Softcom

My moments and life at Softcom

Work/wƏ:k/

A place where we go to get work done.

Interestingly, I’m trying to observe my life at work to discover what other non-work related activities can happen at work. I work at Softcom Nigeria; your “typical” tech firm.

A lot of work gets done at Softcom. I focus on Business performance/intelligence management – the science behind the art that makes things work. If I’m honest, it’s a lot of work, but more than work, I’m curious to live in the moment; capturing good times and adventures as I journey through to get work done. While I will love to share details of the work I do, in this write-up, I will be focusing on the life part of work. (too much mention of ‘work’ 👀)

I’m beginning to see work as not just “work” but actually a means of livelihood and so, I’m observing and documenting my work-life experiences as the days go. I am not going to be giving you some business jargon here, no dy/dx = f'(x) + g'(x) etc. I will just be capturing the moments of fun, learning and interactions (exciting times with exciting people) at work

So in no order of priority, join me as I take you through a journey of some back-to-back moments of June/July 2019. I am writing about these two months because a lot happened at the same time. So let’s start

MAN, KNOW THY SELF

The start of the story for me was at the Softcom Leadership Programme. The program was designed to equip us with knowledge and skill for effective leadership. Of course, before you lead others, you first have to know who you are. I can say that I know who I am. But well, every day is an opportunity to learn, and it helps to know a little more about myself. We performed a self-assessment activity, and here was my result (I couldn’t agree more).

Primary Area
Secondary area

TEAM BONDING TRIP TO GHANA

Exciting! At work, we encourage teams to have bonding activities, and this trip made me understand the importance. We didn’t do much sightseeing, but we did a lot of breaking the ice, removing tension, bringing familiarity, fostering connection, understanding emotions, understanding personality and building relationship.

Once in a while, I look back and think about this trip, and it brings a good feeling. I am delighted that we did it!

The photo collage below shows some of the beautiful experiences I was able to capture.

First Chaw
David and I arrived first
The team (CEO’s Office)
Me
David
Awesome guy, baby boy for life, most dressed, never to be caught unfresh!
Helps with improving and communicating our brand identity
Tumi
Tumi Tu-you (it’s up to us to make the world a better place). #IJGB
Helps with our corporate strategy – we have to WIN!
Adeife
The organiser … keeping things moving one calendar at a time.
  Dinner with Yomi
On Yomi’s first night, he took us out for a rooftop dinner. We all played a very simple game
Crash
We stayed at the Kempinshi Hotel
Others
Oh! Yes! Attended a Miss Ghana event 🙂
TBH, I think Ghana’s Suya is better than Nigeria’s 🙁

TRIP TO ONDO

Although this event was work-related, it’s added to this column because it’s a different type of work, not coding but learning.

In a bid to develop products and programs of immense value for our customers, the team went on a trip to Ondo State; a community in Igbobini. The goal was to engage the stakeholders in understanding their needs, culture, lifestyle and economy because knowledge of people + product = value (I would stop the gist here, wait for the movie)

For me, this trip was an eye-opener as I was able to see my country with a different lens. Meeting and interacting with people who had completely different growing up experiences and economic conditions from mine opened my knowledge to a world beyond what I knew.

The pictures below capture the experience.

Igbobini is 3 hours from Akure. On our way back, we had to stop for some pictures. I mean, the sky was clear, the landscape was beautiful, we couldn’t let nature and opportunity pass us by.
I added the picture here because it’s a typical Softcom way,

GREAT PLACE TO WORK 2019

Nice, I like this one too. I was privileged to join the team in receiving an award on behalf of Softcom at the “Great Place to Work” event in Lagos, Nigeria.
Team: Ope (Eyowo, product leader; Omo, People Manager; Teju, People …; Chika, People …; and Me)

FINISHING

The season ended with other cool events:

  1. Tomisin’s baby’s naming ceremony
  2. Owambe: Abiola’s wedding
  3. Celebration of Softcomers leaving Softcom for Masters: For me, this was emotional because, for most of them, I knew their first day (and I worked closely with them at different points). Ore, Deola, Semipe, Ola, Fisayo, (I think I would write about them some other time. There is so much to share that I am personally proud of)

Watch this space for more gists about my Softcom Experience.

What is Task, Ownership and Responsibility

Many knowledge workers, professionals and managers are trying to do something … hack productivity (I think a different group is trying to hack creativity too ..) and the words in the title have become what I might call buzz words in management for a long time

TASK, OWNERSHIP AND RESPONSIBILITY (with ownership the new kid on the block)

I was invited recently to speak at a retreat on the topic; Accountability & Result; Task, Ownership and Responsibility

For me to deliver on this topic, the words needed to be explained in simple relatable terms. No jargons, just simple everyday words and examples. Of course, there are textbook definitions to these words, but I needed to take another look at it

It’s important to mention that these words should be seen as verbs (action words) to gain maximum value, and they are very important to the result /contribution you make to your organisation

… getting results, getting things done

Organisations (especially knowledge and creative-driven organisations) are looking for individuals who understand the companies vision and can define a path to fulfilment. Delivering a vision entails deliberateness, you would need to RESPONSIBLY OWN your TASK …

As Peter Drucker rightly put it; ‘the knowledge worker cannot be supervised closely or in detail. He can only be helped. But he must direct himself towards performance and contribution, that it towards effectiveness … Since the knowledge worker directs himself, he must understand what achievement is expected of him and why … He must be focused on the results and performance goals of the entire organisation to have any results and performance at all. This means that he has to set aside time to direct his vision from his work to results’.

