1ngi: (friendship)
A glass case on a table in a draughty Elizabethan pile.

Inside, reverently laid open, is a large leather-bound notebook. The writing is tiny, much of it in green ink, some in blue. Crossings out and bits of paper pasted over unwanted paragraphs reveal refinements and the moulding of ideas.

As I lean over the case, my breath stops as I recognise some of the words.

Read more... )
1ngi: (Default)
An excerpt taken from his last article for The Observer:

"This is what it's all about. It's about reading a paper on a Sunday morning while you're thinking about whether you can be arsed to go to the neighbours' New Year's Eve party tonight. It's about getting angry with me for having different opinions from yours or not expressing the ones you have as well as you would have expressed them. It's about the breakfast you've just had and the dinner you're going to have. It's about the random acts of kindness which still, magically, preponderate over acts of incivility or nastiness. It's about rereading Great Expectations and about who's going to win the 3.30 at Haydock Park. It's about being able to watch old episodes of Frasier on satellite TV whenever we want, having the choice of three dozen breakfast cereals and seven brands of virgin olive oil at Sainsbury's. It's about loving and being loved, about doing the right thing, about one day being missed when we're gone."
1ngi: (looks a *bit* like me)
posted by [personal profile] 1ngi at 10:47pm on 23/02/2010 under , ,
Dear wannabe Manager,

I've been meaning to write to you for sometime, but it's finally got to the stage where I'm really fed up about how much you are pissing off the people who work for you, and believe it or not, the people you work for.

Two questions,
1. Do you care about people?
2. Do you care about the organisation you work for?

I’m not looking for a Mother Teresa response here but unless you are the sort that genuinely gives a shit about the people you work with, then you are going to find people management more than a little tough.

By the same token, if you don’t care about the success of the organisation that you work for, you’re going to find it hard to motivate a bunch of people to contribute concerted effort towards the success of your ventures.

If you answered yes to both questions, then you have the right aptitude to become a good manager of people and it's about time you started fulfilling your potential. If you answered ‘no’ to the second question, I suggest you either get interested in it (reading the annual report would be a start) or if you really can’t find it in yourself to respect the company then I kindly but firmly suggest you piss-off, and go and work for someone else. Working for an organisation you can’t respect is a miserable thing to do and adding people management on top of that is going to be soul destroying for you - and your team. And all of you deserve better than that.

If you are interested in the organisation but you're not really bothered about the people who work for you then I want you to work out why. You can ‘fake it’, absolutely you can, but your team will know. However if you follow the rules and are fair, avoid unreasonable expectations and maintain the communication flow between your team and the org then you will be ok. Probably. If they notice your passion for your work they will probably respect you, but don't expect them to remember your birthday. It might also help to show some interest in your workers as human beings and that includes not just remembering their kids’ names, but remembering to ask how Bobby is getting on at the new day-care centre. Write the kids names in your note book if you have to but for flips sake make the effort. After all you expect them to make an effort for you.

As middle management at whatever level you have in your organisation, your primary job is to be custodian of communication from top-down, and just as importantly, from bottom up (hey - you could even try it peer-to-peer, you never know you, might like it). What I’ve found amazing over the years was the directors in most orgs are usually pretty straightforward and genuinely give a shit about serious issues - after all it’s their business (often literally). It’s the layers of management between them and the rest of the staff that usually cause the difficulties. People are people at the end of the day and in middle management you are going to get a range of characters from Mr I’m-waiting-till-I-retire-leave-me-alone to Ms I’m-adicted-to-status and all the others in between. 90% the people are very nice - it’s just a minority who seem to find ever new and interesting ways to make life difficult, mostly for themselves (we all have issues, some more than others).

You can confidently expect arguments between the Head of Purchasing who quibbles over the price/supplies of the Head of Marketing’s new venture. Both are usually trying to do their job to the best of their ability. This doesn’t mean that one is wrong and one is right - usually they are both right and the concept of compromise has yet to hove into view. If you are one of these people - have a little respect from where the other is coming from. If you are not, pointing out the compromise will reduce the time you have to spend in the bog of eternal meetingness.

