The Outliers Inn is a place where people from all businesses and roles within business can examine goings-ons from different and hopefully humorous perspectives. It’s a place where we can be a lot less serious about ourselves, what we do, what our businesses do, and the manner in which they do it.
Episode-74; Travel Tips and Tricks
About the Podcast
Welcome to another episode of "The Outliers Inn". Today's theme is travel tips and tricks.
Whether by train, plane, or automobile, anyone who has traveled recently has probably experienced some level of anguish. We have seen the countless challenges people are facing broadcast on the media; flights cancelled, runways melting, soon to be lost luggage stacked to the heavens, automobile reservations taken but not held, check-in and security lines that are miles long, and so on…
It's a wonder anyone is willing to travel at all, yet the flights are all packed and the hotels and automobiles all booked.
In this episode, the hosts at The Outliers Inn - and special sidekick Don "The Beer Man" Burshnick - being seasoned and veteran road warriors, share some of their traveling stories and the wisdom gained from their experiences.
Travel tips and tricks
Two most important nuggets of wisdom;
Always allow more time than you might need such as getting to the airport early, allowing extra time for layovers, and such like. It will alleviate a lot of stress. Always have at least one back-up plan such as making sure that the last leg on your journey has a back-up flight in case yours is missed or cancelled.
There are many more tips and tricks mentioned in the show, and the stories are fun with a lot of laughs.
So come on in and give a listen.
Episode-73; Making Mistakes
About the Podcast
Welcome to another episode of "The Outliers Inn". Today's theme is making mistakes.
It starts right off with Mule asking JP whether he made any mistake lately. And JP shares that he just filed his taxes, and perhaps he made a mistake, only time (and the IRS) will tell. And JP follows this up claiming; "He thought he made a mistake once, but he was mistaken" and that he "didn't make any mistakes, only had learning experiences".
That's what we'll call them; "learning experiences"… Yeah… That's the ticket… Hopefully any "learning experience" with JP's taxes and the IRS will not be too costly (in time or treasure).
Mule confesses that his most notable mistake as of late was missing the last recording session at The Outliers Inn and leaving it to JP to scramble (fortunately, Don was able to stand-in).
Then one by one, our guests share their "learning experiences".
Don shares some learning experiences brewing beer (naturally). The results of some of the "learning experience" were better than expected and some were worse than hoped-for.
Stephane shares that, being in research and development, he is in the business of having "learning experiences"; usually in the form of some kinetic event such as a fire, or some small explosions. Thankfully, other than some bruised egos, there have not been any serious injuries. However, sometimes expensive apparatus gets damaged or destroyed and it makes some people "widely unhappy". ;-)
Esther then joins the conversation and she poses the question; "What is a mistake?" To which Stephane shares that the difference between a "learning opportunity" and a "mistake" is a matter of cost. If there is nominal cost, it's a learning opportunity. If the cost is significant, then it's a mistake. Sounds reasonable to us.
All in, a chat that was good fun yet some interesting insights. Come give a listen.
Episode-72; Time Wasters
About the Podcast
What do you do when the co-host forgets to come to the session? Well, at The Outliers Inn, you just roll with it.
Indeed, "Mule" didn't show up so I called upon one of our regulars, Don "The Beer Man" Burshnick to stand in without notice. Thankfully, Don's a good sport and accepted; provided he gets 50% of the revenue from the show. Since 50% of nothing is nothing, of course I agreed.
We also had a bit of a change in format. Usually, only the host and co-host have their cameras on with everyone else being voice only. In this episode, we left it to the guests to either use or not use their camera, and most of them decided to turn their cameras on! Still faces for radio, but what the heck. It did make for some challenges in post-production.
The group went around talking about the various time-wasters we must endure. There were the usual subjects; government, air travel, never-ending streams of meetings and the like and some counter-measures (or fantasies) for consideration.
And of course, no visit to The Outliers Inn would be complete without some discussion about beer! JP and Stephane each sample one of Don's very-own concoctions, a beer made from Gummy Bears! A person might better call it Gummy Beers! It was sweet and tangy, like drinking liquified Skittles. But not bad at all!
All in, a chat that was good fun. Come give a listen.
Episode 71; Ardanans and Troglytes
About the Podcast
The business response to COVID has seen that many employees are able to work (and manage) from the comforts of their home (or wherever) while those whose physical presence is required have no such option.
