New Manager: How soon is *not* too soon to start changing things?

I recently received an email which asked: Since my career seems to be following a path broadly similar to yours … I’d love to know what your experience was and any lessons learned. Specifically Mark, who sent the email, asked a few questions: How do you take over as manager for a group of technical writers? How do you get better management buy-in (promise cheaper or faster docs?)? What are the first activities you should do (content audit, benchmarking?)? How soon is *not* too soon to start changing things? I’ll break each question out into a new post, so without further ado, onto question #4. How soon is *not* too soon to start changing things? The compulsion to change or …

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Man's best friend

A dog is truly a man’s best friend. If you don’t believe it, just try this experiment. Put your dog and your wife in the boot of the car for an hour. When you open the boot, which one is really happy to see you? (via my Mum – the woman who tried to answer the ringing phone by holding a remote control to her ear…)

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Oll-E

I don’t talk much about our cat, largely because I don’t want to become one of THOSE people who do nothing but talk about their pet but in the year since he’s been with us, and I choose my words carefully for one does not ‘own’ a cat, he’s slowly and annoyingly wormed his way into my affections, the little sod. There is some pleasure to owning a cat, beyond the occasional dead animal and scratch mark here and there, as they are quietly affectionate in an aloof kind of way. Ollie is very much a people cat, and whilst he won’t sit on your lap he does tend to follow you around and stay in the vicinity, like a …

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New Manager: What are the first activities you should do?

I recently received an email which asked: Since my career seems to be following a path broadly similar to yours … I’d love to know what your experience was and any lessons learned. Specifically Mark, who sent the email, asked a few questions: How do you take over as manager for a group of technical writers? How do you get better management buy-in (promise cheaper or faster docs?)? What are the first activities you should do (content audit, benchmarking?)? How soon is *not* too soon to start changing things? I’ll break each question out into a new post, so without further ado, onto question #3. What are the first activities you should do (content audit, benchmarking?)? First things first, make …

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Fixing Me

I’m sitting at the dining table, the laptop in front of me with a view out of the back garden. I’m being dazzled as the in the sharp light of a crisp winter day bounces off the last of the snow. Ollie has been in a couple of times to check I’m ok, and to warm up the keyboard of the laptop for me and I’ve just opened a letter from the bank that says they miscalculated a recently settled loan so please would I take this cheque for £400. My heart is full and light, I’ve lost weight, I’m enjoying work despite the ongoing manic nature of things, and I seem to have hit a productive streak. Yup, if …

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Rip it up

There is a part of me that is destructive. A part of me that says fuck you to all and sundry. A part of me that questions and challenges everything. That part of me hides in the shadows waiting for the moment to reveal itself, to rise up and strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger. Or something like that. Actually it’s the part of me that really does, sometimes, think ‘You know what, fuck this’. It’s usually aimed at something I either don’t fully understand or with which I can’t really be bothered. My previous post is an example of the latter, computers usually a large part of the former. So right now I’m toying with …

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New Manager: How do you get better management buy-in?

I recently received an email which asked: Since my career seems to be following a path broadly similar to yours … I’d love to know what your experience was and any lessons learned. Specifically Mark, who sent the email, asked a few questions: How do you take over as manager for a group of technical writers? How do you get better management buy-in (promise cheaper or faster docs?)? What are the first activities you should do (content audit, benchmarking?)? How soon is *not* too soon to start changing things? I’ll break each question out into a new post, so without further ado, onto question #2. How do you get better management buy-in (promise cheaper or faster docs?)? Management buy-in is …

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Facebooked

I’ve still to find any good reason to visit Facebook more than once a month. It’s just never really grabbed me, largely because I have plenty of other places online where I can interact and all of them are far more subtle than the constant barrage of utter nonsense that the bulk of Facebook seems to thrive on. I mean what is that virtual poking thing all about? Seriously, answers on a postcard to WHYTHEHELLSHOULDIBOTHERWITHFACEBOOK, c/o IFEARIAMMISSINGTHEPOINT. Thanks. That said, the upside of Facebook is that it has allowed me to ‘connect’ to some old school acquaintances. I’ve emailed a couple of them but considering that I struggle to keep up with my friends I’d be very surprised if I …

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Change of frame

I spent a fair portion of yesterday wandering around Glasgow taking photos. Some were in a touristy kind of way but others were directly influenced by a conversation I had with someone. I had been talking about ‘finding’ shots to take, and she said that what she did was figure out the type of images that she was naturally drawn to and then try and find the opposite. Whilst wandering round a city I always find myself drawn to the buildings, the architecture (new or old), and tend to prefer clean cut lines of the modern office blocks. I do tend towards what someone called ‘postcard’ photos, the type of view that is obvious and that everyone can spot. So …

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