How and Why I Got Here
There are numerous types of management, many of which I have engaged in over the years. There’s project management, risk management, change management, knowledge management, and failure management, among others. Each provides value at various levels of most organizations. Since my retirement in May of 2009, I have been managing a one-man show. In that time I have been through several iterations of a business plan; an attempt to develop an offering that will earn me a modest income while doing something challenging, interesting, and at least moderately important – in my estimation. Each iteration represents a risk, a change, a project, and (damn it!) a failure; a miscalculation in my assessment of the business climate or the value of taking a particular path (ostensibly) forward.
Regardless, I have been able to pick myself up, lick my wounds, and continue on. I’d like to think each of these “failures” has also brought about a modicum of learning and a better assessment of the climate in which I’m operating. Only time will tell. In the meantime I’m also learning how to chronicle what I’m experiencing in this blog. I can’t say it’s been easy, but it most definitely has been interesting and instructive. What appears beneath the horizontal rule that follows this paragraph is older material I’ve written about this blog. I don’t want to remove it yet, as it serves to illustrate the iterations I’ve been taken through (to some extent). If I’m lucky, I’ve got a lot more to do before I’m finished.
This was going to be a blog dedicated to exploration of the symmetries, similarities, and synergies that may be found between the philosophies of Dialectical Materialism (as discussed by Karl Marx and Fredrich Engels) and Systems Theory (as discussed by W. Edwards Deming and Russell Ackoff). However, since I’ve been in school studying for a Masters in Knowledge Management I just haven’t had the time to do justice (read research into) the issues I thought would be interesting to tackle.
Also, I really want to have a blog other than the one I have that gives vent to the dark side of my personality (no . . . not giving that one away. Sometimes anonymity is the best strategy). So I think I’m going to redo this one a bit and start blogging more frequently. We’ll see how it goes from this point on.
PS – I have since graduated and received my Masters degree (with distinction!) in KM from California State University, Northridge. Now if I could only remember what I ostensibly learned. I was enjoying getting my head back into work in a way I haven’t been able to do for two years, when I was struck with a life-threatening situation that, fortunately, has resolved itself for the better. It required a bit of soul-searching (and some surgery). Perhaps when I’ve synthesized all it’s done to me, I’ll write about it. For now, what matters is my death is not quite as imminent as it may have been. Onward and upward!
PPS – Well, now another wrinkly has appeared in the fabric of my life. The company I’ve been working at for 21 of the past 23 years (took some time out to rejoin a family business in an ill-fated attempt to return to self-employment), Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne, is suffering the effects of the end of the Space Shuttle program and the anticipation of NASA’s new direction. As a result, they have been cutting back on contractors and, just recently, decided to offer those of us who are 60 years old or older (I’m 62) a severance package. I have decided to accept it. On May 14, 2010 my employment with PWR will end and on June 1, 2010 I will start receiving my pension from them. I may also have to file somewhat prematurely for Social Security as well, but the cut in benefits I’ll be forced to take will be somewhat ameliorated by the fact my children will be eligible for an amount totaling my monthly benefit. I will still need to work if I expect to not fall behind, but I am hopeful I can find a variety of different engagements to keep me busy and make up the difference. I expect to be experimenting a bit more with this blog, as my interests remain eclectic. As well, I am hopeful this blog will become a vehicle for presenting what I have to offer in the way of analysis and common sense (a stretch, I know)
OK – I don’t suppose I can just keep adding Ps in front of my PSes, so I believe a little re-writing is in order shortly. This I shall do. It’s been over a year and a half since I “retired” from PWR and there’s been a significant amount of water (and other liquids) passed under that old bridge, including an unsuccessful attempt to provide some SEO and Social Media Marketing services to my alma mater. I need to cogitate on what’s happened and what is likely to happen soon, then update this page. All is well, my friends. I’m feeling my age now and again, but overall things are going along just peachy. Stay tuned.