The Changing Face of Work

February 12, 2017 Leave a comment

When it comes to budget planning, I’ve come to realize that the source of all the stress I’ve experienced over the years is the need to always defend my headcount.  I have been defending my team’s headcount for the longest time.  And the reality of the situation is that I can no longer continue to do so.  It’s not because my team doesn’t have more than enough work to do; it’s more because the approach to doing said work “the way it’s always been done” no longer makes practical sense.

There will never, ever be a time when I won’t be asked to reduce my operating costs.  I need to accept the reality that I will always be asked for headcount reductions – this is not for its own sake, but essentially it’s for the need to get better at reducing our costs and increasing our quality of work at the same time.  Adding more people is no longer the answer to solve capacity issues.  The correct approach is to understand what’s causing the constraints, and find a digital solution to solve it.

Times are changing, everyone’s work is changing, and the needs of the business continue to evolve at lightning speed.  Headcount reductions are dependent on anticipated work efficiencies that come with transforming exactly how we do the work that we do now (the work requirement is still there, but how we do it should change).

People like me need to break out of the mindset of solving workload issues by adding people.  Instead, I have to turn to further automation to handle such issues so that it can at least be brought to a manageable level if not completely eliminated.  The time will come when I can’t add any more people, and as far as I’m concerned, that time has finally arrived.  For all of us in the industry, if we don’t find digital solutions to our problems, then we’ll all terribly suffer for it.

The time will also come when we can no longer reduce the headcount due to these instituted work efficiencies.  When that time comes, and it’s coming sooner rather than later, the next step is to evolve the work that we’re doing.  This needs to happen, because cost reductions and work efficiencies will always be a business objective.  The goal is to adapt to the changing needs of the times – and to continue to remain relevant by meeting said needs.

Disruption is the name of the game.  The face of work is changing, not just for my team, but for everyone in the industry.  We either adapt and thrive to it, or fade away.  It sounds harsh, but that’s the truth of these times.

Categories: Ideas and Philosophy

No Guarantees with More Time

February 12, 2017 Leave a comment

These days everything always seems required to happen in a rush.  There’s a part of me that wishes for more time, however I’ve also come to realize that more time doesn’t necessarily guarantee success or better outcomes.

The best example I can think of to illustrate this is the trimester system in place in some universities.  For these universities, a term is good for three months.  It seems hectic to cram a lot of material in three months when the same material is discussed over the course of six months in other universities.  But here’s the thing: You either get it, or you don’t.  If you don’t understand something when given three months, you still won’t understand it when given six months.  It’s better to just waste three months of your time and start over with that setback versus wasting six months of your time.

There’s something to be said about having more time to produce better outcomes.  If you’re sure that getting more time will produce better quality, then it’s worth asking for it.  However recognize that getting more time won’t always be possible.

At the end of the day, what’s more important is your ability to make the most of the time you have, however long or short that might turn out, to do what needs to be done, for having more time guarantees nothing.

Categories: Ideas and Philosophy

Attaining a Sense of Closure

December 27, 2016 Leave a comment

The beginning of closure is when something is done and it can never be undone.  For as long as you can still do something about it, hoping against hope that there’s still a chance, you will continue to care because it can still matter to you.  However when nothing more can be done about it, the reason to keep on trying and hoping no longer exists.  It’s irrelevant if you accept it or not: You’ll still be forced to acknowledge that it’s over.  Sometimes, it’s only when God undeniably closes a door that we can start to move on, because it’s only then that we’d be forced to look at the window He has opened.

There are at least two life scenarios where having closure is emotionally crucial.

The loss of a love because she chose someone else is indisputably awful.  The chance you have with her is gone forever.  However this sense of closure that you get from her is actually still a blessing because it allows for your continued chance to look for and consider someone else in your life.

Despair over the loss of a life, especially of people near and dear to you, is the most dreadful experience that will happen to all of us.  You know this to be permanent, and it’s this sense of life’s finality that forces you to confront the grim reality of their absence.  One thing is for sure: You don’t stop loving someone once they’re no longer around; ironically it’s during such times when you love them even more, even if they unfortunately aren’t around anymore to see and feel it.  The sense of closure comes when you stop feeling despair over the loss because you’ve learned to carry on with your life even without them.

It’s difficult to get closure if you’re constantly exposed to things that remind you of what or who you don’t have or no longer have.  However time has a way of healing wounds.  It gives the space needed to reflect on the events of life, and appreciate the will, work, and ultimate good of God in such events, even in the midst of tragedy.  It provides the emotional distance from the hurtful event, sometimes to the point that it doesn’t matter anymore.  The pain experienced will eventually feel like a lifetime ago when one day it becomes irrelevant to the present time, because you have moved on with your life and are busy with other and more important things, and rightly so.  Time can be your friend because it can help provide the closure sought.

