From Kevin’s Desk: Disconnecting Takes a Village (8/24/18)

Dear Colleagues:

Happy Friday!

I hope you are enjoying the last few weeks of summer. Betty and I enjoyed a wonderful time in Colorado with our sons. It’s such a gift to truly unplug and focus on the people who matter most in your life. I have managed to successfully “resurface,” and you know, managing the email that had piled up wasn’t bad – especially because half of them were spam! More importantly, you made things just happen without me – simply wonderful!  I know that B&F is in your highly capable hands when I’m out.

Still need help letting go of email on vacation? Nancy Hobbs shared with me this hilarious example of one person’s strategy to make the shift, which is described in his out-of-office message:

I will be out of the office on paid time off on the above dates. I will be unreachable starting tomorrow at 11a.m. ET until Monday morning and…most importantly…during this time away, my mobile devices will be turned off. Additionally, tomorrow at 11a.m., I will place each of my mobile devices in a sound- and signal-proof, titanium box. The box will be time-locked for Monday with a code created by Steven Hawking (and we know he is not telling), brought to a deep in-ground mine and dropped into a dark, abandoned shaft to be covered in icy water. Of course, devices will be retrieved on Monday. 

Hey, whatever works! Thanks for all you do to support each other and make it possible for all of us to disconnect when we are out on vacation.

Speaking of supporting each other, I recently learned about the University Human Resources Project Management Program. Born from a need for more project management capacity in UHR, the program consists of monthly workshops to teach staff from across UHR the art and science of project management, such as optimizing resources, reducing risks, and managing stakeholders. You can read more about this great program on our website. Thanks to the UHR project management team for developing such a wonderful resource to invest in our people – YOU ROCK!

Last week, about 15 folks from our B&F Leadership Forum spent the morning volunteering at the Huron Valley Humane Society. The group did office work, weeded the grounds and cleaned the “love train” truck that brings homeless animals to Michigan. It was not only meaningful work, but the group also had a lot of fun! Betty’s glad I was on vacation for this one, since I’m a sucker for a cute animal! Please join me in thanking this group for their service to the community – YOU ROCK, TOO!

With much appreciation and gratitude,


P.S., Please post for staff who do not have regular access to email.