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What’s your game?

What
I’ve recently observed a corporate department in action and thought here on SuperBowl Sunday to write up some thoughts concerning my observations.

In many ways all corporate groups (leadership) fall into two categories: Owners or Stewards.

Owners are spotted as they give off signals such as, “well it’s my way or the highway!” We know them from their commanding presence and the strong feeling that their group understands issues better than others. I wish it were true that this were an obvious thing, but life is such a mystery at times, that even those who are Owners many times, right along with Stewards by the way, really live so close to the forest that the trees or evidence is not seen. It is the human condition we all live in and for a good sample of this refer to Dr. M. Scott Peck and his book “People of the Lie”.

Stewards on the other hand live out their lives with the idea that they own nothing, but are servants of their customers. Politicians do a great job of convincing us that they are Stewards, well at least while they are on the campaign trail eh? I recall like it were yesterday hearing in person the great insurance magnet, W. Clement Stone saying that this was truly his key to success. He relayed that early in his life he had learned to keep this principle constantly in mind as he conducted his business affairs and that it had yielded the highest value, quality product for his customers.

I’ve no mind to make any specific person an object lesson today, but to say I grieve at the attitude of people that believe they are the Owners. They have no idea of the disservice they bring to our world. These that are so convinced that they alone know and understand the problem, have in fact closed their mind to needs of others and are firmly lost in their ideal to succeed.

Its time we look more intently in the mirror. It’s time we take the time to consider what we project to others and it’s time to consider whether we have poison in our passion.

Suggestion: It’s been said that before you judge a man, walk a mile in his moccasins. A path to being a Steward is for us to put ourselves in the place of others. This is no small feat in the age wherein we are so caught up with the huge amount of input coming our way for every direction. Evidence of this struggle is seen as top executives seek out courses in meditation and centering themselves.

Lastly, it takes a strong cup of persistence mixed with a little positive attitude to be a steward. It seems to me that at times Owners wear teflon. Stewards on the other hand take a thrashing. This was documented over 2,000 years ago when a young Jew named Jesus spoke to leadership about what should done about people that decided that a good way of handling a Steward was to put them to death. It’s also found in the statement, “please don’t shoot me, I’m just the messenger!” At the end of the equation it costs more to be a Steward. It is The Road Less Traveled and we can expect only to stay focused and not to lose heart over beautiful plans and work when they go unreceived.

Fact or Fiction?

Wow, so much in the news about Apple having a tablet computer.  It’s like Nirvana or looking for the Fountain of Youth, eh?

Actually does the world need another tablet computer?  We see that now Lenovo has also jumped on the bandwagon and will have the Skylight.

I’m not certain we need a new tablet, but hey what about a new idea?  You have to love that Skype will now put their client on your TV!  Huh, you’d think the phone company would have done this long ago wouldn’t you?  After all the video phone was supposed to be a big cool thing, only no one could think about what Skype is about to do?

Hopefully, Apple does more than introduce a tablet, let’s hope they are about to wow us with some new break through that will turn up the heat!  yeah!!

Potpourri

Huh!  I have a real blend of thoughts running through my mind. . .

First, I appreciate all the dear friends who have wished me well, as I leave IBM.  There seems to be so many different exciting things out there to choose from, I’m wondering just where I’ll start. The most tempting words come from friends who are independent consultants and are so happy living outside the corporate culture of the big corporate houses.

In a way the adventure on this stream of thought began back in May when I met a most likeable gentleman named Mike Israel.  He is a Business Application Manager and over lunch he told me of how he had migrated from consulting life to the life of living as a corporate employee.  He mentioned how things so dramatically change when you embark into the corporate world.

It does make you wonder doesn’t it, how culture can be a burden to some folk, and they though strong in ability find something stifling in the midst of the corporate scene.  It makes one think we have much inventing yet to embark into the 21st century eh?  Here we see ourselves so sophisticated, and yet our corporate cultures are old and salty.

It’s similar to the telephone industry.  Aren’t you just loving the big debate around Google Voice, AT&T, and Apple, and now everyone is saying, “I didn’t do it!”.  What a laugh this is, but the stark truth is that our ideas about communications are old and stale.  Who can rescue us from this lethargy?  Do we really have to wait for people to get all upset and angry before we go about reinventing ourselves?  Hats off to Google for giving us fresh insight into possibilities.

