Overheard: Word of the Day


January 3, 2008  4:20 PM

Overheard: No texting at the table

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse

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New technology calls for new rules and Mom cliches. In this video Anita Renfroe shares “What a mom says in 24 hours.” New to the list? “No texting at the table” and “Your iPod is my iPod if you don’t listen up.”

This was the first holiday I had to enforce the “no texting at the table” rule. The kids looked at me like I was out of my mind.

January 3, 2008  3:04 AM

Overheard: Biting the hand that feeds you is not good for CRM

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
One of the biggest challenges facing many organizations is that the Internet and, more specifically, Web 2.0 tools are helping to make customers more informed than employees.

Sharon Richardson, Google Reader For CRM

Whilst customers have become more informed thanks to the Internet, too many organisations are ensuring their employees become less informed by banning access to the very tools that customers use – Facebook, Myspace, Wikipedia, Google, the Internet…


January 2, 2008  1:43 AM

Overheard: Energy efficiency is a relative term

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
If you are reading this, odds are that you’re doing it on what used to be an Energy Star compliant computer. With the roll out of Energy Star 4.0 as its being called, odds also are that your machine no longer qualifies. “Whoa!” You might be thinking, “How did that happen, I just bought the thing!” Well, here’s the deal: ‘Energy Efficiency’ is a relative term.

Aaron Max Fein, Energy Star Redefines Its Shine


January 1, 2008  10:39 PM

Career horoscope: Pisces 2008

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
Pisces, the fish
Your 2008 keyword is networking

Pisces, your astrological position at work this year is that of chief innovation officer. Once again your creativity will be tapped to find low-cost solutions for high-tech problems.

Last year you were repeatedly asked to play MacGyver. Your creative solutions were often utilized, yet your profile remained low. Remember Pisces, that if you feel taken for granted, it’s your own fault.  While you were quietly doing your work and weaving your magic, there were plenty of other voices claiming credit and clamoring for attention. If you want recognition,  you’ll have to add your voice to the chorus, like it or not.

This year, you may be asked to particpate in projects you don’t feel are necessary or even wise. When these occasions arise, don’t worry. If you step back and focus all your work towards the needs of the end user, everyone will win. As always, you will be most successful when you align many small projects in such a way that it all becomes one job. You are at your best when serving others and this year is no exception.

In 2008, your success depends upon your ability to be diplomatic and tactful, especially when pressed for time or dealing with fools. At the same time, you need to be assertive and speak with authority or your needs will not be met.  This diplomatic-yet-assertive dance will be required for almost everything you do.  Again, keep you mind on what you want to accomplish. You’ll need the cooperation of others to get there. Don’t burn any bridges just yet.

2008 will be a good year to raise your public profile. You’ve spent the last few years acquiring skills. Remember that saying “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know?”  Well this is the year to build out the “who you know” part.   To nurture your creativity, be sure to take time off and recharge your batteries.  Get away from your desk on a regular basis. You’ll do your best thinking on walks or at the beach.

Your personal keyword for 2008 is networking. Use this year to network professionally, both online and in person.  Don’t be afraid to mix business with pleasure. If you make the effort to raise your visibility now, it’s likely you’ll receive income from more than one source in 2009.

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January 1, 2008  10:06 PM

Career horoscope: Aquarius 2008

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
Aquarius, the water bearer
Your 2008 keyword is transparency

Aquarius, your astrological position at work this year is that of communications specialist. What does that mean? It means you are a global thinker and your desire to be of service will introduce you to people around the planet in 2008. You may be in contact with them by phone or email, but it’s even more likely that you will travel on the company dime and visit places you’ve never been before.

Last year we might have found you working by yourself or running things behind the scenes. This year you will be front and center. We’ll probably see your name on bylines or blog posts. You may post a video series on YouTube, host a podcast or start a newsletter.  It’s likely that you’ll be called upon to create a how-to guide or even write a manual or cheatsheet.

In 2008, how you communicate your thoughts will be almost as important as which thoughts you communicate. You have a flair for the unusual and love variety. These two traits will guide you as you experiment with different media, varying the way you conduct meetings or convey ideas to co-workers. You will have lots of energy this year. That’s good, because you’re going to be very busy!

Your success will depend upon your abilty to expand your vocabulary.  You may find yourself learning a foreign language or working with a new technology, media or programming language that has its own set of industry jargon.

