Sunday, September 28, 2008

German Town and Wine Sipping

The last weekend of hosting my grandparents consisted of a trip to Mclaren Vale and Hahndorf. Mclaren Vale is relatively new territory for me, as I only had my first trip there this year but I think it will be hard to top my favourite winery of the region so far; Samuel's Gorge. I will simply state that they have three red varieties, Grenache, Temperanillo and Shiraz made in the style of Shiraz. Go there taste and enjoy the spectacular vista... Ocean on one-side, Gorge-ous on the other...

Needless to say the visit to Hahndorf lead to beer consumption by the litre... There are some pics that tell the story on facebook

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Time of the year

It is performance appraisal time... and boy do I not enjoy it! Now there is always the uncomfortableness (yes, that is now a word) with the difficult conversations but that is not what I dislike about it. I find that our system puts a lot of weight on the 'score' that the individuals get irrespective of the corresponding word picture that describes the mark.  Now the reason that the score matters is that the performance appraisal is the sole input to the promotion system, which is given the first allocation of ranking (hence if you aren't above the cutoff mark... no further consideration). So a tool that is meant to be a meaningful management tool becomes the hinge to an individuals career where they are assessed on a score (which ends up being a long way from a normal distribution) which isn't related to technical mastery...

Which is why I can probably relate to this ... 

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Monday, September 22, 2008

On the shoulders of GIANTS

I was listening to a podcast from the Duke University public lectures from iTunesU (the podcast is titled Values-Based Leadership, sorry I can't work out how to link directly to it). For me this podcast has probably done what the Leadership Exchange was meant to... I am definitely inspired after listening to it. I can recommend that you hunt it down and have a listen (or a watch, there is a vodcast too)

But it did lead me to question how often do we acknowledge those giants? There has been discussion in our organisation about getting in touch with our former members, but as yet nothing meaningful has been done. I would like to see not just a list of names and numbers but some interactions, maybe presentations at the Annual Conference or get togethers in the regions... I think personalising the giants is the first step to standing on their shoulders...

Boutique Beer

Sunday was unremarkable with the exception of a visit to an impressible Microbrewery down in Goolwa that the guys introduced me to in February... If you get the chance get into the stuff, the standout is the Truffles... Australia's only Fortified Beer

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Why my dad has purple hands...

As some of you know my Grandparents are in town... So Jules and I have taken advantage of the circumstance to combine the Quality Time (QT) with designated drivers.... Today was Barossa.

A few people do tend to ask me about some wines and wineries that are worth their time... My favourite winery is Elderton, who have a spectacular new Zinfadel. Other favourites from the Barossa today; Old Block Shiraz (St Hallet), Blackwell Shiraz (St Hallet), Bella Rouge (Langmeil), The Freedom 1843 Shiraz (Langmeil), Fifth Wind Grenache (Langmeil), Magpie Estate Gewurztraminer (Rolf Binder/Veritas)... but there are always more to be had...

The best find of the day was a kids book from which the title of this blog takes its name. What a fantastic little tale :)


Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The Exchange...

As mentioned in passing and inspired by a conversation with Iain today...

Selection for the Exchange is based on the submission of a project, I am thinking Engineering and Maintenance or Business Consulting (actually am preferring a combination)... So, I am looking for ideas...


Monday, September 15, 2008

BMI

It looks like I'm not the only one on this.


Well my situation has got a little more intense... I have decided to apply for an exchange to the UK which would be for approximately 4 months starting April 2009... on the application there are many conditions including a set entitled 'Application will not be considered if:' Five of the ensuing criteria were medical in nature, these covered; recommendation by doctor, passing of a physical fitness test, being rated as Medical Category 1 (the highest) and finally a BMI no greater than 29.9.


Now that is deliberately chosen because of this arbitrary 30 = Obese figure. One does wonder if the other medical criteria would suffice? surely physical fitness, a doctors recommendation and a top tier med cat would cover the risk factors... So then is the BMI merely a catchall for not sending someone who looks fat?


BMI has long been a pain to me, every annual health check up I have to go and talk to a doctor before I can attempt the physical fitness test (which is less load than my Aussie Rule and Touch football commitments, which can be approved by my boss without medical consultation).


Now I am the first to admit that I am overweight, but I suggest that I could stand to lose 10kgs, but that takes me to my optimal... not to borderline obese as BMI suggests...


So basically the mission is on... 

Slackness and a tip of the hat

There are a couple of reasons I have been neglecting my Blog... the defensible one is the transition to Mac... I am nearly there...

2ndly, hat tip to misssandy for starting to guest blog at this one's evil twin. Arguing with myself was ineffectual let alone just a little creepy...

Standby for more in the coming week :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hey Fat Boy

For anyone interested, or has been following my tweet... I have embarked on a weightloss journey, feel free to drop by, join in or throw some encouragement (or more likely stick the boot in...)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Flexible Work Practices

Dave got me thinking about my own flexible work practices and my recent Leadership Exchange.

I work fairly flexibly working from home one day a week at the moment simply to get some deep writing and reviewing done. I find that the blurring of the line actually results in a net benefit for the work place. Despite this I found that a lot of people around the organisation have said that they aren't able to access a flexible arrangement... I can understand that all parts of the business are going to require key periods of attendance (i.e. Launching an aircraft, meeting with a client) but surely the benefits are mutual? maybe it is just difficult for us to quantify output so we cling to input and think it is the same.