Friday, 28 March 2014

The 10X21 mindful minute challenge

It is a rainy, Friday afternoon in Brisbane. After a hectic week with clients, networking, starting a business and a circus act of juggling family while wearing 12cm stilletos,  it's time to wind down. With the rain pitter-pattering on the tin roof of my Queensland style house, I had a good hour to myself before hubby and the children get home. The wall clock made a quiet 'click' over to 5:30pm as I settled into my Herman Millar Aeron office chair. I powered up my Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 11S, to revisit a talk from several years ago on Ted by Andy Puddicombe titled "All it takes is 10 mindful minutes". He advocates spending 10 minutes a day doing nothing. No texting, twittering, TV, Internet, chatting... but simply doing nothing for 10 minutes. I have attempted to do this in the past, but never successfully kept it up. Then I remembered the wisdom of Dr. Maxwell Maltz, who in a popular self-help book says that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. I decided today is the day to embark on this 10 minute challenge. This time I will be successful, because I will ingrain it into habit by my doing it daily for 21 days. I have good science and technology on my side.

Firstly, I needed to decide the best way to measure 10 minutes. I also want to ensure I can embark on this daily for at least 21 days. I need to find a device or app that accurately measures a 10 minute increment, and will remind me daily of my 10 minutes of silence.

I set a daily recurring, 10 minute calender appointment in my Outlook client on my IdeaPad. While I waited for the appointment to sync to my mobile devices (Blackberry Bold and IPad), I searched the AppStore and CNet to find the app that could most accurately measure 10 minutes. As a technology consultant, I want to know what app is the most accurate, not only for my own purposes, but also as I may have to recommend it to a client in the future.

I investigated using swatch beats as a unit of measuring time, much better than using hours, minutes and seconds because beats are a decimal measurement of time. Swatch time is especially useful for organising meetings with people in other timezones. I found an app that displayed the current time in Swatch .beats, and installed a widget on my IPad, watching it tick over to @361. Returning to my Blackberry to see my recurring calendar appointment has now synced, I tested some of the alarm sounds. I felt a lot of them were too obnoxious for reminding me of my upcoming meditation. I needed a tone that sounded more calming, to get me into the mood for a serious meditative state. Recently I have been listening to classical music on Soundcloud, and found a piece on there that I find particularly calming, called "Persian Tear". But I found it difficult to capture this track in a format that I could use as a alarm alert tone for my Blackberry. Just then, hubby and the kids arrive. I checked the time. It was @400. I am not sure what that means, so I looked on my simple clock on the wall. 6:36pm.

After I finished spending time with my family, having dinner, quickly checking my social networking sites writing this blog post, I called it a night. I dozed off listening to the sound of my bedside clock ticking away, vowing to find a solution to my time measuring dilemma.

Thursday, 27 March 2014

Choosing the best device for the occasion: Internal Business Meetings

So, you have an important meeting with other staff internal to your organisation. The big question is: which device to bring?
We weigh up some of the important issues to consider to help find the right tool for the job.

With todays mobile technology running at such a fast pace, and so many devices to choose from, it is no easy decision to make. Also, as with the explosion of social media as a mechanism for Online identity management, we must keep in mind it is just as important to integrate your carefully cultivated online image with the bricks-and-mortar world. It is important to consider what your device tells everyone about you.

Decision Matrix Analysis

A busy executive approached me with a challenge. As CIO of a leading global firm, he had to decide which device to take to an internal business meeting. During a brainstorming session, we developed a decision matrix as below;




As you can see, the development of a cohesive matrix greatly enabled the decision process. Intuitively, you may think the wearable prototype would be the best device as it projects a authority of technological competence. But after peeling the onion, it is clear this is not the best decision.

This matrix also highlights the importance of setting a clear, documented long-term vision with tangible objectives. We will discuss this in future posts.

The outcome of this process was the best decision for the time. However, another executive at the meeting arrived with a newer model of corporate-issued IPad, an IPad Air model. This highlights the importance of engaging with technical staff on the deployment of new technological innovations in mobile computing, and being on the ball in order to avoid risk of potentially adverse competitive challenges.