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Showing posts from October, 2014

Do you have enough money to retire on?

Does anybody really have enough retirement income?

Okay, the really rich, but for most people today, there will definitely be a cutting back after retirement.

And that’s the crux.   If you are used to living a certain way, it is not easy to change your patterns when you stop working.

A combination of the new Liberty Life ad and an excellent presentation to Accsys clients and staff by Professor Jackie Arendse, got me thinking.

Liberty says that the average monthly earner receives 480 payslips in their lives.  If you retire at 60 and live until 85, you will have 300 months when you don’t earn a salary!   That is a frightening thought.

When you consider that the average age keeps rising, and retirement ages have not been increasing at the same pace, planning for retirement becomes more critical than ever.

Rumour has it that the first person to live to 150 has already been born.   What do you think her retirement age will be?

Retirement Reform

No wonder the government have looked at Retire…

Is any decision better than none?

Decisions, decisions, decisions
Slow decision making is seen as weak leadership.   True or False?
People make comments like “Well, at least he makes decisions” as if any decision is better than none.
And once a decision is made, woe betide the leader who changes his or her mind.
No matter that new facts have come to light, or that certain information was deliberately withheld, leaders who change their minds are incompetent in the eyes of many.
So getting the balance right between sourcing all the relevant facts to make a decision, and not waiting so long that you are seen to be a procrastinator, is not easy.
And allowing yourself to be forced into decision making because of outside opinion is also not a great choice.
Leaders have to accept early in their careers that popularity based on decisions made should  not be a goal. It can be a nice side effect as long as you realise that it will only be a small group that like most of your decisions, and a much larger one that believes they c…

Do you need to train on every software package you use?

The short answer is yes!

As a software vendor, we regularly get told the following:
My staff don't have time to come on trainingWe will come on training once it is all workingWe have worked on other similar packages, we will teach ourselvesThe person leaving will teach the new user While most software companies limit services to formally trained operators, this rule can cause serious relationship challenges with clients.
The reality is that staff who don't have time to come on training spend a lot of time learning on the job, over the phone on lengthy calls to service centres and don't learn many of the shortcuts and tips that enable them to use the product more effectively.

While many vendors spend large sums on developing manuals, whether soft or hard copy, we have found that a lot of people prefer to simply phone the supplier.
Delaying training until everything is working also can slow down the roll out of the product, as well as add risk to both supplier and user compan…

Living My World of Tomorrow Today

When we look at the future, and what we want from our world of tomorrow, our point of departure is usually what is available today. So I took a step back into my childhood and tried to imagine what my future dreams would have been.    I was a bit of a day dreamer, and know that I rather shocked my Grade 6 teacher, and my mom, by saying I wanted to be buried at the North Pole, so that the worms wouldn’t get me.   Still waiting for Cryogenics or Cryonics What was I expecting? The question is would my 16 year old self recognise the world I now live in. She would certainly expect me to still be reading a lotShe would not expect me to have a Kindle and an iPad, with hundreds of books downloaded but still belong to two print book clubs (the ladies are so nice, and we have such fun, and a little bit of wine) I know she would also be delighted by: Laser (hair removal and eye surgery, among other things)Microwave ovensInstant access to Google, she was as much a trivia junky then, as I amOn line …

Back to the Future - My World of Tomorrow

My World of Tomorrow – Back to the Future
The build up to the Business Connexion (BCX) event has really got me thinking back over the early days of working in the computer industry.
As a fully fledged baby boomer, my career started when being a computer programmer still had a strong air of mystique.
Computer rooms were gigantic, smoke free zones, limited to the chosen few.
We hand wrote code, the punch room ladies punched it onto cards, and we booked time for testing.
Testing time was very tight, the reason so many of us worked lots of overtime.    Much easier to get a testing slot after hours, and the computer rooms ran 24 hours shifts, anyway.
Overtime usually started with drinks at Jimmy’s Tavern in Braamfontein, and led to a few punch card disasters!
Carrying the punch cards for a big program was a delicate, balancing act.   If you dropped them, getting them back into order was a real challenge, even if you remembered to number them….
At NCR, developing communications systems so t…

My World of Tomorrow - MWOT

Speculating about what would really change our world is a constant conversation in IT companies.   Business Connexion (BCX) and  +Accsys being no exceptions.
When BCX decided to launch an Expo and Conference around the topic, the conversations became really focused.  Personally, I am a Science Fiction and Fantasy junky, and that is, in part, because what was SciFi when I was 20 is now a daily reality.    My dad died in 1972.   He was a real futurist, always wondering what would be happening next, whether in buildings or technology.   Part of his legacy is that he taught me to think like that, too.
If you re-read HG Wells, Jules Verne, Aldous Huxley and George Orwell, you will see what I mean.   And if you are lucky enough to be reading any of them for the first time, you will agree how truly prophetic those writers were.   And as for Da Vinci…..
So what do the Accsys staff look for in their world of tomorrow?    It is an interesting mix of personal and business requirements.
My perso…