Speaking of vocabulary, in 2008, you will need to redefine your definition of “failure.” As you look back at the past, avoid dwelling on why something didn’t work or discounting an idea because you’ve already tried it once. Keep your attention focused on what you want to accomplish right now and be open to taking a second look at things you’ve dismissed. Technology has changed and so have you. Avoid saying the words “been there, done that.”

Your keyword this year is transparency. This may go against your natural desire for personal privacy, but it’s necessary if you want to improve your earning power. Get out there and learn something new this year. You have the power to make the world a better place!

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January 1, 2008  9:28 PM

Career horoscope: Capricorn 2008

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
Capricorn, the goat
Your 2008 keyword is flash memory

Capricorn, your astrological position at work this year is that of the killer app. What does this mean? It means that everyone counts on you to save the day.  Your promises of stability and reliabilty encourage people to forgive your bugs.

Last year was very hard on you. As each obstacle presented itself, you internalized it and carried it with you. At times you felt the weight of the world on your strong goat shoulders.

This year you will learn to put down your burdens and move forward without dragging everyone’s baggage behind you. This will be especially important at work. You cannot afford to be pessimistic or melancholy when dealing with others. Sure, their ideas might seem frivolous, but keep in mind that they may see yours as lacking innovation.

In 2008, your success depends on your ability to work with people who have different points of view. You will need to learn how to articulate what you intuitively understand so you can find common ground with those around you. Your sense of fairness will be an asset and with some patience and persistence, you can begin to look at the glass as half full once again.

2008 will be a good year to explore different aspects of your chosen career. Hook up with a creative thinker and brainstorm all the ways your skills can be used. Your frustration in your lack of progress may be the result of your own limited perceptions. Once you are back on solid ground emotionally, be careful about alienating co-workers with unintentionally flip remarks. Others may not be as attuned to your mood swings as you would wish them to be.

Your keyword in 2008 is flash memory. Your goal will be to live in the moment and start each day fresh. Be open to new ideas and have faith in the way the universe works. If you put out good energy, you will recieve good energy — in spades.

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January 1, 2008  7:26 PM

Career horoscope: Sagittarius 2008

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
Archer pocket PC Sagittarius, the archer
Your 2008 keyword is handshake

Sagittarius, your astrological position at work this year is that of developer. You alone have the ability to negotiate the unspoken codes that separate the geeks from the suits.  This will be your focus in the year ahead.

Last year you honed your managerial skills and made some sound spending decisions. You demonstrated that you are a good team player. Your sense of humor and curious nature made you a welcome addition at the conference table. Everything you did laid the groundwork for what’s about to take place in 2008.

This year you will have the opportunity to take more power than you ever dreamed possible. It’s yours for the taking, and therein lies the challenge.  Nobody gives you power. Power is something you take.

Your success depends upon whether or not you can curb your extroverted nature in the presence of your peers. You need their support to turn your vision into reality. You need them to like you — and sometimes without meaning to, you turn people off by talking too much. What your boss perceives as enthusiastic, your peers may perceive as pushy. Be sensitive to those around you. Not everyone feels as lucky as you do.

2008 will be a good year to work on the art of negotiation. Your boundless energy could use some shades of subtle.  You will learn a lot by reading about people you respect. Look for how they handle themselves when negotiating deals or compromises and formulate a plan for  self-improvement. Read about group dynamics and focus your attention on how to sell your vision without alienating those around you who also have visions. Pick three things you think you could do better, commit them to paper and articulate how the people you respect addressed those three issues. A systematic, concrete approach to problem-solving will take you far.

Your keyword for 2008 is handshake. You have demonstrated to high-ups that you have the skills to move forward. Now, you just need to get everyone next to you on board.

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January 1, 2008  6:33 PM

Career horoscope: Scorpio 2008

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
Scorpio, the scorpion
Your 2008 keyword is scalability

Scorpio, your astrological position at work this year is that of high-priced consultant. Your single-minded passion for a particular aspect of technology provides you with the ability to demand big bucks. The challenge will be to reach out to the right audience.

Last year you may have been so involved in the details of the business at hand that you failed to see the big picture change around you. You will need to make some changes and extend yourself a bit if you want to dramatically increase your earning power. The potential is there.

