i think it was a NGG centerfold…the map of the world wide web 1995
a few years later i was lucky to get a gig with xx (formerly OE) during the frantic and anxious lead-up to Y2K. As Director of eBusiness applications our RAID team was installing Plumtree portal software across the company. We were working with select business units cranking out ROI-based deliverables every six weeks. A pace that drove the traditional 900+ IT department to fits and among other intrapreneur issues got me fired.
We’d meet with SVP in the morning, listen to their vision, strategy and goals for their business unit. We’d listen real hard. We’d ask them “if you had a magic wand, what would you start, stop or keep doing even better to move your business forward?” We’d either find pains or opportunities to enhance and accelerate what they were doing with our emerging tech. These RAIDs bridged the Business and IT divide and changed the conversation from IT saying tell me exactly what you want me to build you to finding ways we could give them something visual to react to very quickly that could help move them forward to
mine for pains and have a prototype up and running to look at before she went home.
cross-functional teams. IT geeks who learned the buzzwords of ROI, strategy and selling skills and sales guys like me that could help bridge the two worlds.
Our mission: to expose critical data trapped in disparate systems and silos (aka, applications “owned” by employees who didn’t always wanna share and play nicely) via gadgets or portlets. Emerging themes of openness and communities I remember hearing for the first time. I remember, too, we all had Palm OS-powered Kyocera 6035’s. Openness, communities were emerging themes within our team.
we wanted to understand their strategies as well as they did and then re-imagine (loved that book by tom peters)
dale dauten’s The Max Strategy. experiments never fail
i arrived at xx sometime in 2004. a business and industry that had changed little since i left the family business 15 years prior to spread my wings. not unlike LNG, gasoline and electric utilities, wholesale distribution of lubricant oils was becoming more and more a scale business. i didnt have the capital to go bigger. try and be distinctive. i liked granite rock’s story, which jim collins illiminated.
at the time i was reading a bunch of authors like peter drucker, jim collins, tom peters, jack stack, verne harnesh, napolean hill, Free Play by Stephen Nachmanovich (given to me by one of best friends Joe feidler, jazz trombonist and sesame street musician, arranger, composer.
recalled pulling in data from the fossil generation group and the 13th floor situation room to monitor the grid we helped build with smart dashboards. lets find a way to “see” into our customer tanks to figure out how to optimize deliveries to take not too much and not enough oil to fill the tanks. monitor, sensor.
experiments never fail. its amazing how easy and empowering it is these days to experiment as we pursue ideas to better service our cradle-to-grave customers. we have moved from improving administrative and operational efficiencies (improving quality of life with life style changes) by digitizing people- and paper-based processes to imagining and quickly building out apps to create new tools for enhanced or accelerated gains. genetic testing, big data and internet technologies and smart phone adoption that gets these apps/tools into the hands of people that can really benefit. no longer stuck in silos, held hostage by.
level devils with conduits, cables and modems. transmitters and receivers. cellular radar, wireless, wifi, cloud based centeron, tankscan to kickstarted twine sensors by supermechanical.com
Either drowning in EPA paperwork or starved for the paperwork that would prove compliance in the event of a superfund or pollution claim..
cradle-to-grave traceability app which is extending itself as a utility to track our customers’ sustainability initiatives, not just key EPA and DOT compliance doc paper-trails.
smart phone as remote controls, various cloud-based collaboration platforms, experiments never fail and an a growing community of businesses assembled like a soccer team and led by managing partners much like the model we’ve adopted from zingerman’s community of businesses in Ann Arbor
reduce consumption through condition-based testing, reuse, reclamation and recycling technologies and programs.
neil deGrasse tyson quoting carl sagan “….responsibility to deal more kindly and compassionately with on another to preserve and cherish that pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”
its an exciting time for a guy with undiagnosed ADD to be working with a team that has embraced a philosophy that experiments never fail