Posts made in July, 2012

Make decisions…the ones that need to be made

Posted by on Jul 24, 2012 in Leadership | 2 comments

It was hot in July and there was no air conditioning. The meetings took place weekly, but this one was different.  The leader of the group got up and read a document that he had prepared before the meeting and then asked the group what they should do about it.  The group was shocked by the scope of change that was proposed.  Of the seven that were there, only two stated that they would support it.  The rest either outright opposed it or thought it was not in the best interest of the group.  The debate lasted a couple of hours.  At the conclusion of the meeting President Lincoln thanked his cabinet, but had already decided to go forward with the Emancipation Proclamation. If President Lincoln had followed what the group had recommended, many people would not have the freedom that we all enjoy today and I suspect that the Civil War would not have gone as it did.  Instead, President Lincoln set in motion a new course for a nation and an example for the world.  There are times when a leader must make decisions that are contrary to the popular thinking at the time.  It is by leading that the leader makes all the difference in the world.  I can’t tell you when you should make decisions that are not popular, but I can tell you that they will most likely come from the heart or gut and will “feel” like the “right” thing to do.  They may not always work out, but only by leading the group into territories that are not currently being explored do we learn and grow....

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The Britney Spears approach to facilities operations: “Oops, I did it again.”

Posted by on Jul 13, 2012 in Facilities Management, Incidents/Downtime, Leadership | 3 comments

I can only speculate as to what caused Amazon’s latest outage, an apparent “loss of power.”  But this week, I’m going to express my opinions in no uncertain terms – fair warning.  In my experience, most organizations actually CHOOSE to have outages.  I don’t care what their sales slogans promise.  They choose to have outages.  If you don’t believe me, just read their SLAs (Service Level Agreements).  Most offer some sort of guarantee of uptime or service availability.  Amazon guarantees 99.95 percent uptime – or about 0.72 minutes of downtime a day.  It translates to more than four hours a year.  Beyond that, most will give you “credit” toward the loss of service with either billing credit or more services.  So as long as the outage is less than four hours per year, no foul.  You might even get a “We’re sorry.”  Rackspace offers a 100 percent uptime guarantee but will only reimburse 5 percent of your monthly fee for every half hour of outage.  So if you have 10 hours of downtime, you don’t have to pay the monthly fee.  Not a great option if your business is global and your average revenue is a million dollars/hour....

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