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First task – get checked in at #shrm14. The speaker instructions say “go to room 309”. I ask the guards, and they point me ahead. The last one, as i get close, looked a little puzzled but led me to the door, then blocked my entry.

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It’s a Women’s bathroom.

Re-reading my instructions, i head to Room 309A. Note to self. Details appear to be important.

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On in 5 minutes

…and the room is filling. Cool!

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“This is taking too long.  I’m bored.” – overheard from a participant in a recent 50 minute workshop

I just presented at a string of conferences and meetings, and a disquieting trend is headed our way.  Our collective attention span is trending toward a smaller number every day. Now?  10 seconds.  Soon?  Zero.

I would have said this is changing every year, but this is happening faster than that.  I’m well equipped to keep up, as I am probably slightly ADD, but it means we will have to shift how work is defined, and how people are a part of organizations.  It also puts pressure on me, the presenter, to keep moving, keep changing, and turning up the entertainment part of my platform skills.

We will also need to face facts – the speed of adaptive abilities will become a differentiator between organizations.  There are people who are not wired with short attention spans, and they need to be in positions that reward exactly that.  Every pot has a lid, and management will need to add attention span to the core competencies that fit modern jobs.

And, in the modern world, this is about the right length for a blog post.

Tomorrow, slightly shorter.

Back in the day, this was pretty high tech.  No auto correct, no cursor, and you had to THINK before you committed a letter to paper, as there was no turning back...

Back in the day, this was pretty high tech. No auto correct, no cursor, and you had to THINK before you committed a letter to paper, as there was no turning back…

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HOW MANY CALORIES FOR A SMALL?  AAAAH.

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Why can’t we just get there faster?

The next step in deciding the constitutionality of the key provision of Health Insurance Reform took another step this week.  I was in Cincy speaking on the subject, and the Federal Court in Richmond, VA spanked the lawsuit brought by VA’s Attorney General and Liberty University and threw it out. 

The full story can be read in the Richmond Paper here.

We all know that it will end up with the Supremes, and we know it will be next year.  We need a faster answer – as we know, business wants to know the result, quickly.  They want the punch line first, not a long, slow buildup that serves no purpose…

Business wants the answer, now.

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No, it’s not a metaphor or the title of a book…

So, a Turquoise Blue scooter spent two weeks in a prime parking spot in our office parking lot until yesterday.  Justice descended in the form of a very large and imposing tow truck, ordered to remove the offending vehicle.  The driver was clearly puzzled.

He said this was his smallest job, but the one that was giving him the most trouble.  His rig was designed for handling 4-heel vehicles in the 2 ton range.  This was neither. 

What happens when you use the wrong tool for the job...

The tow guy said his normal hookup time was around 5 minutes – “less if it’s a repo, and the owner may have a gun…”  He struggled with this for almost an hour, finally driving off with the offending Vespa trussed like a chicken on his pickup fork.
 
The lessons?
1. Small projects are often more problematic than big ones.
2. Use the right tool for the job. 
3. Learn to pick locks and just drive it to the impound yard – think outside the box…

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I wish you were there.  I was in basic business drive mode, leaving one meeting and heading to another, putting together mental lists and checking things off.  The cars ahead suddenly swerved and slowed – clearly something in the road.  But what?

A big, hostile momma snapping turtle.  As big as a serving platter, and happy to bite off any fingers that got close to her front end.

I kept my fingers out of the way - she wasn't happy with my intervention...

The pond she lived in was on the left of 116th St.   A hill to lay her eggs on was across four lanes of traffic, and she was firmly on track to get there.  I hopped out, came up from behind, and picked her up by the shell.  Yikes – she almost got me.  But, I carried her to safety and reminded myself that Mother’s Day applies to all creatures…

Happy Mother’s Day to all moms, everywhere.

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