Our Thoughts

Ideas that change businesses, industries, and people

The Digital Downside to Well-Tuned IT Delivery Methods

IT organizations often embrace Agile software development as the holy grail that will guide them to the digital product promised land. What many companies don’t realize when they embark on this transformation is that their problem is much bigger than simply choosing...

4 Keys to Running a Successful Vendor Selection

When I first started consulting, my very first project was a vendor selection, and I’ll be honest, my first thought was: “What is a vendor selection?” Since then I’ve been a part of many vendor selections and learned a lot of lessons along the way. If you’re thinking...

Can You Keep a Secret? (A Trade Secret?)

We are all familiar with the secrecy that surrounds Coca-Cola's recipe for original Coke. It’s part of the mystique of their brand. Supposedly, only 2 executives in the company know the recipe, and they are kept apart just so that the recipe can never be lost. And the...

Where Does Your Energy Come From?

I’m excited for the Energy Marketing Conference in Houston in a few weeks. Tom Brady seemed to enjoy his visit to Houston and I expect to have the same experience he did! At the last few conferences, there has been a very consistent theme: people know very little...

Alexa Will Influence Much More Than Your Grocery List

Almost two years ago, during one of my catch-up conversations with Scott Manuel from Thomson Reuters, I first heard of Alexa, the intelligent personal assistant service of the Amazon Echo. Scott said, “Trust me, you’ve got to get one of these.” His job is to...

Who Builds Better Digital Products – IT or Product?

When we started Thought Ensemble in 2008, we did a lot of consulting work in industries like information services and publishing. At that time, these industries were at the height of their disruption. Digital products, from both longtime competitors and...

Visioning with a 5-Year Old

I may not be the craftiest mom. I may not be the best at academic prep. I'm definitely not the one throwing the football. But there's one thing I know I can teach my kids: how to create a life they love. It is the start of a new year, so we are working on our vision...

Recipe for an Awesome Morning

Before I had kids, I didn’t think much about the mornings. Each day was different. I woke up when I needed to based on my calendar. But kids have brought more routine to my life - a rhythm to the day, week, and year. For the first five years of parenthood, we had a...

Posh IT

In 1996, I worked for a prestigious consulting company, but my first major project was in a double wide trailer in a swamp in South Carolina. This is not a joke. A trailer. In a swamp. We walked/hopped to the main office on a few hundred feet of concrete pavers. Those...

On the Cusp of Trendiness: Blockchain

Wouldn’t it be great if you could be well-informed on every cutting edge technology topic? Well...it’s not going to happen. There are too many trends, hot topics, and buzzwords flying around. Technological progress is made continuously, which in part, is why I...

How Mike Szymanski Saved My Life

This year, I’m thankful for my co-worker, Mike Szymanski. I sat next to Mike at dinner in Dallas a few weeks ago. I’ve known him for awhile now, but I didn’t know we shared a love of fantasy novels (my “love” of these novels might be categorized as something nearer a...

Actually Get Some $#*! Done

In my previous blog, I talked about getting change initiatives off on the right foot. This involves assembling your A-team, preparing a plan of attack, and kicking the project off. Assuming you have already done these things, you are set up to move forward...

IT Culture Got You (Upside) Down?

The list on the left describes the IT organization of the past, or at least what most organizations strived to be. Less than a decade ago, these were the words woven into IT visions everywhere. The list on the right describes what most IT organizations are striving to...

An(other) Uber Story

I’ve been doing some back-seat amateur journalism for the last year. I’ve been asking my Uber drivers two questions: How long have you driven for Uber? and Why do you drive? And some of the answers have been quite fascinating: “I was a petroleum engineer. I moved to...

Marshmallows and Your Strategy’s Success

One of my happiest parenting moments was when my eldest son was four. On his birthday, I gave him a single marshmallow and told him that if he could wait to eat the marshmallow until I returned 15 minutes later, I’d give him a second marshmallow. Alternatively, he...

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