Surprising truth about what motivates us

This is a short but very insightful video on what drives and motivates people. Guess what, mostly NOT money. The animation is amazing. This video is by Daniel Pink, based on his book: Drive. See for yourself.


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What a historic day and free Starbucks!

It doesn’t matter if you agree with Obama‘s policies or not, today is a historic day in world history. The next four years will be very interesting — both from an economic and a world political perspective.

Free tall brew after 5 hours for volunteer work

Free tall brew after 5 hours for volunteer work

 I received an email from Starbucks this morning offering a free tall brew if you volunteer for 5 hours. Hot stuff!

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We are living in interesting times

Batman Ride

The current economic roller coaster is not as much fun as the Batman at Six flags. The market gyrations and financial market meltdown is definitely no fun and most of us has not experienced this before. The post-2000 dotcom bust now seems like a walk-in-the-park.I’m sure there are tons of good advice out their. Here are my favorites:Here is John Doerr‘s (Mr VC) top 10 tips, with the HCM Gartner guru, Jim Holincheck sharing his thoughts on the impact on the HCM market (maybe a bit dated), and finally my favorite entrepreneur guy, Guy Kawasaki’s post on the subject from a CEO perspective. This Sequoia capital presentation is very interesting (and potentially depressing) reading.I belong to Vistage, a global organization for CEOs and their top economist, Brian Beaulieu provided sage advise regarding the next 18 months. Here are a few actionable items for business owners:

  • If you have future cash needs. draw down your credit lines and hold the cash.
  • Use CDARS (a network of FDIC insured banks) as a way to protect your cash.
  • Take all necessary actions to maintain a positive cash flow.
  • Retool your management objectives with the understanding that this business cycle has a rise on the other side of the recession. Position your business for the next ascent.
  • Lead with confidence and optimism, with the attitude that “we can beat the business cycle.”
  • Find clients in these resilient sectors: healthcare, food distribution, water purification/distribution, electricity, natural gas distribution, consumer non-durables, education (community colleges in particular) and exports.
  • Expand internationally, and don’t overlook growing markets in Brazil and Chile.
  • Always give your clients a compelling reason to buy from you.
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The Integrity Advantage

I recently finished reading a 100 page book entitled “The Integrity Advantage”. The authors, Adrian Gostick and Dana Telford, describes 10 characteristics that defines Integrity. They claim, and I agree, that how taking the High Road (Integrity) creates a competitive advantage in business. I encourage you to read and study this little book. Integrity, that I define as being honest in all our interactions with ourselves and others, is one of my company’s principles. I like this book’s broader definition of integrity.Gostick is the co-author of the recent book, The Levity Effect.How would you rate yourself on each of the following 10 integrity characteristics:

  1. You know the little things count: Businesspeople lose their integrity a little bit at a time. To have the Integrity Advantage you do not lie or cheat on the small things.
  2. You find the white (when others see gray): You do not make tough decisions alone. You ask questions, receive counsel and take a long-term view.
  3. You mess up, you ‘fess up: Open and honest disclosure, e.g., Tylenol scare.
  4. You create a culture of trust: You reinforce integrity through principles, controls and personal example and you reward those employees who display personal integrity in their actions. I think it is time for me to read, The Speed of Trust by Covey.
  5. You keep your word: It’s walking the talk and setting the example.
  6. You care about the greater good: What goes around comes around. “Be generous: Invest in acts of charity. Charity yields high returns.”Ecclesiastes 11:1
  7. You’re honest but modest: Sounds like what Jim Collins calls a level 5 leader. Humble, quiet leaders are also considerate and courteous. They do the little things that win friends and admirers. They: smile and greet coworkers every day, they reflect on how their decisions will affect others, they praise and recognize their employees and even their bosses, they control their tempers, and they allow others to be kind to them.
  8. You act like you’re being watched: I once heard that the definition of character is what you do while your alone. Btw, if you are a leader you are being watched.
  9. You hire integrity: Key business principle according to Jack Welch and Warren Buffet. “Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don’t have the first, the other two will kill you. You think about it; it’s true. If you hire somebody without the first, you really want them to be dumb and lazy.”
  10. You stay the course: You have ethical consistency and predictability. Your life demonstrates wholeness and harmony between your values and your actions.
Read it!
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Feedback: 10 signs that you aren’t cut out to be a CIO

I sent the “10 signs that you aren’t cut out to be a CIO” post to some of my CIO friends and I received the following interesting feedback: 
A seasoned Fortune 100 CIO said:

I read the top ten list but haven’t read the whole article. I think the points are valid but thought the way the top ten things were phrased was not like a senior business executive would have stated them. But, that’s just a first impression.    

A very experienced Fortune 500 CIO remarked:

The blog and article are right on.     

and the following from a veteran former Deloitte partner:

Interesting perspective. I am not a CIO, and have always had an external perception of the role and the players. From that perspective, I have seen a host of CIO’s who contributed very little to the success of their companies in the 5 years they held the job prior to their termination. So, an internal perception of the CIO as “one in a million among IT professioals” is foreign to my perception, and probably to the perception of many C-level executives who hire and fire CIO’s. There are exceptions. My perception is that the exceptions did so because they were business-trained, and business-focused, and happened to fill a business role that included IT. If I were hiring a CIO, the last place I would look is at 25-year IT veterans. I would look for people who understand “business” then teach them the “business of IT.”      

and finally Jan, EPI-USE‘s CIO, made the following comment:

Thanks for sharing this Carel. One of the most profound standments regarding CIOs I heard in the last year were by Léo Apotheker, co-CEO of SAP, at last year’s Saphila conference. He said something like “The main focus of CIOs in future will not be technology, but optimising business processes”. Putting the focus back on the “I” in CIO!  

So, there you have it!

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10 Signs that you aren’t cut out to be a CIO

My friend, Matt Brown of CorData recently sent this article my way. Late in 2007 TechRepublic listed 10 things you should consider before applying for a CIO position. Here is the list of 10 signs:

  1. You are uncomfortable working with senior management
  2. The concepts of financial management totally elude you
  3. You have no desire to participate in business strategic planning
  4. Any kind of change drives you crazy
  5. You think SOX is a garment
  6. To you, asset management and building management are the same things
  7. The idea of selling anything scares you to death
  8. Indecision is one of your strong points
  9. You’re really skilled in one key area of information technology
  10. You believe that CIO stands for “career is over”

You can find the full article here, and I include the summary:

The job of CIO is complex on a good day. Only one in a million IT professionals can do the CIO job… and do it well. It is a job that requires a unique set of business skills as well as a strong understanding of IT technologies. However, the CIO is also in an exceptional position to have a major impact on the success of the company. So if you still think your want to become a CIO, you should be aware that you will gain membership to one of the most elite group of professionals on the planet.

I would be very interested to get feedback from my CIO friends.

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