Thursday, May 25, 2006

Strategy and Weathermakers

I am still on the SYNNEX retreat in Charleston. Awesome venue (although they could do something about the heat and humidity which really makes me tired). Awesome activities. Awesome people - does not get much better than this.

I worry that I might be a bit too work focused though because I was stressing about ot enough email/call time to keep up and more; I was sometimes wishing they could turn the music down so I could talk to more people. I need to learn a bit more balance I think.

This morning before the formal activities, we had an executive strategy meeting. These always inspire me and at the same time make me relize how much we have to do. One of my continual quests in life is to seek clarity. In strategy, this tends to be difficult and iterative. Even with good strategy, things always take time. Implementation is the key. Good strategy with poor implementation always fails.

The other tough thing to know about strategy is when to change it. Have we tried it properly etc.

The other interesting part is balance. We have limited resources. How can we maximize return from them. We always need to choose the best 3 out of 20 projects. We need enough resources per project to ensure success.

I read a great book on the weekend (It was a long weekend so I still have a few more reviews to go) by Tim Flannery called, “The Weathermakers – How We are Changing the Climate and What It Means for Life on Earth”. Tim Flannery is a scientist and a conservationist. (He is not just an alarmest.) My brother, Glen, who is clearly an enviromentalist (his business is selling wind energy) recommended the book. Glen's review (which also appeared on my brother Lyle's blog since he is also in the alternative fuels business making Biodiesel follows:

The Weathermakers, Tim Flannery, Harper Collins
This is the single most comprehensive and readable book on climate change there is. Australian author Tim Flannery brings together all aspects of climate science in a hard hitting book, that outlines the great danger humans face if we ignore this challenge.

From the tragedy of the extinction of Costa Rica’s golden toad, to drought and famine in the Sahel region of Africa, to the salinization of millions of acres of wheat fields in Western Australia due to changing rainfall patterns, to the vanishing mountain glaciers with their impact on drinking water supply, to the 2005 hurricane season, Flannery makes a compelling case that climate change is real, that it is happening now, and that the evidence is building that it will be worse than the experts are currently predicting. (Expert opinion is governed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which issues reports based on scientific consensus - surely a recipe for conservatism).

The book touches on solutions, but only in a cursory way. But the book’s value is in building a compelling case for taking action at both a personal and governmental level. The solutions are for others to articulate. But know this: They are there.

This is the book that reportedly caused the Prime Minister of Australia to change his mind about climate change. A must read for all citizens concerned about the future of the planet, and ourselves


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