When it comes to leadership, the US Special Operations Command is probably about as good as it gets. I had the privilege to see Gen. Stanley McChrystal speak once and was impressed not only by what he had to say, but also in how both practical and nuanced his points were.
This WSJ piece includes Adm. William McRaven’s recent commencement address at the University of Texas. Now as an Aggie, I won’t comment on the UT elements of his remarks but the lessons from SEAL training are worth hearing—summarized in his conclusion below (Source):
It will not be easy. But start each day with a task completed. Find someone to help you through life. Respect everyone. Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often, but if you take some risks, step up when the times are toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden and never, ever give up—if you do these things, then the next generation and the generations that follow will live in a world far better than the one we have today. And what started here will indeed have changed the world, for the better.
Now I’m off to go make my bed.
There is a well-established literature in mathematics that people who thought about a problem and do not know how to solve it, go to bed thinking about it and wake up the next morning with a solution. It’s not easily explicable but if you’re wide awake, you perhaps argue down the conventional lines of argument but what you need to do is something a bit crazy which you’re more likely to do if you’re half-awake or asleep. Presumably that’s the explanation!
Suddenly I feel a little better about falling asleep to statistics back in college.
As large companies collect, analyze and store increasing quantities of information, the expense of adding servers, hard drives and other equipment is threatening to crimp their big-data plans. Indeed, hardware sales related to corporate-data projects are expected to more than double to $15.7 billion in 2017 from $7.16 billion last year, according to Wikibon, a Marlborough, Mass., research organization.
Also how Riot Games is using Facebook’s Open Compute:
For example, Riot Games might be able to buy a commercial enterprise server, after discounts, for roughly $4,000. A comparable server bought wholesale and equipped with Open Compute software might run about $2,000, according to Mr. Williams.
More details on the barebones server design are on the Open Compute Project site.
We live in an age of great distraction. Everything from Facebook and email to video games and binge TV watching can give us the sense we have done something useful with our time when, in fact, we have merely wasted a lot of days we will never get back. Many young American men, the slacker generation, would benefit from adopting Roosevelt’s “strenuous life” as a model of manhood, but it is not just a boy problem. Most of us have a slacker inside. We could do worse than to strive for the energy, disciplined time management and moral core that made Roosevelt a man worthy of a place on Mount Rushmore.
What better inspiration than that to get this blog moving again.
The market has moved very rapidly. The preponderance of the Global 2000 have structured enterprise social initiatives today. Organizations see changing their collaboration paradigm from document- or artifact-centricity, to people-centered, as a vital competitive advantage. Companies talk to us about their need to ‘roll out the social fabric’ as broadly and quickly as possible. They understand that their workforce now expects to work that way, and that the advantages to ‘social’ increase exponentially as a function of the number of people who have access to the capability.
Monday: Management meetings and “running the company” work
Tuesday: Product development
Wednesday: Marketing, communications and growth
Thursday: Developers and partnerships
Friday: The company and its culture
Weekends are a bit slower: Saturdays are for hiking and Sundays are for “reflection, feedback and strategy,” Dorsey said. But from Monday to Friday, he clocks in eight hours at Twitter and then walks two blocks over to put in another eight hours at Square.
Today’s belief in ineluctable certainty is the true innovation-killer of our age. In this environment, the best an audacious manager can do is to develop small improvements to existing systems—climbing the hill, as it were, toward a local maximum, trimming fat, eking out the occasional tiny innovation—like city planners painting bicycle lanes on the streets as a gesture toward solving our energy problems. Any strategy that involves crossing a valley—accepting short-term losses to reach a higher hill in the distance—will soon be brought to a halt by the demands of a system that celebrates short-term gains and tolerates stagnation, but condemns anything else as failure. In short, a world where big stuff can never get done.
But even if you can’t plan, you can prepare. A great batter doesn’t know when the high-hanging curve ball is going to come, but he knows it will. And he can prepare for what he will do when he gets it. Too often people think about intuition as the same as relying on luck or faith. At least as I see it, nothing could be further from the truth. Intuition can tell you that of the doors that are open to you, which one you should walk through. But intuition cannot prepare you for what’s on the other side of that door. Along these lines a quote that has always resonated with me is one by Abraham Lincoln. He said “I will prepare, and some day my chance will come.” I have always believed this.
What should you do if you’re a pharma at this inflection point? We recommend the following:
1) At a minimum, consider a two-platform consolidation strategy. Over the next few years this approach would bring you to SharePoint for management of uncontrolled documents, a single application suite for management of controlled documents (probably CSC FirsDoc), and a single platform for controlled DM (Documentum).
2) But also consider a one-platform consolidation strategy. This would bring you to SharePoint for management of uncontrolled documents, and either FirstPoint or NextDocs for management of controlled documents – both based on SharePoint.
3) Do a formal empirical evaluation of the three solution options at your organization. Do a bakeoff between FirstDoc/Documentum, FirstPoint/SharePoint, and NextDocs/SharePoint. It will require some time and resources, but the stakes are high enough to justify it. In my next post on this topic, I will explain exactly how to conduct such an evaluation.