Another thing If you wanted to be liked, don’t become a manager of anyone. Not a good move. Really not. Ironically if you abandon your neediness, you may well end up being well-liked as a manager (but not by everyone). Just don’t expect to be close friends with people, they need you as a boss first. And if you are worried that they are going to talk about you when you leave the room - well yes they will. So stop worrying.

Oh and always turn up to the pub when asked, and then piss off again in timely fashion so they can moan about you behind your back. 

Yours insincerely,
The Army of Me.
1ngi: (creativity)
posted by [personal profile] 1ngi at 12:18pm on 29/01/2010 under ,
(Discovered rummaging around files containing old bits of writing looking for something else. At a time in my life when I'm trying to work out what I really want to do,it seems rather apt)

The old adage “when one door closes, another opens” is one of the contrite sayings that people troll out when they can think of nothing better to say in their clumsy efforts to comfort. Particularly when in actual fact it feels more like one has had a door forcibly slammed in one’s face. What can often happen at these times is that reeling from the shock of this harsh injustice takes up so much attention that opportunities seem invisible or non-existent.

I have often found myself so distracted, I end up tripping over the step of the next opened dooway and propel myself arse-end first into new landscapes. Then there is so much mental ‘dusting off’ that I arrive out of sorts.
1ngi: (Default)
Watched this and had to share with all my friends who dare to be creative. Encouragement indeed:

1ngi: (creativity)
posted by [personal profile] 1ngi at 02:07pm on 25/04/2009 under , ,
It's been a strange old journey trying to work out how to use Facebook, Linkedin, Livejournal, Delicious, Flickr, Twitter and my own website. I feel as if I have some better sense now about what is appropriate to write where and when. Firstly, if I can work out how to do it, I'm going to stop sending LJ posts to Facebook (via an RSS feed) because what I try and do on LJ is quite reflective. On occasions after writing something that I'm happy to be public on LJ I find myself hurriedly logging on to Facebook so that I can delete if from there. I'm feeling less comfortable about being so introspective there. I'm finding it hard to describe why. Perhaps things are more superficial over there. I've just written a further 'perhaps' and then deleted it because it could have been misconstrued, again, over there.

Alternatively I could create a new LJ and only alert some people to it. But that doesn't feel right. I like being 1ngi on the internet. Anonymous to the whole world bar the handful of those who know me as such. It feels comfortable that way.

I really like Linkedin - it has very clear business-social etiquette built right in and a fantastic way to keep your network and career together. Most people know how to behave and in my limited experience it is relatively free of trolling.

I predominantly use Flickr to support www.ideagarden.co.uk as a kind of portfolio that I can update and manipulate as I want. Having that level of independence on my own website was an insightful piece of planning on [livejournal.com profile] covertmusic 's part and I really need to start using the site much more as a vehicle for work-related writing. I think up until now I've been overly self-conscious about it as I've learned what does and doesn't fly in the different spaces on the web.

Twitter (1ngi there too if you want to wave) is something I've been trying out over the last couple of days - I was wondering what all the fuss was about and I'm still not completely sure. However the kind of 'quick chat over the garden fence' style of momentarily reaching out and making contact with your 'neighbours' brings a spot of sunshine into the day. I was surprised to see how many organisations are on there. Communications networks are reshaping faster than we know how to deal with. I guess the best thing we can do is join everything, try it out and then regroup.

Well I'm about to go through a process of regrouping and redeploying my investment into the various things I use. It may reduce my self-censorship. Or it may have no bloody affect at all. I guess this is what we are all doing with social networking, trying out the places we like to hang out and withdrawing from the places that don't fit as well. Which reminds me, we need to find a new local.
1ngi: (creativity)
Even though some of my best friends are uber-computer-scientists (meaning I know a squeek more than the average man on the street) computers and the internets are magic things where wizards and warlocks make astounding things out of bedsteads and thin air.

