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Look what I have in my very own hands!!


In theory it goes on sale sometime in April, but Amazon is saying they’ll have it by March 23. And now Bol.com as well as Amazon.co.uk have it, so my Dutch friends / former coworkers can get it too! (Er, assuming they want it, of course.)

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

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I think this is my very first press release – at least, the first one that’s actually about me rather than just mentioning me tangentially.

Seems a little funny to have my company publicizing csomething I actually wrote before coming to work here, but it’s even better publicity for me than it is for them, so I’m pretty happy about it.

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

Book puff!

Dec. 13th, 2013 12:35 pm
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I’ve received the copy for my book jacket from the publishers, and I love it. (I am tempted to keep this around at work, where I am working on a project involving the very stuff I wrote about, in case I need to convince anyone.) Here’s my favorite bit, from the inside flap:

Business process management is a highly effective, budget-sensitive way to achieve greater productivity, reduced time to market, and improved efficiency and flexibility—if it’s deployed properly.

But get it wrong, and those processes and procedures can be trouble. Overdone processes stifle initiative with red tape, while undermanaged processes breed chaos. Even organizations that carefully document their processes are prone to filing them away, rarely consulted, or failing to see them through to successful implementation.

Successful Business Process Management helps you hit the sweet spot, introducing enough rigor to achieve the benefits of strong and mature processes, while avoiding strangulation, redundancy, and inefficiency. This just-right guide supplies a clear overview of process management fundamentals and step-by-step instructions on how to define and write procedures, then roll them out and monitor results. The book’s approach is unprecedented in clarity and usefulness, as it:

• Links multiple processes into a complete process system that propels corporate goals, rather than looking at only one process at a time
• Bypasses jargon and unnecessary complexity so that anyone handed business process responsibilities can quickly master the basics
• Adapts to the specific needs of your company, including size, industry, and culture, and avoids one-size-fits-all approaches
• Adds incremental improvements into your process system, often the more realistic approach than starting from scratch
• Addresses essential skills you’ll need, such as facilitating meetings and driving change throughout the organization
• Walks you through the entire process, from overcoming resistance to documenting standard procedures to assessing their impact and making ongoing improvements

Clearly someone at my publisher is way better at marketing wordings than I am!

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

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I have a book cover, look!

Also, I had to laugh: the check for the second half of my advance came today (yay for prompt paying!) and apparently I am on the Success Bus:
royalty check_anon

(Apparently that’s what happens when you abbreviate “Successful Business Process Management”)

(And because people keep asking whenever I mention it, the book will be released in Spring of 2014.)

Also, I think it’s kind of hilarious that hardly anyone says, “Hey, I need that book!” The comment I’ve been getting most is “Hey, I need to buy copies of that for my coworkers / managers!”

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

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In case you were wondering: For anyone who wants to know what my book is actually about, I’m writing a few blogposts on the basics, in very basic terms. The first one, “What is a Business Process and Why Should I Care?” is here.

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

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This is hard! It’s made a bit easier because Ted has all our photos organized in iPhoto so that I can just sort for the ones with my face, but still it’s a tough decision. First, of course, there’s ruling out all the photos of myself that I hate. (I’m not very photogenic; any photo of me that you’ve seen is one I can tolerate, selected from among many more that I hated.) Then there’s ruling out the ones I actually like, but that are just not right for this purpose for one reason or another:

A very old photo, hiking in Big Bend, Texas. Braids are the best for keeping your hair controlled on a backpacking trip, but they just don’t say “professional”!

Paula as Godzilla, about to stomp the city. (It’s Madurodam, which contains all the significant buildings in the Netherlands, in miniature.)

Me at the Ice Hotel. That’s all vodka in the red sequined bottles!

Me having a rest on the Oregon beach. Again, probably not the alert and businesslike impression I want to portray.

Me crowned as Queen. (The crown is part of a planter in front of Copenhagen City Hall.)

Classic cheesecake pose.

OK until you look close – it’s a rowing t-shirt, and the caption says “Every stroke counts!” No double entendres allowed on my business book cover.

I was considering this one, taken at Taroko Gorge in Taiwan, until I looked closer; I’m wearing a Jewish star necklace (actually, a rowing necklace in which the star is made of tiny oars) and I think including a statement of my religion is more sharing than I want to do.

Me with my nephew, when he was two months old. I love the photo, but it’s also definitely *not* the image I’m going for here.

I’d actually planned to use this one, until I realized it’s too blurry – they asked for “high resolution”.

And here are the four I’m considering: respectively, at my brother’s wedding; on a tower in Lisbon, on the Oregon coast (same as the “cheesecake photo above, but zoomed in closer), and at a library in Helsinki. I put them up on FB and so far have at least one vote for each of the four.

