking my website (www.erickvanhoutte.com) and my online platform. Have a look at the website and let me know what you think. Though there is still work to do, I feel much more comfortable. I have learned a great deal over the past months to set-up and plan an online platform.
Added to the Van Houtte story is the addition of the “Molière à Westford” community and blog (accessible on this site under the category of the same name). With our return to the USA, this has become a priority for very personal reasons….family first! In this case, my wife and children (sorry to the rest of the Van Houttes, but this little group is MY priority).
Added to the two above is the “within Context” blog. This one is truly a subject of strong interest and passion, so I will definitely commit to it.
As in everything, 80% of the work is in the planning stages (what nobody sees). This is what I have been doing. The production stage is now going to become more active.
after one year on assignment in France, planning the return home(and then some)
translating a book (the Van Houtte Family story)
start a French-speaking community for our children in Westford, MA – back home (see the Molière à Westford category).
So why not start something else? What? Another community, another blog!
This time, it is a little more professional. I have my strengths and my weaknesses.
Help Management (I’ll get to that later)
Enable others to succeed (yes, quite particular, but enough people have told me so)
Management Reporting for analysis….for decision making. Thus my tag line, which I have used for as long as most people know me (Think and Act With/In Context for Effective Decision Making)
more than many, less than some
Well then, what about this new blog (which is more of a category for now; if enough people are interested, I’ll create a new dedicated blog).
Here is what this is about:
The use of methods, office productivity tools and expertise to help Think and Act within Context for Effective Decision Making.
When looking for information on the Internet, the answer is either lost in virtual space, is too technical, is on the site of a consultant wanting to sell their services, on an unknown blog you must join, or not precise enough
Provide a source for Executives and Managers, Teams or Individuals to Think and Act With/In Context for Effective Decision Making.
How to best use tools such as MS Office, Dropbox or SugarSync, OneNote or EverNote, Hotmail and SkyDrive or iCloud, Outlook or public webmail (gmail, live.com, etc) or private webmail, on Mac, Windows, IOS, Android, on the cloud (or not), hosted website vs a blog, etc – or all of the above together.
I’m a non-technical Power User of the technologies and constantly look for means to improve my effectiveness and efficiency. When I want to do something specific, I quickly discover I have to figure it out on my own or with my trusted network of experts.
Consequently, I want to provide this source of knowledge so that other people like me (us) can also benefit. Technical people are welcome, but this is not to provide technical expertise, there are plenty of sources for this.
This subject is now launched. Let’s see where we can go from here.