Attain a sense of closure by accepting as the new reality the things that can no longer be changed, and adjusting your life to accommodate it.

 

Categories: Ideas and Philosophy

Believe In Something Greater Than Yourself

December 17, 2016 Leave a comment

I watched the movie “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” yesterday.  It’s the tale of the Rebel Alliance’s attempt to steal the plans of the Death Star; it’s basically a prequel to the events of the first Star Wars movie.  What the protagonists did was nothing less than heroic – literally to the point of martyrdom.  They were able to steal the plans that eventually helped destroy the Death Star.  However none of them survived the wrath of the empire; they were part of the heavy losses the Rebel Alliance sustained.

Up to the last minute I was hoping against hope that they would somehow survive, but I’m not surprised all of them died.  This is a sad movie for me.  But I feel there’s a lesson to be learned from the story.

If you truly believe in something greater than yourself, then you’ll be willing to do anything for it, even to the point of giving up your life for the cause.  Your life’s story will come to an end, and perhaps you won’t be remembered for your contributions to the cause – but that’s not the point.  The point is because of your sacrifice, the bigger story was able to continue and unfold, and that’s the more important matter.

On a more spiritual note, believing in something greater than you is what makes up Saints and Martyrs.  At the end of the day the work of salvation still belongs to God.  However He gives us a chance to participate in His work and to contribute to the unfolding story of His love for all of us.  That’s what the Saints and Martyrs did, and in the course of doing so, a lot of them lost their lives – but gained eternity in recompense.

The way we live our life for Him – and if absolutely necessary, how we even die for Him – is reflective of how much we truly believe that He is our ultimate goal and desire both in this life and in the next, for the greatest thing that one can ever believe in, worth following and dying for, is God.

Categories: Ideas and Philosophy

Protection Provided By The Law

November 20, 2016 Leave a comment

Laws are meant to protect the minority from the tyranny of the majority.  That’s an idea I took away from reading a bit about James Madison and the context of The Bill of Rights which he drafted for the U.S Constitution.  At the end of the day, laws should protect everyone without discrimination.

Extra-judicial killings are the order of the day.  Unfortunately it’s safe to say that this is the new normal: It happens every day and for the most part people seem to accept it as part of one’s current reality.  Yes, these criminals violated the human rights of their victims.  But that doesn’t necessarily mean they have any less human rights as a result.  And because these executions happened without due process, there’s officially no definitive proof of guilt; it’s entirely possible that those killed were innocent of the crimes accused.  There has certainly been a lot of collateral damage in the course of these killings; innocent people did die, some getting killed simply because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time and with unfortunately the wrong company – their right to life was definitely deprived.

People persecute the Catholic Church, accusing it of hypocrisy and meddling in the affairs of the State.  First of all, the Church was never meant for righteous people.  It was originally composed of people who were hypocrites, and to this day it still is.  The Church was meant for hypocrites like you and me who are in need of healing through God’s love and mercy.  Second of all, it’s not meddling in the affairs of the State when it exercises its duty to speak the truth and call out evil; the Church is supposed to do this, and not doing so is a betrayal of her mandate from God.  It would be counted as “meddling” if it imposed its will on everybody whether people wanted it or not; such isn’t happening.  For example, the most she can do is tell people not to kill, but it’s still up to us and the State if we want to follow her call or not.  Now, the law guarantees freedom of religion, but it doesn’t guarantee exemption from criticism; this seems fair enough given that it’s only right that we don’t believe in anything blindly, and so it’s good to question what we believe in so that we understand it better.  But to shutdown people or institutions who express their faith is persecution of belief that should not be tolerated.  Such expression is part of the freedom of religion that the law should protect.

With respect to the freedom of expression, these days it feels like it is more important and even necessary to be politically correct and nice compared to being genuine and harsh.  Honestly, sometimes I just want to lash out and speak my mind about what I see and hear, but instead I resort to screaming quietly.  Let’s be pragmatic for a moment: Self-censorship is not an act of cowardice if it’s used as a form of survival from the attacks of the mob.  In particular, cyber-bullying is the new weapon of this age that makes such attacks possible.  People who attack others who are different, instead of engaging in proper dialogue, violate the other party’s right to be heard.  People don’t listen to understand anymore; they listen so they know what to retort, which is characteristic of minds that are closed, arrogant, and bigoted.  The law should be there so that everyone is heard, no matter how dissenting other people’s opinions might be.

The law is meant to serve everyone’s interests equally and fairly.  Institutions or minorities suppressed or bullied into silence or submission is a failure of the law to serve their interests, and is in fact a failure to even protect them.  I think it’s up to us to collectively “grow up” as a people and help each other rather than tear each other down.  If the law isn’t enough to help us then we only have ourselves to help each other out.  It’s all in our best interest to see to it that we all thrive and prosper.