My email box this week has just been full of too many Internet farces.  I’m tired of the off cuff remarks that America should only be speaking English.  Huh?  How can we be so dull of character to think everyone should be like us?  My life is so rich through my studies of Latin, French, Greek, Hewbrew, Italian, and Portuguese.  We need to be ashamed of our stick-in-the-mud attitudes.  I realize we are feeling the discomfort of a fast changing world, but we can’t put our head in the sand like an ostrich, eh?  Also along this same line, is the silly email about how things were so wonderful when we were kids.  Oh yeah?  A key learning for me in the past year, is all about living in the now.  Yes, I’m fond of memories, but balance is also about finding the silver lining in my present place.  It’s been written that one should find happiness in want and in great blessing, so let’s live in the present and in the now.

It’s encouraging to see some signs of recovery eh?  Glad to know the housing market jumped this summer and some things are on the move.  Hey, we’ll take it!  Sorry to hears the CARS program has so soon ended, this seemed to be a cool stimulus in spite of the way the program was to be run.  Just hope those dealers get their monies are not left holding the bag.

Oh and let’s dream too!  Some friends want to go crusing in the Baltic next summer (2010).  That sounds so cool, more things to see that I’ve never seen!  The world is a great place.  My work at IBM has taken me to some awesome places too.  Some of my work locations have been:  Switzerland, Shanghai, Singapore, Barcelona with many side trips.  Hehe, but as stated about that is the past, the future is here today, so I’ll dream about the Baltic Sea.  Ahhh, you can dream too!

IPhone and OS 3.0

(This post is a copy of my IBM internal blog entry)


How many have watched the 1 hour and 20 minute release of Apple’s OS 3.0?

I’m not going to do a recap here of all the amazing things Apple announced for the IPhone, rather I want to discuss how their strategy and innovation speaks so loudly.

A core section of the presentation after announcing that their OS will have some 1,000 new APIs, new application purchase methods and new hardware opportunities (add-ons) was to have 5 or 6 key vendors display future ideas for their own products using the new operating system.

This means of course that Apple gets an A+ on collaboration (even if other important voices are missing from the presentation).  What a punch to have Oracle show how they will take the new OS and deliver new ways to remotely speed support for a corporation’s interaction with their customers, or how ESPN will be enabled to deliver new superior on demand programming / alerts for their customers.  This is savvy marketing at it’s prime.  Apple had released the OS to a handful of major players and told them, “go see what you can do with the new OS”.  The speaker then relays how amazed Apple was by what their creative partners had to show in such a short turn around.

Apple next not only demonstrates how easy it is to become a developer for the IPhone, ITouch, they reveal key details of how they work with developers.  Things like, the period of time it takes to get a new application approved (about 7 days on average), how developers are paid (monthly, electronically) and to boot they bring on a wannebe programmer that took his idea for a game (Trism) and tell his personal story of success.  This is almost a Cinderella story or a repeat of the guys who built Apple in their garage, only in much shorter time frame.  I mean ask yourself, how would you as developer like to be able to put your product out in 80 countries of the world?  Most developers would be lucky to even be known in the town where they live, let alone around the world.

Yeah, it’s the idea of empowerment in this presentation that is like a drug of joy.  Who would have ever dream that Wikipedia would receive so much world wide acceptance and harness the power of so much enthusiasm that people would sit at their terminals / computers / laptops and literally donate hundreds of hours to something they don’t personally own?  The introduction of OS 3.0 sends a very clear message to anyone interested in development, that not only is there opportunity, but we (Apple) are here to guide, open huge doors and enable (propel) you forward.

This is absolutely a phenominal strategy.  I’ve owned MS Mobile phones for 5 plus years and one has to say there is no comparison, oh yeah, maybe on the level of an actual application one can say, the MS Mobile application is superior to the current one on Apple IPhone, but tell me where is the army of people that are so pumped as the people developing IPhone applications.  Has anyone seen Seattle announce that they are there to help you become a successful developer?

