Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Non Trivial availaibilty lessons for today's Thought Leaders.

Suppose I were a leader with a whole slew of followers. What does my day look like?. For some it looks like this: (confession: took the following 4 bullets from Chris Brogan's note this morning)

  1. Reading what friends write.
  2. Reading about the “new marketing” industry and the tech industry (fishbowl).
  3. Reading what people recommend.
  4. Reading off the wall stuff that inspires new thoughts (outside the bowl).
The purpose behind these 4 bullets, of course is to "make things" that the followers find useful. But what of availability?

There are two kinds: Trivial and non Trivial. For most thought leaders today, availability does not even enter into the picture. Why? because with Availability there is a sense of immediacy. And the plain and simple truth is most so called thought leaders cant be bothered by that. Remember the God Father? He presided over these sessions where his followers would come to him and he would grant them his wishes. Great availability story there. We all knew exactly where we stood and he was always available to this followers.

Okay I am going somewhere with this and it mostly has to do with Non-Trivial availability. Some time ago, I had a boss who was always available when challenges were Trivial, but the minute it got any where near non-Trivial, the man was no where to be found. He must have thought that if he stays away I will always find a way. So why come in between a good thing.

You see I work in IT operations and Availability is a huge yardstick for us. So this generated a lot of discussion with SELF!!. It made me want to be available for the guys even more. Every time there was a situation, the picture of this boss who was never available when needed most came to mind and I would over compensate. To the point where I had enough material to write a dissertation on the subject.

It all started not too long ago. I was in a Data Mining class, Professor Mobashar (one of the best in my opinon) dropped this idea in passing about mining for availability and why it is important to categorize it into two buckets. Of course that was in the context of machine availability at that time, but boy did it get me thinking. What a concept.

So circling back to our Thought Leaders and what availability means to them. What is YOUR availability to your followers?. What percentage is Trivial availability?. Are you in the availability business at all?

1 comment:

V said...

This dovetails nicely with stuff that Merlin Mann has been posting about recently: Making Time to Make: Bad Correspondence (part 1 of 3). His basic point is that there's a trade off between availability and actual productive time, and we need to draw the line between the two.