Thank you Drucker …

So what is the simple way of defining Task, Ownership and Responsibility

TASK: … what needs to get done

This is simple, the things you write down to get done are your tasks. The keyword here is ‘to get done’.

Anything that gets done, gets done from a TASK. A Task is so important because that big hairy audacious goal eventually gets down to paper series of small things that would define the future state

Everybody has a task to do, it’s either you create one or it’s created for you. Developing skills in properly defining your task, priorities are and ensure they get done is a basic step to being productive

You’ve got to think about big things while you’re doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction.

Alvin Toffler

Ownership: … being your own CEO

Think about the word ‘owner’ now think of ‘ship’, then join the two words and it sounds something like, the owner of the ship and this is it. Be the owner of the task, be the CEO of getting it done. 

Be responsible for the outcome, not excuses. Just like the president, the founder or the CEO. They are responsible for the outcome of their people so they take ownership.

If you own a property, you would be curious to know its current state, value & worth, and also, what its future will be if properly invested. 

A task is like a property, it needs an owner to have value and worth. A task is like a ship that needs to be moved to a destination (a goal). Own your task because you are its CEO

If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way.

Napoleon Hill

Responsibility: …having the right answer

This is tricky because it basically says that you are responsible when you have the right answers. Now think again, having the right answers not having the perfect answer

Simple, has “xyz” being done, No. Why, because the government released a new policy that has affected the TAX rates so our vendors have asked for 2 weeks to rework the numbers … bla bla bla. Yet the task hasn’t been done, but he/she knows the why. It would have been perfect if it was done, but he /she has the right answer by knowing a reasonable reason why it hasn’t. This is taking responsibility for the outcome

A major place the term responsibility plays is in parenting. Parents understand they are responsible for their children and they ensure to always have the right answer when asked the question; “where is your child?”

Taking responsibility in owning your task can be a difficult thing if you are not connected to the strategic objective of the company

It all starts from the top. Understanding what the value(s), mission and vision (VMV) is, what goals have been set for the year, customer, product, service or employees. This would help give insight into what plan has to be created, a step by step approach to fulfilling the strategy. Then you have your operational task, where it all boils down, your to-dos that need to get done

Understanding this approach as been a journey for me at Softcom. Peter Drucker’s quote above is a perfect way to explain how we work. An autonomous organisation that invests time to explain the why then gives you the liberty to chart your course. 

This type of environment quickly pushes you up the responsibility ladder, whereas a manager or intern you have to own your task enough to get the task done

 

Uju the cheque slayer … moving on

This is Uju

The Cheque slayer

She got the name from Marilyn, our COO (who I call Alicia keys because she is always on fire. One of the strongest person I know) because Uju meets our client and gets them to pay (this is a very good wife material).

Just like the picture below; Uju is always quiet (except when she wants to display her inner person … lol), thinking …

Uju the ultimate product associate at Softcom would be moving on for her Master. I can only imagine what level of intelligence, creativity and innovation she would display when done with the program

Thanks to David, we organise a small send fort for her …. though I missed it, I wished I was there

Wishing you all the best Uju

 

Stay tuned for more heroes of Softcom

Last week at work was crazy

Last week at work was crazy …

I don’t think I have worked so hard or so long for a long time.

I resume 9 am, attend to my support contract staff issues; monitor and motivate performance.

Work on our process standardisation, attend meetings, monitor and motivate process adoption and compliance

… many other things

After COB, I move to second office location to help monitor how and what work is being done, this ends by say 12 am (sometimes till 1 or 2)… work resumes tomorrow by 9 am (lol).

But Saturday was the most intense, went for an operation meeting which we estimated to end by 6 pm, but the meeting turned into a report writing activity and I left there 5 am the following morning and for the first time in years, I had to skip Church on a Sunday

 

I guess the week was just a worky week 🙂

 

But guess what; I learnt something from the Saturday’s worky day

  1. Start on time (this actually saves time); If I had started the report and was consistent with updating it weeks/months ago ….. hmm life would have being smooth
  2. Plan with the end goal in mind
  3. Push yourself; I never believed that after a very stressful Monday to Friday, I would still have it in me to work till 5am on a Saturday. To be frank I actually thought I would give up the work … lol. But I constantly took walks when tired, got back to my seat and refired.   #Pushdenvelope

 

Having fun doing great things