Thursday, January 17, 2013

A New Outlook for the new year

I haven't blogged here in a long time. However I am feeling that I need to spend more time writing. Working at a start-up has made life very busy, and sometimes when you are busy your priorities get out of whack. Writing is therapeutic for me in a number of ways, as it helps me to better organize my thoughts and gain focus. I also enjoy the challenge of producing something that might be of interest to others, the true test of anyone producing content in any forum. I have written a couple of articles for the Domo (my employer) blog and enjoyed the challenge of producing content in a more structured environment. However I love having my own blog where I can feel free to express whatever I am feeling.

January is a new start for everyone, but especially so for me as I celebrate my birthday this month. In a week I will turn 39 and that has me thinking a lot about what I want to accomplish over the next 12 months. Time moves very quickly fo me, too quickly most of the time, and we can never get it back. Often we focus on the big decisions we make in life, the ones that can have a huge impact on how our lives progress. However I would argue that many of the seemingly minor decisions we make are even more important. Big decisions like employment changes or choosing a school for our children often end up being made for us by the little choices we make every day. Deciding to stay at work a few minutes extra to finish one last task can have a huge impact over time. Taking a few minutes each night to read to your children before bed can lead to them developing a love of learning.

We often talk about the fact that some people are "penny wise and pound foolish", to imply that most of the time they make smart financial decisions but then waste large sums of money with rash decisions. But we rarely talk about those who do the opposite, who spend frivolously on small items and therefore never have the money for big ticket purchases. As one who likes to bring a lunch from home, I am surprised by how often co-workers that eat out every day complain that they don't have money to buy the things they want.

In business there are many companies that make good strategic decisions, but are doomed to mediocrity or worse because they fail to execute on a day-to-day basis. One of the greatest values of Business Intelligence is the ability to see how the little choices we make impact our key objectives. You may do a great job of hiring productive employees, but if you don't manage them effectively then it doesn't do you much good. Collecting the right data and knowing how to interpet it can help a manager keep their team efficient on a daily basis and produce great results over time. Little adjustments made at the right time can have a much more powerful effect than big course corrections made after poor performance shows up in the bottom line.

1 comment:

  1. I agree, Todd. It's those little course corrections that make all the difference. I've seen it at home and at work. At work, as a manager, I've worked through both and it's much better for the employees and the manager if feedback is given honestly, positively, and relatively often. Big changes in focus usually end up being relatively ineffective. Best of luck to you in the balance of it all.