There won't be much to Flakes today. It's been a tough week and a half, and it isn't just because of Nebraska football.
I am working on two projects that are particularly difficult in mind consuming. One involves implementing barcoding in an organization that is never had it. The other is the implementation of the worst, most aggravating software that I've ever worked on.
Barcoding is everywhere. It's been around for quite some time and most people are accustomed to it to the point that there are more self checkout stands at department stores like Target all the time. I typically go to the self checkout about 90% of the time no no matter in what type of store I'm shopping. I remember that when barcoding first came out there was a religious backlash against it by fundamentalist Christian groups that it was a sign of the end times because it would allow everyone to have the "Mark of the Beast". Mark of the Beast is a reference from the book of Revelations in the Bible. I won't go further into that; you have an entire Internet to search if you want to learn more.
The biggest obstacle to implementing barcoding isn't the technology per se, but the perception that its implementation is easy. Many organizations have the idea that you can just plug scanners in and things just work. Reality is most organizations don't understand their own business processes as well as they think and when they confront a technology that's potentially disruptive, as is barcoding, they are forced to analyze their own operations. This is not an easy process.
What they find is that they have to change. Change is required because most business software requires you change your operations to match the way the software works. No one likes change. Change forces us to stop what we been doing, sometimes on automatic pilot, sometimes for years, and do something different. Change requires learning something new and there are many people who have learned nothing new since they were 18 – 20 years old.
A project like this is challenging, which can be fun. It can also be painful. I am still in the phase where I am determining which of these it will be. I think it's my attitude that matters more.
Nebraska football isn't helping. I was asked by two Penn State sites to do predictions for this upcoming game. I predict doom. For one of them I predicted a score of 84 – 7; the worst loss in our program history. I predicted that the game would be over by the first half of the first quarter and that Saquon Barkley would set the NCAA single-game rushing record.One of the sites thanked me for my time and stated that he could feel my despair as he read through my response.
I've always thought of myself as eternally hopeful about Husker football. I've tried to convey that here. After watching our team on the sideline last week against Minnesota I have concluded that they are doing the same as we are – just hoping that the season ends.
Being on a team requires that everyone is doing their jobs and doing them with effort and consistency. If you have 11 guys on a team and two or three of them aren't bothering, the end result is disaster. Everyone must be going in the same direction and, just like my barcoding project, it's not as easy to accomplish as everyone thinks. It's not just attitude - it's confidence, education, the mental agility to adjust, and the mental toughness to see it through to completion.
How do you fix this?
Simple. You yell more at people. If that doesn't work, you yell harder.
I'm kidding. Yelling is not a solution. After a while, people just tune you out, pretend like they're listening, and do whatever they want while you're not looking. You can fire them, but when you do that you may be firing years of experience and then you have to find and train a replacement you hope will be better.
You fix it by finding champions. Champions must exist at every level of the organization; executives, middle management, and on the ground floor. You find champions at the upper levels who are willing to spend the time it takes to understand your vision and then are willing to spend more time on the effort it takes to make it happen. At the lower levels you find champions who are willing to encourage the people next to them who are on the ground floor, on the field, and are the ones who on a day-to-day basis encourage the people around them to develop, become better and carry out the vision you've laid out for them.
If you think this is easy, you are mistaken. It takes time, effort, the right people. And then it requires the willingness to change.
Ask yourself about your job, your family, friends, your surroundings. When was the last time you were willing to learn something new, then put the time and effort it required into being successful at whatever it was you were trying to accomplish.
Was it easy?
Just the Stats: Penn State vs Nebraska - Black Shoe Diaries
Senior Day is upon us, with an historical program coming to town.
The Petey Post: It's Hard to Watch the Fall | Hail Varsity
Growing up I was surrounded by reminders of Husker lore. My dad had – and still has – a Tommie Frazier jersey that he treated about as well as anything. My family has no shortage of Tom Osborne books and Saturdays were not for the boys, they were for the Huskers.
Stoltenberg spoke up after Huskers' embarrassment in Minnesota
"I don't want to speak about other guys on the team. I kind of would just like to speak for myself. ... But if you get hit, try not to get down and try to forget the play that just happened, have a short memory out there and continue to play hard," Stoltenberg said.
Franklin downplays line tips | News, Sports, Jobs - Altoona Mirror
It’s been suggested multiple times in recent weeks by one football analyst that Penn State’s offense has been tipping plays, thereby making it easier for opposing defenses to know if a run or pass is coming.
Florida coaching search: Why Chip Kelly’s such a hot name - SBNation.com
It’s peak RUMOR SEASON in Gainesville, and there’s a somewhat unique reason for it.
Nebraska: Bill Moos' biggest fear, 12 other facts about Huskers' new AD
Q: What is your greatest fear?
Bill Moos: I would say failure. I can’t allow that in any aspect of my life.
Then There’s This:
Seems to be an appropriate metaphor for this season.
On the headline... I really had no clue as to what to use for a headline this morning, but I have to get back to my projects. So I went with click-bait. It’s always the best choice. Woohoooooo!
And Then This:
Paul and I both did predictions for Pennlive.com:
Penn State-Nebraska game predictions: Will the Lions see any fight from a fading Huskers team? | PennLive.com
Nebraska marks Penn State's final home game and a Senior Day contest set for a 4 p.m. EST kickoff on FS1.