Busy, busy ... on top of the things that were previously causing me to be too busy to write, I'm now looking into the Netflix contest, as well as considering some things that could be done on my current contract.
I'm trying to come up with some team-building techniques. Not the goofy feel-good things that some managers, HR, and other examples of ESFx embrassingly foist upon us, but legitimate things. I've got a situation in which we've got 5 small teams in IT, handling development, maintenance, infrastructure, DB work, and QA. They aren't physically isolated, but they may as well be for all the communication that goes on. Also, IT is the red-headed stepchild of the company. There are other issues as well ... age disparity, high turnover (both voluntary and involuntary), an absence of process, etc.
I've got quite a number of ideas I'd like to try to introduce, such as employee-driven presentations across departments, little applications that the developers can run to watch things as the happen in ops, daily online natural language lessons by various employees, etc. I've been kind-of assuming the role of a team lead, of a sort ... more of a first sergeant to the platoon. Someone who can help them work through difficult problems, coordinate emergency reaction, keep them focused or, when necessary, distract them, etc., all without having to evoke the natural animosity the troops have for the officers. But the squads aren't working as a platoon, and the platoons aren't working as a, err, company. That needs to be fixed. I have no illusions that I know best how to do this ... I'm sure my list is far from complete ... so, any other suggestions of methods?