In this episode, JP, Mule, and our guests talk about the benefits and risks of working remotely; more specifically, the "Knowledge Workers" can work remotely, but the "Wrench Turners" still have to come to where the production happens.
Is there a risk of creating (or amplifying) a culture (work and social) that has defined classes; the elites and workers? How can those calling the shots understand and be empathetic with what is happening with those on the front line? What is the peril of such occurring, what are the signs, and how can it be avoided?
(Inspired by the Star Trek Episode; The Cloud Minders.)
Episode-70; Travels, Robots, Creativity, Team Effectiveness, and Bier (of course)
About the Podcast
It’s another “Open Mic Night” at The Outliers Inn and JP and Mule are happy to welcome our guest and have a casual chat with whatever might be on their minds (and ours).
JP starts off with sharing a return trip from Newark back to Frankfurt which was quite like the movie “planes, trains, and automobiles”. Having to reschedule the flight several times between; having family visiting Poland (the “Florida” of Europe where the COVID restrictions were always unofficially optional at best) and having nobody there to greet me when I arrived, to a snowstorm pushing it out a day, to having said family catch COVID in Poland (all was okay, but I sheltered in place), to moving the flight closer by a day to avoid yet another snowstorm – it was a VUCA trip that required OODA Loops to engage.
Mule shares an update with the Robotics Competition including insights on the scoring requirements in the competition (much like scoring in gymnastics or figure skating) where the robot has to complete certain tasks. And also how his coaching changes as the students go from being Freshmen to Seniors (from more nurturing to more demanding).
Our first guest is Stephane who joins us from France. And JP shares (and shows) that he is indulging in a “Gummy Bier”, a “heavy” beer coming in at 9% brewed by a regular at The Outliers Inn, Don and his son Dom. JP promised to bring a bottle back to Germany and send it to Stephane. Perhaps we will have the opportunity to share a real bier virtually on a future get together at The Outliers Inn. Stephane also gives us an update on his general goings-on and the latest COVID restrictions in France (which are still rather strict, but there are talks of loosening).
Stephane then gets serious and starts to discuss creativity and innovation and the challenges of how to remain creative when working remote.
And Sam rejoins us from Sweden. He shares that he likes bier and would also like to participate in tasting the “Gummy Bier”.
Sam is interested in the topics of creativity and innovation introduced by Stephane and carries on with the subject; expanding the conversation to address and discuss the team dynamics (or lack thereof) of people working remotely, but still being part of a team. How do we effectively communicate and collaborate. How do we remain aligned?
So pull up a stool, pour yourself a legal beverage, and smoke ’em if you got ’em.
Good stuff, and we will do a deeper dive in our next episode.
About the Podcast
In this episode, JP, Mule, and Guests talk about their goals for 2022…
But first, there has to be a little more venting of the spleen by JP as he shares the absurdity that is the theater of COVID response by his experience at the Frankfurt Christmas Market (which was at full strength this year).
You have to understand that the Frankfurt Christmas Market is huge. It's footprint is almost a half-mile (750m) by up to 200yd/m and there are probably 50 or so ways to enter it (between roads, sidewalks, building egresses, and public transport).
The "rule" was that you had to be either vaccinated or have a negative COVID test and wear a mask. Although there was a considerable police presence, nobody checked to see if anyone was vaccinated or tested. And you didn't have to wear a mask if you were eating, drinking, or smoking; even in the main thoroughfares.
The only time JP was asked to put on his mask was when he was entering an area to purchase a gluhwein (even though he was eating a bratwurst). He was told that he can only have his mask off if he were at a table, with the table being unseparated from the main thoroughfare except for a small wooden fence (post and rail). All theater…
But then the conversation gets back to the intended subject; goals…
JP shares that his goal for 2022 is to get more sun and warmth; complete with sand, palm trees, and the rum drinks with little umbrellas. He even wore a tropical shirt to get into the proper spirit. And the 6,000iu per day of Vitamin-D3 he is taking is not warding off the SAD.
Mule shares that his goal is to have a successful "robotics" competition with the high-school students he mentors and that his daughters continue to successfully navigate their experiences at college (Mule insisted that it is his goal, not just theirs).
And Don shares that he wants to get away to someplace tropical to relax. JP gets all excited thinking he might have a companion until Don specifies that he would be taking his wife; who also needs a break (but probably from Don).