I've just read this blog that has come up with some interesting points that I sort of follow.

One thing I am certain of is that the big bible of PR and communications just got rewritten. Actually that's not quite true, the timescales just got condensed to heart-attack inducing speeds. You need to be something of an adrenaline junkie to actually enjoy working in reactive PR (I for one am not, I can do it but it makes me ill - really ill) but I think that Amazon's PR team quite possibly might be having their worst day ever.

You see, if they are worth their salaries, they will be advising all and sundry to make a huge apology with sincerity and be transparent. But their directors will be in a tail-spin, and probably deciding that they know best. And they clearly don't.

I've just said to Siôn to never ever let me be tempted back into job with reactive PR. The last one I had I spent a long time trying to persuade the CEO that there was this thing called 'being only as good as your google' on account of bad smells hanging around forever but he was firmly convinced that we were still in the 'today's news is tomorrow's chip papers' zone. How the hell do you go to your ludite directors and say 'look - there's this thing called 'Twitter' and lots of people are really upset'. I can just see the blank looks...  At least the PR team at Amazon won't be dealing with that little interesting problem.

Anyone with a bent for demystifying communication on the interwebs for ordinary folk could make a killing right now.
1ngi: (friendship)
posted by [personal profile] 1ngi at 11:13pm on 12/04/2009 under , ,
Adding my utter outrage and dismay to the growing voices of dissent on the internets regarding Amazon.com's blatant homophobia in stripping sales rankings from LGBT books. Apparently it's being done to 'adult' books. But in reality this means that best-sellers such as Tipping the Velvet and The Well of Loneliness (FFS!) loose their sales creds while Jackie Collins, Jilly Cooper, Harold Robbins and others still have their sales rankings. Not only that but having the temerity to write about the politics of gender issues or even producing a queer travel guide to Disney theme parks will get you barred from sales rankings. That's not homophobic how exactly?

Expressed well over in an open letter at booksquare.com

It's being twittered about - entitled amazonfail

A growing list of books that have had their sales ranks removed is being accumulated here.

Not happening on Amazon.co.uk as far as I can tell. 
Erm, yes it is - US editions of Fried Green Tomatoes and Tipping the Velvet don't have their sales ranks.

Edit: Mainstream media just starting to catch on: LA Times

Mood:: 'incandescant' incandescant
1ngi: (beloved)
posted by [personal profile] 1ngi at 11:26pm on 17/03/2009 under ,
Loves songs play in me all the time. I feel you inside my heart. Play on, play on, play on until the last thing I see is the wallpaper.

The fear came last night - before my sleeping time. Lovers turned to strangers in the shadows, hopes turned to dust as the light went out. All I ever wanted, all the costly stuff, is here in my arms. Dark silken strands wrap their weft around my fingers, dark thoughts weave their warp into my breathing.

There is a shore, at the end of the day, where the land is long and the walk takes for always. I'm holding your hand, and today is the first day I told you that I loved you. All hope was mine, all joy was yours and we drank hot chocolate by the sea.
1ngi: (far from the sodding crowd)
posted by [personal profile] 1ngi at 05:52pm on 26/02/2009 under
It is an ache, an upwelling of deepest love - longing for your peace of mind. I watch the sun dappling on your cheeks, it catches a tear on the inside of your blinking. You're hurting, all this beauty inside and no one is listening.

I hear it. Like the raindrops drizzling down French windows.

I want to reach you, tenderly touch your good heart. You've been touched by divine and it burns you, pains you every day. Which way to turn? Which path to chose?

Today, just for today, just be. Just walk along tree-lined paths, and look through the lime-glass leaves. Notice the catkins - who'd have thought they would be out so soon after the snow?

No names, no recognition, no achievement, no approval. The only moment you need is this one, under the sky, with your breathing and the scent of Mahonia.


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