Our Thoughts

Ideas that change businesses, industries, and people

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...

An Uber Experience

Recently, I walked out of Denver’s airport into the (extremely) crowded area designated for ride sharing. I hunted for my Uber, searching out license plate, after license plate, as they passed by. After watching hundreds of cars, I realized, someone had gotten in my...

In Defense of Return of the Jedi

False equivalency is a serious danger to reasonable debate. Wait, wait! This isn’t another rant about the U.S. Presidential Election. No, my concern is something more impactful to our democracy, our society, and our culture: ranking the Star Wars films. Like many of...

Building Your Virtual Meeting Capability

There is no doubt in my mind that the ability to work virtually is both a personal and organizational capability that must be deliberately built. Large, global corporations have built this capability out of necessity, as it would be impractical to meet in person or...

Working from Home with Your Partner

When we moved to Denver, my husband kept his job in St. Louis and became a telecommuter. And due to the nature of my job, I often find myself working from home, at a desk right next to his. People are always asking how we can manage to work so closely together at home...

15 Cents Per Kilowatt Hour

I’m sitting across the counter from my husband while he expresses his frustration. Loudly. “When you add up the rate we pay, the usage charge and all of these fees, these people are charging us 15 cents per kilowatt hour.” He’s not happy. Neither am I. When we lived...

Get Off on the Right Foot

I’m kind of impatient and I like to jump into things as quickly as I can to, as Larry the Cable Guy would say, “Get ‘er done.” However, I believe that some of the most critical work on large-scale change initiatives is done before any of the actual “work” of the...

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