Distractions, reflections

David Ing, at large … Sometimes, my mind wanders

Thurs. Nov. 10, 2005: Hours like a student

David’s work hours seem to follow those of student days.

(by David): In my work like, not much has changed since 1976, when I first started university. I read articles and books, and write reports, most of the days — work days, and weekend, although the content is sometimes different.

Working in consulting usually means a little bit of a rush towards the end, even if the project is well-managed. In the earlier days of a consulting gig, there’s always a possibility to move around deliverables a bit, but at end of the project is the end of the project, so everything has to be wrapped up.

I’ve known since August that I was planning to leave for Finland on November 11, so this hasn’t been a surprise. I’ve been managing the consulting time pretty well — there’s really only me and antoher consultant, and we’ve been working together well — but working towards a final report means that there can effectively only be one person that “owns” the document at any given time. It’s possible to work on sections, and copy-and-paste them into a master document, but there’s always the risk of making mistakes doing that.

So, the schedule was a four-hour slot for a Powerpoint presentation on the second last today — this Thursday — and then the final report due on the Friday.

On the late Wednesday night (actually early Thursday), I was up until 1 a.m.

On the Thursday night, I asked my colleague to finish up around 8 p.m., and hand the document over to me. I started working on the document around 8:30 p.m., and finished at 4 a.m. When I spoke to him on Friday morning, I told him that the document was all his to finish. The amount that he had to finish was up to him, but most of the content of a 70-page-plus document was done.

These types of deadlines definitely give me a flashback to student days …. Nothing much has changed.

  • Recent Posts

  • Archives

  • RSS on Coevolving

    • Beyond the Tavistock and S-cubed legacy
      While it’s important to appreciate the systems thinking foundations laid down by the Tavistock Institute and U. Pennsylvania Social Systems Science (S3, called S-cubed) program, practically all of the original researchers are no longer with us.  Luminaries who have passed include Eric L. Trist (-1993), Fred E. Emery (-1997), and Russell L. Ackoff (-2009).  This […]
    • Socio-Technical Systems, Service Systems Science
      In order to move forward, the Systems Changes Learning Circle has taken a step backwards to appreciate the scholarly work that has come before us.  This has included the Socio-Psychological Systems, Socio-Technical Systems and Socio-Ecological Systems perspective, from the postwar Tavistock Institute for Human Relations.  The deep dive on “Causal texture, contextualism, contextural” takes us […]
    • Causal Texture of the Environment
      For those who haven’t read the 1965 Emery and Trist article, its seems as though my colleague Doug McDavid was foresighted enough to blog a summary in 2016!  His words have always welcomed here, as Doug was a cofounder of this web site.  At the time of writing, the target audience for this piece was […]
    • Causal texture, contextualism, contextural
      In the famous 1965 Emery and Trist article, the terms “causal texture” and “contextual environment” haven’t been entirely clear to me.  With specific meanings in the systems thinking literature, looking up definitions in the dictionary generally isn’t helpful.  Diving into the history of the uses of the words provides some insight. 1. Causal texture 2. […]
    • Trist in Canada, Organizational Change, Action Learning
      Towards appreciating “action learning”, the history of open systems thinking and pioneering work in organization science, the influence of Action Learning Group — in the Faculty of Environment Studies founded in 1968 at York University (Toronto) — deserves to be resurfaced. 1. Trist in Canada 2. Environmental studies, and contextualism in organizational-change 3. Action learning, […]
    • Remembering Doug McDavid
      The news that Doug McDavid — my friend, colleague, and one of the original cofounders of the Coevolving Innovations web site in 2006 — had passed, first came through mutual IBM contacts.  More details subsequently showed up on LinkedIn from Mike McClintock. Doug left us on May 9, while working at his desk, likely in […]
  • RSS on Media Queue

  • RSS on Ing Brief

    • 1969, 1981 Emery, System Thinking: Selected Readings
      Social Systems Science graduate students in 1970s-1980s with #RussellAckoff, #EricTrist + #HasanOzbehkhan at U. Pennsylvania Wharton School were assigned the Penguin paperback #SystemsThinking reader edited by #FredEEmery, with updated editions evolving contents.
    • 1968 Buckley, “Modern Systems Research for the Behavioral Scientist: A Sourcebook”
      Resurfacing 1968 Buckley, “Modern Systems Research for the Behavioral Scientist: A Sourcebook” for interests in #SystemsThinking #SocioCybernetics #GeneralSystemsTheory #OrganizationScience . Republication in 2017 hardcopy may be more complete.
    • Wholism, reductionism (Francois, 2004)
      Proponents of #SystemsThinking often espouse holism to counter over-emphasis on reductionism. Reading some definitions from an encyclopedia positions one in the context of the other (François 2004).
    • It matters (word use)
      Saying “it doesn’t matter” or “it matters” is a common expression in everyday English. For scholarly work, I want to “keep using that word“, while ensuring it means what I want it to mean. The Oxford English Dictionary (third edition, March 2001) has three entries for “matter”. The first two entries for a noun. The […]
    • Systemic Change, Systematic Change, Systems Change (Reynolds, 2011)
      It's been challenging to find sources that specifically define two-word phrases -- i.e. "systemic change", "systematic change", "systems change" -- as opposed to loosely inferring reductively from one-word definitions in recombination. MartinReynolds @OpenUniversity clarifies uses of the phrases, with a critical eye into motives for choosing a specific label, as well as associated risks and […]
    • Environmental c.f. ecological (Francois, 2004; Allen, Giampietro Little 2003)
      The term "environmental" can be mixed up with "ecological", when the meanings are different. We can look at the encyclopedia definitions (François 2004), and then compare the two in terms of applied science (i.e. engineering with (#TimothyFHAllen @MarioGiampietro and #AmandaMLittle, 2003).
  • Meta

  • Translate

  • 
  • moments. daviding.com

    Random selections from the past year
  • Creative Commons License
    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License
    Theme modified from DevDmBootstrap4 by Danny Machal