Tuesday, July 16, 2019

My guest column on IT Strategy Best Practices

My guest column on IT Strategy Best Practices was published on the blog of Alan Weiss, one of the top management consultants in the world!


Friday, July 12, 2019

IT Strategy / Business Alignment

IT Strategy / Business Alignment: This is why most IT projects either fail, go over time/budget, or under-deliver. 1. At the beginning, there is not enough "Why" and "What" discussions before moving to the "How". 2. As the project advances, there's not enough iterative feedback and pushback from both the technology and the business.   Both sides end up focusing on what they want, but not on what they need. This distance between want and need is what consulting expert Alan Weiss calls "the value distance".

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Don't Blame Capitalism

People still don't realize that a lot of crises aren't because of unchecked capitalism, it's the opposite: checked capitalism. More precisely, checks on the wrong things. I'm not saying you should have no regulation of capitalism, but a lot of the bad effects of "capitalism" are from regulating one side of the coin and not the other. If both were deregulated, economics would cause them to check/balance each other. Examples: 1. In the San Francisco area, the homeless/housing crisis is because, as there had been growth from successful start-ups, there were barriers to building more housing. If housing growth was "unchecked" like capitalist start-ups, there would be a lot less homeless people. 2. The Great Recession is seen as caused by greed and capitalism (mortgage lending out of control, speculation driving up housing prices), but the root cause was the Federal Reserve increasing the money supply to ease the dot com bust to make Washington look good, rather than letting the 2000-2001 recession work itself out naturally. 3. The failure in deregulating energy, which lead to greed like Enron trading and California paying high utility prices was caused because only one side of the market was deregulated.

Friday, May 10, 2019

You Will Screw Up

 No matter how careful you are, no matter how much stress you place on yourself, no matter how many hours of practice, you will eventually screw up somewhere. You are imperfect, and will always be flawed. 

If you travel with a map, you will go off course from time to time. Your writings will contain typos. During speeches, you will stammer, hesitate, and mispronounce words. You will irritate and fight with your family.

Everyone else on the planet is the same way. Even Superman has his kryptonite issues.

Is this knowledge pessimistic, dark, and depressing? No - it is liberating! You are human! Do your best, then learn to live with the results and forgive yourself and others.

The Purpose Of An Elevator Pitch Should Be A Conversation, Not A Sale

An elevator pitch should be a pithy sentence that describes how your ideal customer is better off after working with you.  It should not be about your inputs or processes. You don't want to provide a lot of info in your pitch, because you aren't trying to sell.  You instead want:

1. If this person is your ideal client, then intrigue them enough to set a meeting for further conversation
2. The person can remember your pitch, so they can repeat it to someone they know who could use your help.

For example, a bad pitch is "I'm a great accountant with 20 years of experience who can help you."  A good pitch would be "I've collectively saved my clients $10 million in taxes."