Updating Administration

Being the first of the month all business activities are concerned with updating the administration. First was the VLC Advisory administration. This was the first time and we are in a transition of systems. The consequence was that it took a while and needed some manual corrections because of the transition. I had to take some time to get to know the systems and the rationale behind the numbers. On top of that we are sharing some of the financials with the complete Advisory team so I also prepared those numbers. When the accountant verifies it all, these will be shared so everyone can take a look at their performance. We want to be transparant about this and show were we can help each other.

Up to now I was busy with the financials of NZwijn.nl. Making a number of invoices and updating the administration. My wine administration is a lot more simple but it gets the job done. But the most important things is that it enables me to make the smart choices for the future!

In both systems improvements can be made but that is the case for almost all IT systems. For my wine company that is a lot easier and actually only time and Excel are limiting my options here. One thing they both have in common that changes of the systems need some time and the people that are using them have to learn to use the system. At first working with these systems takes much longer than before but after a while it will get much faster. Actually this will be true for all changes within organizations and IT systems.

Credits for the photo is to Chris JL!

Masterclass, #QS and Dwolla

Today was a day that started with a meeting on the progress of the new Advisory branch of VLC. The first weeks are on track: a fair deal of leads for new projects and assignments, a number of candidates to join our branch and internal operations are up and running. We are still looking for a senior information strategist and change manager. If you want a new challenge in your career. If you want to join one of the fastest growing companies in the Netherlands and one of the greatest places to work. Or you know a friend that is right for this job. Give me a call or send an email!

We are planning for a masterclass on Information Productivity, to make some progress I had a meeting with a real live guru. We had some great ideas that we will continue to work on. You will see the result in a while but please stay tuned!

In between meetings I saw a tweet of Martijn Aslander about the Quantified Self. This is a new trend about health statistics. A small group of innovators are using apps and home made gear to measure a lot of body statistics. An article in Technology Review sheds some more light on SQ. SQ is another feature of a trend that healthcare is changing to enable people to take their health in their own hands. In am using RunKeeper to track my running workouts.This app uses GPS to show speed and distance and cross-references with my weight and age to calculate burned calories. I saw that this is just the beginning. Some people are harvesting data on brainwaves during sleep, using apps to calculate calories in food and wearing monitoring devices for heart-rate, sweat and calories burned.

Last but not least on of my dear colleague showed me Dwolla. A new service that enables the exchange of money for goods and services without all the stuff that you use today. It all sounds promising but I am curious if it really can compete with the traditional systems or other innovations like NFC. We could not test it because the service is only available in the US.

My first workday again?!

As 33 year-old of course ;-).

Today was the first day working with my new MacBook Pro. At VLC we have a Pick Your Own policy for laptop’s and finally I made my choice. For the last two years I have been working with a 13 inch MacBook with great pleasure, so I decided to stick with the model and upgrade to the fastest chip and RAM. The battery was great, the first signes of fatigue were at 15:30 after a full recharge! This is a great plus when I am on the road.

In the morning I spend some to with our accountant on the new Advisory unit. All seems very straight forward and it helped I have my own business. During the day I was occupied with a number of opportunities and did some preparation combining our Information Productivity Scan, Infographics and the Strategic Alignment Model.

Today I went to work on my bike again, it takes me 30 minutes one-way. This is a really vitalizing way to start the day and really refreshing after spending the entire day inside an office.

PS: if you missed my posting last friday, you did not! Friday is my day with my 20 month old son. We went to Amsterdam to change tires, did a nap and went for a long walk in the sun!

First Day of the Month: Time to Get Kicking!

I started the day with a bike ride to the office, 30 minutes of energy and thoughts. When I arrived I took some time to sum up my tasks for today. I manage my to-do-list in Rememberthemilk, a great service that enables syncing between web and my iphone. When I was finished, I started with my to-do’s. During the day I came across a small number of to-do’s I missed earlier in the morning. And I had to postpone a number of batched to-do’s to tomorrow. Is there a way to plan to-do’s for one day more exact to prevent the loss of time?

A larger batch of to-do’s was about VLC Advisory, a new business unit at VLC that will start on the first of June. I planned our next internal meeting that will focus on 360 degrees feedback & personal BSC’s and the followup on our big event on May 11th, EIM2011! To give more direction on the 360 feedback & BSC’s we finished a document on profiles for our work. I spent some time on budgets and financial reporting for the new business unit. We want to be as transparant as possible to give the employees in the new unit a complete overview on performance.

At the end of the day there was a teammeeting to discuss our work finishing a project in the next weeks. For me the best part of the meeting as project manager was that my team was thinking about the plan for the next week themselves. Within 30 minutes everybody agreed on our approach and we ended the meeting.

Tomorrow I need to spend some time on Sales and Marketing and on Project Management for one of our clients. For this client we are setting up a daily workflow to crunch a very large amount of webdata. This project is a technical implementation of Hadoop, Pentaho and Qlikview. Sales and Marketing will focus on the introduction strategy and a number of concrete leads for one of our main products, the Information Productivity Scan.