Friday, 1 January 2016

Day 1 - 2016

The first of January is probably a good day to start full speed with the intention of writing more regularly. Surely it is a bit of a cliché thing to do on New Years Day, but who cares anyway...

Pretty sure most people are - to some extent at least - mulling over thoughts related to what 2016 will hold. For some it will probably be a bit hazy due to their hangovers resulting from their attempts to drown out the sorrows of 2015. 

It would be fair to say 2015 was a bit of a rough year. The following things stand out. 

Our country and economy is a mess. For this we have only two things to blame:
1. A ruling party with its head in the sand clutching to concepts that died with the fall of the Berlin Wall. (Our public service is too big, inefficient and too expensive. We have too many people on government grants and effectively we are creating a nation of beggars too lazy to work. It is impossible to create jobs if you cannot fire people... It may sound counterintuitive, but it is akin to the concept in racing... To go faster around a track you need the best brakes available.)
2. The sheer amount of stupid people who keep voting the most corrupt people back into power. 

On a more personal side quite a couple of things left a sour taste...

Not only did we have a burglary at our brewery, but we also had a break-in at our house. I refuse to accept that burglary happens because of poverty and the inequality in our country. It is due to laziness, a lack of basic morals & education and a justice & law enforcement system that is crumbling. 

Corporate life!
Being absorbed into a global monster firm resulted in a roller coaster ride of 3 years now. Serious restructuring; shit taking forever to resolve; dismal financial performance due to our crappy economy; and the difficulties of having to manage staff and projects when everyone is demotivated took its toll. I can seriously do with a more upbeat year in 2016. How I managed to be this patient over the last 3 years I do not know... I am inherently impatient. Being able to maintain this patience much longer than a year or two will be impossible. Things need to change.
Managing people is not easy... Not being trained to manage people makes it even more tricky. Being a bit of a perfectionist and an insensitive hard-ass takes it to another level. (Which often results in doing things yourself, retracting into your own world, and not delegating task and responsibilities to others.)

Juggling too many balls:
Trying to balance family life; personal time; some health and fitness time; a demanding corporate day job; and starting a sideline brewing company is madness. As I said before... The only explanation can be that I like making myself suffer. Another to add is that I probably have some form of A.D.D. Somehow I cannot just stick to a couple of things, I have to overload my fork.

Unfortunately it does not help to dwell on the past and sulk about what happened. We simply have to forge ahead, put our heads down, make plans and carry on...

So... What will we focus on to get right in 2016?

(Better) Balance:
This will certainly not be easy. Each part of life will be allocated certain time slots. What does not get done will be done after hours or will simply have to wait. Tough!
It will also mean that some of my subordinates will have to step up their game...

Corporate life:
Somehow I will figure out ways to be more in control of our projects and the teams running them. Therein lies the crux of the matter... The teams need to run the projects, not me. They need to own them and deal with the responsibility that comes with it.

Structural Engineering:
I think this is the year to start with a mind-shift. We are not only an engineering office anymore. We are in the business of Building Information Modeling (BIM) or Virtual Construction. Others are not ready for it, but we are going to take the lead and piss off quite a load of people in the process. Fuck it!! I do not care... To make an omelette you have to break a few eggs. 

2016 will be the year we turn the hobby and quasi-business of Gallows Hill Brewing Co into a proper business. The business will not survive if we half-ass it. No doubt it will take serious commitment, time, money and probably a load of friction between the four business partners.
We will get our new brew house online and ticking over our way... and we will have to start employing people and learn quite a number of new skills along the way.
We will make the beer we want to drink; price it as we see fit; and generally do things our way and at our pace.

May 2016 be another fun ride...