You will learn the most from people outside your immediate profession. It is to your advantage to join groups or attend events where you can learn more about how your job relates to the industry as a whole. In 2007 you demonstrated the ability to see things from other people’s point of view in your personal life. Now is the time to maximize use of that talent in your professional life.

Your success in 2008 depends upon understanding what others need. This may be difficult, because you secretly wish everyone would just go away and let you get on with your work. If you want monetary compensation, however, you’ll need to demonstrate work habits that shout competence. If you decide not to play by the world’s rules, expect little in the way of financial compensation.

Even if you are simply content to do your job and have no desire to go after the almighty dollar, you will feel the need to enrich your soul this year. Look for places where you can speak. Volunteer to lead a conference session or become an organizer for an online forum. You need to feel appreciated and you have many gifts to offer others. Make the effort to pay it forward. You’ll be glad you did.

Your keyword for 2008 is scalability. Yes, you can continue your narrow focus and maintain the status quo, but you also have the chance to scale things out and reap incredible rewards, both monetary and personal. No other sign has the ability to make such a dramatic change in their professional life. The decision to remain in the small pond or move on up to the big one is totally up to you.

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January 1, 2008  5:36 PM

Career horoscope: Libra 2008

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
Libra, the balance
Your 2008 keyword is data analytics

Libra, your astrological position at work this year is tech support. Your charm and good listening skills make you a valuable resource for co-workers who need counsel. In 2008, you will reconnect with past dreams and hopes and finally begin to listen to your own advice.

Last year you may have struggled with what you perceived to be a poor return on your investment. A project close to your heart may have ended abruptly or may not have received the praise you felt it deserved. The world as you knew it might even have changed dramatically, through no fault of your own. In the coming year, you will make positive, practical changes to recapture what you have lost.

In 2008, your success depends on your willingness to take off your rose-colored glasses and look at the world as others see it. This may be difficult, even painful at times, but it’s necessary. You will need to crunch numbers and count beans. By being more analytical and less self-critical, you will find success and gain the admiration you desire.

This is a good time to think about changing assignments or perhaps even changing jobs. Although you may be afraid of more change, remember that change you initiate on your own can be empowering. Think about where you want to be five years from now and then start making a mental map for how to get there. Don’t be afraid of trying something new or stretching yourself beyond your limits. This year, as long as you keep an eye on the bottom line, you cannot fail.

Your keyword in 2008 is data analytics. Become your own ROI specialist and build on your strengths. As you expand your skill set this year, take time to think about long-term goals. Work the job you’ve imagined.

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January 1, 2008  4:48 PM

Career horoscope: Virgo 2008

Margaret Rouse Margaret Rouse Profile: Margaret Rouse
Virgo, the maiden
Your 2008 keyword is change management

Virgo, your astrological position at work this year is that of project manager. Your sense of order, attention to detail and precise work habits make you the perfect person to keep projects focused so they come in on time. In 2008, a project that was undertaken some time ago will require your attention once again. This time around, you will make some changes in how work gets done.

Last year was filled with extra responsibilities. You may have been asked to pick up the slack when someone else stumbled or you may have been stressed out by things that were not in your control. Although you coped gracefully, you probably wish others would start to carry their own weight.

This year you discover you have the power to decide whether you should invest emotionally in a project — and you become pickier about how far you are willing to go to turn straw into gold. This is surprising for Virgo, for you are a perfectionist. Although at first it might seem to some that you are being “less than perfect,” stick to your guns. Others have become so used to your handling everything, that it will take time for them to adjust their steps now that you are changing the dance. Be diplomatic, but resist the temptation to jump in and rescue them.

Your success in 2008 depends upon your approach to learning new things. Remember when you were a kid and you learned to ride a bike? You didn’t care if you fell or got a little scraped up. You enjoyed every little bit of progress. The fun was in staying perfectly balanced a little longer each time. That attitude is what you need to recapture this year. Focus your attention on having fun and success will follow.

In 2008 your image will be important. What people perceive is what they believe — so as you step back to force others to step up, be aware of your appearance and manner. In order to remain credible, you need to look competent. Spend some guilt-free time and attention on maintaining appearances.

Your keyword this year is change management. By going with the flow a little more and rediscovering what makes work fun, you will help co-workers who are resistant to change. Lead them by example.

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