Dave Gardner’s “Thank God It’s Monday” 31OCT11

October 31, 2011

“Thank God It’s Monday” is to help companies thrive!

This week’s focus: business execution

I.T. is a critical enabler of businesses. There is, on occasion, friction between I.T. and business process owners about how to move forward to solve critical business challenges.

I recently interviewed four education Chief Information Officers in an effort to understand their culture and values and see if there is a contrast with what I have experienced in the private sector.Here are some best practices that will improve collaboration between I.T. and business teams:

  • Business process owners would appreciate I.T. collaborating with them while working to minimize friction.
  • Business process owners want I.T. to be part of the same team, not merely blocking and tackling the people who are responsible for day-to-day execution of a critical process.
  • Business process owners want I.T. to get excited about solving real problems and spend a lot less energy pushing back on the business requirements.
  • Business process owners want I.T. and their teams to win together.

If this culture of collaboration is engendered, everyone will thrive.

[Note: You can read my entire Fast Company blog post here.]

Thought for the week:

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci

What do you think? I welcome your blog comments!

___

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting

http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2011 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

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Dave Gardner’s “Thank God It’s Monday” 24OCT11

October 24, 2011

“Thank God It’s Monday” is to help companies thrive!

This week’s focus: change management

The gravitational pull of the status quo is hard to break away from. Consider how much energy it takes to put a rocket into earth orbit…to break away from the status quo of the earth’s gravity.

Change management is no different. You can’t expect dramatic change to occur without a significant and sustained amount of energy and attention.

Understanding this will ensure your change initiative reaches earth orbit helping you and your company thrive.

Thought for the week:

The real reward for doing your best work is not the money you make but the leader you become.” – Robin Sharma

What do you think? I welcome your blog comments!

___

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting

http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2011 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.


Dave Gardner’s “Thank God It’s Monday” 17OCT11

October 17, 2011

“Thank God It’s Monday” is to help companies thrive!

This week’s focus: business execution

I traveled to Austin this past week to attend Dell World 2011. At the end of the show, there were several hours between my airport arrival and the departure of my flight.  I didn’t see the keynote speakers at the airport: Steve Ballmer, President of Microsoft, Paul Otellini, President of Intel, Marc Benioff, President of Salesforce.com, etc. Why is that?

These executives can’t afford to waste their valuable time waiting for departure times that fit their speaking and meeting schedules, trying to decide which airline connections make the most sense, and burning time cooling their heels with the conference attendees. There is simply too much time inefficiency in commercial airline travel today. The only solution for these executives is private aircraft, not a perquisite, an essential tool to expand their reach.

Now that I no longer fly over 100,000 miles per year, I find myself in a coach seat most of the time. Coach travel is a great time waster.  It is nearly impossible to open a laptop, read a book, review paperwork, or think about strategy. It is too crowded and uncomfortable.

Being confined to a coach seat for hours at a time may violate the Geneva Convention torture regulations. If you were to tell someone that they would have to fit within the envelope of space allocated by a coach seat for 1-6 hours, there must be some rule that is being broken. I’m really grateful that I’m not tall. But, even my height advantage is not much of an advantage any more with every seat sold on the vast majority of flights.

Coach air travel won’t help you or your business thrive.

Thought for the week:

“Don’t do anything halfway. If you believe in it, go for it.”  – Jack Welch

What do you think? I welcome your blog comments!

___

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting

http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2011 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.


Dave Gardner’s “Thank God It’s Monday” 10OCT11

October 10, 2011

“Thank God It’s Monday” is to help companies thrive!

This week’s focus: business execution

We make the world better when we simplify problems for customers, when what we create is so glaringly obvious that people say to themselves, “I wonder why nobody did that before?”

We make things better when we step back, look carefully and say, “What exists can be done much, much better. What would be really exciting for our customers?”

Steve Jobs didn’t focus on incrementalism. He focused on what would excite and delight the world–what would create a compelling customer experience. And, did Steve and Apple ever succeed in creating excitement!

The technology world paused to pay attention whenever Steve took the stage–people couldn’t wait to hear how he and Apple would rock their world.

  • There were mp3 players before the iPod.
  • There were smart phones before the iPhone.
  • There were tablet computers before the iPad.

None of the forerunners to these Apple products comes close to capturing the excitement that Apple created.  Not even close.

The lesson? Incrementalism won’t help your company thrive. A relentless focus on the customer experience will help your company thrive.

Thought for the week:

“…Almost everything— all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” -Steve Jobs

 

What do you think? I welcome your blog comments!

___

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting

http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2011 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.


The passing of Steve Jobs

October 6, 2011

What can be said that hasn’t already been said.

Steve Jobs was one-of-a-kind: an entrepreneur, a thought-leader, an innovator, a perfectionist, a mentor, a visionary.

A few years ago, a minister offered that we shouldn’t ask “why a person died”–it is better to ask “why a person lived?”

We know why Steve lived.

Fadra Nally (@allthingsfadra) offered the following thought on Twitter moments after the news broke:

Very sad news about Steve Jobs. Apple now seems like just another computer company with faceless executives.

I offered 2 replies via Twitter (@Gardner_Dave):

The heart, vision and spirt of innovation lives in every Apple employee and Apple executive. It’s in their DNA.

In Silicon Valley, when we lose a key person, the survivors strive to keep that person’s vision alive…that’s our DNA.

God speed, Steve.  And, thank you!

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting, http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

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Dave Gardner’s “Thank God It’s Monday” 03OCT11

October 3, 2011

“Thank God It’s Monday” is to help companies thrive!

This week’s focus: strategy

Focus on the wrong things can be debilitating. Too many people are focused on matters they have no control over. If this was a good thing, I’d not be writing about it.

We don’t have control over the stock market, what then banks are doing, what the government is doing, what’s going on in the global economy, what our competitors are doing, etc.

What we do have control over is setting our own strategy and executing that strategy, irrespective of all the ambiguities that we are exposed to.

We have to manage our businesses.  If that means we need to turn off the news so we can focus, then so be it.

We must set a certain course and follow it, not become a rudderless ship being tossed about in a turbulent sea.  This is key to thriving.

Thought for the week:

“Be yourself.  Everyone else is already taken.” – Oscar Wilde (by way of Raj Raheja)

What do you think? I welcome your blog comments!

___

Dave Gardner, Gardner & Associates Consulting

http://www.gardnerandassoc.com

© 2011 Gardner & Associates Consulting  All Rights Reserved

Note:  To receive an email version of “Thank God It’s Monday” to start your week, please subscribe here.  I would very much appreciate your suggesting to others that they subscribe.

Privacy Statement:  Our subscriber lists are never rented, sold, or loaned to any other parties for any reason.