I may not be a lawyer, but just like everyone else, I’m entitled to my opinion on how I think the law should serve us, and it should serve us well.

Categories: Ideas and Philosophy

Reckoning the Silent Majority – Engage in Debate

November 13, 2016 2 comments

Last November 8, 2016, Donald Trump was elected as the 45th President of the United States.  This happened much to the consternation of the majority of Americans who were expecting a win from Hillary Clinton.  Although the latter won the popular vote, Trump won more than the minimum 270 electoral votes needed to secure the White House.  Many people expressed disbelief, shock, and horror, to put it mildly.

The following is a YouTube video I came across from a British television personality that provided an interesting perspective on Trump’s win. Although meant in the context of Trump’s victory, there are key ideas applicable in a broader sense that’s worth noting.

The so-called “Silent Majority” is that group of people who typically just keep their opinions to themselves for fear of the persecution of the more vocal minority, the ones who are noisy with their opinion and / or are in positions of power, because the latter will oppose them.  This group of people agrees with the opinions expressed by someone who is willing to be vocal with what they have in their hearts and minds, when such opinions tend to attract the opposition of those who don’t agree with such views.  They support such person because he or she represents them and is willing to explicitly and courageously fight for their interests.

From my own observations of the world, I tend to agree with the opinion that the liberals have won the cultural war.  They managed to silence any opposition to their positions – or so it seems to them anyway.  However the Silent Majority can never really be silenced no matter how much such seems to be the case.  At the end of the day, you cannot control how people choose to live their lives in terms of what they think, say, or act, if only in private; people will remain true to who they are and their beliefs.

The Silent Majority is a force to reckon with.  Never underestimate the strength of their power.  Their silence doesn’t translate to submission.  They are the “quiet enemy” that, once the opportunity presents itself, will strike without warning and with maximum impunity.  By their very nature, what they have demonstrated in this instance is a perfect example of the genuine and raw power possessed by the “unseen,” “unheard,” and “unknown” people.

You will not be able to appropriately reach out and engage people if you don’t allow them to freely express themselves.  You have a serious problem if people feel the need to censor themselves or tell you only what you want to hear because they fear your reaction.  And if people actually do that then it also shows you’re NOT the kind of person they can trust.

The way forward is to reach out to the Silent Majority – and really, everyone – and engage each other in constructive dialogue.  Give them the opportunity to talk and to express themselves.  Do not shame them into submission or silence.  In speaking their mind, you give yourself an opportunity to know them better and so leave no room for surprises.  And in the course of doing so, it’s hoped that you listen – not to reply, but to give yourself an opportunity to empathize and understand them better.  And for all you know, you might discover that you’re wrong and they’re right.

Categories: Ideas and Philosophy

Acting in a Liberal World

November 5, 2016 1 comment

Just my observation, but it seems in this day and age, the world has lost its sense of sin.

My basis for saying this is primarily influenced by what I see from sexual impurity that’s no longer considered as evil.  Sexually liberal attitudes are so prevalent in this world to the point that it’s accepted as normal; we’ve become desensitized to its malice.  People no longer fear Hell or worry about Purgatory.  A lot of people only see a life in this world without any regard that there’s actually another life waiting in the next.  And following that idea, it also implies people no longer plan, look forward to, and make any investment in living a life that will lead to Heaven, and I think that’s just sad.

Real life lovers Nadine Lustre and James Reid having sex in screen reel life in the show “Till I Met You.” They stripped naked inside a car and had sexual intercourse. This was broadcast during prime time, and stirred a lot of controversy when it did.

Real life lovers Nadine Lustre and James Reid having sex in screen reel life in the show “Till I Met You.” They stripped naked inside a car and had sexual intercourse. This was broadcast during prime time, and stirred a lot of controversy when it did.

For what it’s worth, at least they’re honest with themselves and in particular in what they believe (or not believe).  And they’re acting in a way that’s consistent with that belief, rather than pretending to be otherwise and ending up as hypocrites.  Unfortunately it might become too late for them to turn back in the end when their way of life already defined and set their direction for the rest of their eternity.

Let all act as they like; you are to act, as I want you to.  To mind one’s own business is key in spiritual warfare.  The devil is a busybody attempting to drag everyone down.  Please God and let the opinions of others go by the wayside. – 25 Secrets of spiritual struggle that Jesus revealed to St. Faustina

People are free to make their own decisions and live their lives the way they want to.  It’s none of our business to try and force them to believe and act otherwise.  Eventually we will all reap what we sow, good or bad.

As far as people who are practicing their faith are concerned, we should continue to do what God wants us to do.  This is the proper response on how we should act in this liberal world; it’s the most counter-cultural act that we can express and do.

Categories: Ideas and Philosophy