ETA: I went with the fourth photo (in library, sunglasses on head). The issue I had with the first one (red dress) is that it’s formal but in a social way; somehow that feels less appropriate than the more casual shots.)





Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

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My to-do list for today goes:

1. Finish revising book per Ted’s edits
2. Send book to editor (one mega-Word file, separate .ppt file for each graphic)
3. Erg 18km
4. Get book printed out, send that to publisher.
5. Figure out who it was who asked me about job opportunities for their friend the other day, because I just had a recruiter call with one that might work.
6. Vacuum upstairs and clean bathrooms (I just did this in the lake house over the last two days. That’s a lot of bathrooms!)

And of course there’s all the usual stuff: continuing to apply for jobs just in case, grocery shopping, meal planning, errands, and so on. Good thing that all of those don’t absolutely have to be today, because I don’t think it’s happening.

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.


Jul. 1st, 2013 08:56 am
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Main goal for today: make the bed,because when you spend this much time in it, you really notice all the shed people- and cat-hair. And maybe I’ll eat something (total for the last 24 hours: some berries and a soft pretzel Ted brought me from the Philadelphia airport, eaten over the course of the day plus this morning). My fever is down, and I seem to be mostly better, except for some remaining stomach discomfort and a disinclination to get out of bed.

If I get really ambitious, maybe I’ll bring my laptop up and work on fleshing out my book conclusion, since Ted reviewed it and thinks it needs more detail. We’re supposed to head out to the lake tomorrow tonight, so hopefully I’ll be up for food shopping by tomorrow morning.

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

done again

Jun. 26th, 2013 04:00 pm
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The book’s done, again.

That isn’t the first time I’ve said that and it won’t be the last. There was when it was done enough to submit, then again when all the chapters were more or less written – with a few notes here and there on missing sections. Then the publisher asked for about a 30% expansion, which involved additional material in existing chapters plus three new ones, plus reformatting into their preferred format and pasting the text into one giant Word file, with the figures each in a separate file. That’s what I’ve done now, more or less – I still need Ted to review my Conclusion, and if he can do it in a timely way, to read through the whole thing to make sure there are no remaining egregious errors. But as far as I can tell, it’s now ready to hand over to my editor.

Despite the expansion, I think it’s still reasonably short and readable, which was my goal – 63400 words, 232 double-spaced pages. For purposes of comparison, there’s a small paperback fantasy novel at hand (Pamela Dean’s The Hidden Country), and that one is 256 pages – if I assume an average of 280 words per page (there are about ten to a line, about 28 lines on a page) that one is 71680 words long. And that’s a thin book – much shorter than the books before and after it in that trilogy, according to Amazon. So apparently I have achieved brevity. Sure didn’t feel like it!

Oops, guess I’d better get cracking on that Author Questionnaire!

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.

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8K erged,the chapter on project management of process initiatives is finally finished complete with sample project plan (finished until I think of something else to say, anyway), I bought kitty litter, and I’ve applied for two more jobs.

It’s astonishing how much longer job applications take than they used to. You used to have to carefully tailor your resume and cover letter for each job, then send them in. Now you upload them and, at many places, then you go through and carefully fix all the information that was incorrectly extracted. Some places let you upload data from LinkedIn, but even with that standardized format there are sometimes mistakes, like one job being split into two. A newer trend seems to be going retro: a few places just let you upload your resume, and then presumably they look at that. Much faster for the applicant.

I’ve had three interviews for one job, but they decided to wait ’til this week to make their final decisions, when they can get all the relevant people together. As much as I hope I get this one because it sounds like a good fit, I don’t think I can relax and stop applying until I accept an offer. Meanwhile, I’ve chosen to believe that I will be offered this one, just because I’ll have a much more comfortable week if I believe they want me and are just working out the details, than if I spend it worrying about whether I’ll get the job.

At least I feel reasonably productive for today. I do need to be; I told the publisher that I would be able to submit the manuscript around July 4. I’ve got one more chapter which I need to review and incorporate Ted’s edits; other than that, I just have to finish writing the conclusion. If possible, Ted will read through it one more time before I hand it in. (And if not, there’s still the copyediting phase, so real mistakes can be fixed.)

I have at least made today’s decision: dinner! I’m on my own tonight, so the choice is between shrimp stirfry and gratin Normande; I figure if I make big batches of both, that will get me though the week with a very happy palate. I decided on the shrimp because the only cheeses I have are cheddar and parmegiano; I’ll be near the fancy supermarket tomorrow anyway, so I’ll see if I can get something like Emmental or Gruyere.

Mirrored from Dichroic Reflections.


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