Measurement & Instrumentation

Second Time Around

by Katherine Burns 03 Jul 2012
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I once read an article in the Wall Street Journal about how writing the pilot episode of a new series is usually easier than writing the second episode, which can be an excruciating process. Maybe it’s because writers use all their good material in the first attempt, and feel a bit empty for the second go-round.

I hope this isn’t the case with me and this blog. I so enjoyed writing the first one – I hope you enjoy reading the second one as much.

At least I teed up a few things to discuss in this one, so I’m not starting at ground zero. Wasn’t that savvy of me?

For instance, I promised you all a list of my favorite detective stories. The “Professional Communicator” in me thinks that it would be a good idea to close with this, rather than lead with it…so scroll to the end if that’s why you’re here. I also promised to tell you more about something that I just wrote – a new growth process toolkit on technology strategy.

There can’t be a more satisfying feeling in the world that finishing a large project, especially one that took a great deal of personal blood, sweat, and tears (and no, for a writer, that’s no exaggeration: writing is a blood sport, played sitting down). I love to finish writing something, and then not look at it for a few weeks. That way, when I read it again, I see it with fresh eyes. Sometimes this means I’m disappointed in something that I previously had thought was terrific—and other times, I feel nothing but pride in what has been produced.

I’m happy to say that in this case, my re-reading of this toolkit produced the latter sentiment. Maybe it’s obnoxious of me to say that, but trust me – my standards are high, and this isn’t praise I would give myself, or anyone else, lightly. Furthermore, I think it’s probably a good thing for a writer to believe in her work. If you don’t, who will?

And if I didn’t believe in it, I wouldn’t be blogging about it right now. I wouldn’t be telling you how I think there’s something in it that will strike a chord with many of you. As I mentioned in my previous posting, technology is such a complex, moving target that it’s nearly impossible for anyone to make sense of the chaos. Patterns are fleeting, and moments of normalcy or consistency even more so. What this toolkit is designed to do is to help you stay calm in the storm. To take a systematic approach to understanding your business, identifying market opportunities, and evaluating them. To nurture creativity within your organization, because without it, you’re a sitting duck. These are really important ideas—and perhaps not entirely new, but still meaningful, and difficult to execute. The toolkit’s purpose is to aid that execution to the greatest extent possible. If you’re interested in reading the entire thing, and you are a member of Growth Team Membership, you can click here.

If you’re interested in reading the entire thing, but you’re not a member of Growth Team Membership, you can still read an excerpt by clicking here.

Enough about that. I mentioned at the start of this blog that I would close with a list of my favorite detective stories. In the interest of brevity, because brevity is the soul of wit, I shall keep the list to five (starting with my favorite).

1)     Some Buried Caesar, by Rex Stout

2)     Black Orchids, by Rex Stout (I realize it would be more interesting not to repeat an author, but…my blog, my rules)

3)     Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie

4)     The Big Sleep, by Raymond Chandler (read this, and then watch the movie: Bogie and Bacall at their most snazzy)

5)     The Maltese Falcon, by Dashielle Hammett (read this, and then watch the movie: Bogie at his most Bogie, sans Bacall)

For a more in-depth book discussion, or to share your thoughts on technology strategy and its myriad challenges (none of which really existed in the lovely 1930s, “stuff dreams are made of” world I’ve just recommended for you), please take to the comments.

As always, happy computing.

Katherine Burns

Katherine is the Director of Strategic Communications for Growth Team Membership, a premier best practices research group within Frost & Sullivan. You can follow her on Twitter: @KatherineSBurns.

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