November 2015

|
Whitespace is your friend

As a scientist or engineer, you’re probably used to packing as much data as possible into a given format. You might pack words into emails or Word documents. You might pack data into an Excel worksheet. You might pack charts or tables on a PowerPoint slide. You aren’t as sensitive as most people to the
Read More

|
Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I wanted to reach out, with a quick note about gratitude. I’ve had highs and lows in my career. We all have. One of the tools that has helped me through some low points is gratitude. No matter what your current situation is…parts of it are favorable. Maybe your current role is
Read More

|
Good enough can be very hard

A while back, one of my stakeholders asked me for some pricing data. I had visualized this kind of data countless times for countless stakeholders. I opened a new Excel file, and dumped in the raw data. I created three different pivot tables, each with a standard view I knew some of my stakeholders loved.
Read More

|

All through college, graduate school, and the early part of my career, I was surrounded by other technical folks. Over the years, I saw behavioral patterns. If I were to grossly generalize, I’d say most technical folks are shy. They’re quiet. They shine the spotlight on their work, rather than themselves. They’re curious, and thus
Read More

|

Everyone is drowning in requests at work. Answer this question. Write this report. Build this slide deck. Send this email. It’s frustrating. Urgent tasks hit us every day. Sometimes, in the rush, it’s hard to separate the important from the unimportant. If you want to become an “A” player at work, the star among stars…work
Read More

|

This site is dedicated to helping you make the transition from the technical role you have today, to your dream career on the business side. The easiest way to make that transition is to connect (a) where you want to be in the future to (b) where you are today. Marketing is a great way
Read More

|

You may have noticed one theme around here is communication. If you want to transition out of technology, and into business, you need to communicate differently. Scientists and engineers are used to technical communication: long prose with lots of detail. Business folks are used to business communication: short prose with a clear call to action.
Read More

|

Your transition away from a technical role, into a business role, will involve an interview process. You might interview formally or informally. You might interview internally or externally. You might interview in a coffee shop, on a golf course, in an elevator, or around a conference table. In one form or another, you’ll have to
Read More

|

You may have already heard the advice to follow the news in your industry. It’s good advice for obvious reasons. You learn more about your company. You learn more about your competitors and your customers. You are better able to follow conversations that might come up at work or at conferences. You feel more connected
Read More

|

Imprecise language is a pet peeve of mine. And the business world is rife with it. The first example I go to, when thinking of imprecise language, is “strategy” versus “tactics”. We have two big problems here: There are as many definitions of “strategy” as there are people who use the word “strategy”. Strategy and
Read More