The Best Laid Plans of Managers and Moms

2022 didn’t start out exactly as I’d planned. At the end of December, I relished re-connecting with family that I hadn’t seen in two years, immersing in holiday celebrations, family meals, movies, hikes, and board games. I also took some time to reflect on the whirlwind that was 2021 and planned for 2022, considering how … Continue reading The Best Laid Plans of Managers and Moms

Behind the Blogs

This is my 38th and final Mother of Invention blog post of 2021, a personal experiment I kicked off in January. Over the course of this year, I’ve published nearly 45,000 words, on topics as varied as climate change, summer camp, hybrid cloud, corporate jargon, resilience, and artificial intelligence. My posts have been viewed almost … Continue reading Behind the Blogs

Living Well

I’ve been thinking about mortality lately. This was spurred by a feeling of being a little bit “off” — an elevated heart rate, chest tightness, something not quite right. Net is I’m fine: I’m thankful to have a clean bill of health. Nevertheless, a health scare — like other close calls such as surviving a … Continue reading Living Well

Decisions, Decisions

In life and in work, we are faced with hundreds of decisions every day — some relatively inconsequential (what to wear? when to break for lunch? where to meet up with colleagues or friends?), others career and life changing (which job to take? how to allocate budgets? who to partner with or promote?). Not all … Continue reading Decisions, Decisions

Mother of Invention

A thirsty crow found a pitcher with some water in it, but so little was there that, try as she might, she could not reach it with her beak, and it seemed as though she would die of thirst within sight of the remedy. At last, she hit upon a clever plan. She began dropping … Continue reading Mother of Invention

How Puzzling!

If you stop and think about it for a moment, solving puzzles is a pretty strange pastime. We spend hours reconstructing a fragmented image or untwisting a multicolored cube or filling in numbers on a grid. To what end? Yet there’s something so compelling about puzzles that keeps us coming back for more, and it … Continue reading How Puzzling!

Fostering a Blameless Culture

Like I did, some of you may have received a blank email a few months ago accidentally sent from HBO Max with the subject, “Integration Test Email #1.” Later that day, HBO tweeted an explanation: “As the jokes pile in, yes, it was the intern.” While many of the 6,500+ comments offered support (“we’ve all … Continue reading Fostering a Blameless Culture

Defining Moments

Most of us have “Where were you?” stories for major world events that we can recall with vivid accuracy — exactly what we were doing, seeing, and feeling at a given moment in history (even as we barely remember what we ate for breakfast just this morning). While personal events may have a more acute … Continue reading Defining Moments

She’s So Bossy

What’s the difference between being assertive and being aggressive? Your gender. This joke tends to ring true, even in 2021, over a century since women’s suffrage and more than six decades since the modern feminist movement began. One would think the unconscious bias we all carry would be lessened by proof points and progress — … Continue reading She’s So Bossy

When the Chips Are Down

Last year, when our refrigerator was on the fritz, it took months for the local appliance store to get another in stock. That was at the beginning of the global semiconductor chip shortage that has gotten progressively worse. Instigated by fewer microelectronics manufacturers and exacerbated by the pandemic, today it is becoming difficult to get … Continue reading When the Chips Are Down