The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective


Coincidences – scary!

Coincidence:  During a breakfast meeting with a group of very experienced and successful executives Friday, I was chatting with a fellow I enjoy listening to (and learning from).  He was discussing a technology idea he is working on – when the conversation moved to the Internet and Cloud Computing.  The company I work for is a leader in the Cloud Computing space, so I was particularly interested in hearing his perspective. 

“The Internet is an unsecure environment that will never be safe for business applications”, he said, and he went on to cite that SAP and General Electric have both gone on record stating they will “never” move to the Cloud.  The “context” was so striking that it reminded me of the 1980s when IBM went on record stating that the personal computer was a nice little device and all, but it would “never” be a business computer.  (Although I didn’t bring this up – my friend is a retired executive from IBM and I saw no reason to take our pleasant conversation down the path of an historical debate.) 

“Context” and “never” – Coincidently, later that morning I finished reading the book Strengths Finder 2.0.  Check it out:  

The author is a Gallop researcher that studies actual data before deriving conclusions (now there’s a concept!).  One of my strengths according to Strengths Finder is “context” – I use past experiences to better understand current circumstances.  Hence, the above comparisons relating to the PC; Cloud Computing; and the word “never”. 

Coincidentally, that same day, I was discussing the topic of compensation plans with my colleague at work.  It seems that our company believes the only “carrot” that motivates employees is money.  Anything else would “never” work.  My colleague found this You Tube link based on, you guessed it – actual research: 


And coincidentally, on the exact same day my company took all of the employees to an afternoon matinee to see “Money Ball” starring Brad Pitt.  It’s a movie based on the real-life experiences of Billy Beane, General Manager of the Oakland Athletics baseball team who applied a new and different way of thinking to compete in the early 2000s.  The traditionalists of baseball said that his approach would “never” work.  Of course, until it did: 

            Everything looks like a failure in the middle. 

                                  Price Pritchett 

In the business world there are all kinds of opportunities for breakthroughs; new ideas; and failed attempts, too (do you remember Apple’s Newton?).  The best way I know of to deal with clarifying and understanding what’s going on today is to seek some degree of “context” from my past.  It’s not a fool proof approach, but it seems to work for me.  And when I hear that word “never”, in the “context” of a corporate setting, I often wonder exactly how long is “never”?  Is it 2 or 3 consecutive, down quarters or market share losses for companies like IBM, GE, and SAP?  

By way of “context”; the 2004 Boston Red Sox applied Billy Beane’s concepts to help them win their first World Series in 86 years.  And, earlier this year SAP re-released SAP by Design, a Cloud Computing implementation of their business software.  Guess “never” came to an end for them both; one sooner – the other took a little longer. 

And coincidentally, I’m getting a new compensation plan today.  But the variable-incentive portion will “never” be based on the research of what motivates employees.  Will it? 


Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my book, too:  The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective©  Please check it out Subscribe.


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