Changing the status quo

About 3 weeks back, I was at a party with some friends and we were chit chatting over a bunch of things. Slowly I found myself talking to one of my friends and we slowly moved aside to have a more deeper conversation.

We were talking about his work, his stress levels, work-life balance etc.  He has been a Chip design Engineer with this company for over 14 years now and had reached a point where he is bored with his job but it is a well paying job. He is scared to change jobs at this time. He has too much at stake and the sole income earner in his family ( wife + 3 kids), the risk to be without a job or start several levels lower ( on pay and position ) on a new career was pretty risky.

I spent some time understanding his situation and we slowly started talking about career options. So I spent the next 30 minutes asking him to  build a reserve fund, get trained on an ERP like SAP Manufacturing etc. where he can use his current knowledge. We then went on to more details at various details, about how he can find another role in the same company, working with his manager and get the company to pay for training among other things. At the end he was very comfortable about next steps.

I don’t know if he will really go do some of those things that I suggested. But I think I succeeded in making him “Challenge the status quo”, go and try something different.

As I think more about it, I find myself challenging  the status quo more often. To help with the attendance at the after events @ SQLRally 2012, I wanted to do something different. I experimented on the school bus idea to provide a shuttle service between the venue and the attendee networking event. People loved it. It was a calculated risk, but it paid off. 

Another example was our SQLSaturday #56 BI Edition. After the success of our first SQLSaturday #35,  I was thinking about how we can do something different and still be impactful. That is where the idea of the BI edition took birth. I talked to Sean (Midnightdba) and he really liked the idea. Then we pitched it to the entire group. We could have done another similar SQLSaturday but that does not  change things, that does not help us learn about the BI market.  Considering this was the 2nd SQLSaturday in 12 months, we wanted to keep it low budget( under $1000), low overhead, low volunteer effort and we succeeded in that. We sold out 400 registrations in 12 hours of opening the event. At that moment, I knew we struck gold. We are now having our 2nd SQLSaturday – BI edition this Saturday (10/13/2012).

The reason I go into details to say all this is because I want people who are voting for me  to know that I will try something different if I get elected to the PASS BoD. I will look hard at what we are doing and find ways to do something different(better), something more impactful to the community. Some risks might pay off and some might not. But if it is worth challenging tweaking, changing the status quo, you can count on me to do just that.

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