One last kudo and I get off my soapbox of praise…..one has to also take in that OS 3.0 represents a convergence of really hot ideas.  Here are some those key items:  “the network is everthing”  It’s unthinkable that on MS Mobile that I should have to go to setup to move from 3G to my personal network.  The idea that the IPhone is always connected by switching seamlessly rocks!  And 3.0 ups the whole thing a notch as one of the new features will remember your commercial logons, so now when I walk into Starbucks, there is no playing with the phone to join the network.  Once I’ve done it once, I’m on for good.   (well at least those that have homegenous networks)  Meebo will deliver a native version of Meebo on the new OS 3.0…so IPhone links me to the wave of Social Networking and keeps me on the wave while away from my desktop.  Another is OS 3.0 will use Bluetooth to assist me seemlessy network with others in my vicinity.  So now I can sit with a bunch of friends in a room and be connected with all of them sans any network.  This was demoed in 2 or 3 different ways in the presentation.  There’s more, but you’ll have to watch for yourself, eh?

I’m old enough to remember how the first release of Visacalc, you know this stuff was only being done on mini-computers with a full application, and suddenly anyone with a PC could be a wizard of super business analytics.  This single app was reponsible for many a sale of a PC.  I get the same vibes with OS 3.0.  I get a very positive feeling about a company that breaks into brand new ground, or pulls together something NEW.  I’m alas proud to be a part of a company that has so many discoveries in a single year (patents)  Could it be that is why IBM is a well known word around the world?

Can we grab any of the learning from Apple’s announcement of OS 3.0?  Watch here!

Another superb movie…

slumdog millionaire

Now here’s a movie that makes sense.  How much “shoot-em’ ups” can we exposed to before we hit overload?  Well, don’t get upset, I love “shoot-em ups” too!  Wow some great stuff coming next month.

What is superb on this picture is that we who live in the comforts of luxury are thrust into the real world of Mumbai.  We meet the most interesting brothers, who are dubbed the “two muskateers” as they were recognized in their community for their special powers to be pranksters.

I was privilege to see this movie on Valentine’s Day, and from that point of view, this is a perfect movie for VD seeing the third muskateer is a young lady, and our hero pursues her with a relentless fever.

This movie for me is 5 star, and I’ll be looking for the sound track at my favorite store as the music has a powerful place in this movie as well.

I just hope for you that you get the chance to see this movie.  This isn’t make-believe movie though one may feel the overall story to be a Cinderella type movie.  The truth is people in India do live in some the worst conditions in the world.  I’m not saying that all Indians live in bad conditions, just that we can find some of the greatest suffering in places like Mumbai, New Dehli and Kolkata.  It should stop us, it should shock us, and it should call us to action.  With the greatest tragedies happening right in our country due to the economic swings, none of our failures will touch the suffering of these people.  For that we should be reminded.

Oh well, off the topic eh?  This is an engaging movie that deserves a place in our lives to reach into our hearts and remind us that love is the most precious commodity in the world, not oil.  In fact, love is not a commodity, it is an exceptional way of life.  Would it be that we learn the lessons of Jamal and his faithfulness to brother and friend, Latika.

Barcelona!

Who is that?
Who is that?

What a town!  Years ago when working in Lausanne, Switzerland one of my team, Hoisuk flew to Barcelona and came back all enthusiastic after a long weekend there.

My turn finally came now almost 3 weeks ago as I, along my wife traveled there for business and yes some wonderful pleasure of getting acquainted with an awesome town.  One of the superb things in Barcelona is the tourist bus system which has 3 routes, green, blue and red.  This line covers an immense area of the city and one tour circle can last some 2 hours in length.  The best seat on the bus is on top of the bus in the “open” air, i.e., no roof.

One learns many tremendous details on Barcelona as one travels around these routes as there is earphones with 6 to 8 languages offerred.  One of the most intriguing influences on Barcelona is the designer/architect Gaudi.  He is long gone from this world, but his work continues, especially at the cathedral, La Sagrada Família.  The photo in the corner is from his La Pedrera, an apartment type dwelling that you would think was something from the 1990’s not 1906.

Another awesome fact about Barcelona is that it has a parlimentarian government that is older than 1100 years of age.  This predates the govenment of the England.  Barcelona is the home of the 1992 Olympics and the stadium is still as fresh and beautiful as if they were there just last year.

The beach is a beautiful spot on Barcelona.  The tour indicated it has not always been the case, as it was hid behind a cluster of factories and no one had thought about what a valuable item the beach could be.  Hmm, reminds us that maybe we too have things in our back pocket going unappreciated as well.

Well, this is short today, but hopefully I will get back on my blog routine and share more with you awesome opportunities that have come my way.  Don’t turn down an opportunity to go to Barcelona.  Now I just need to figure out how to get back there and see more of the wonderful country of Spain.