Each January EMC brings together several hundred executives from around the globe for a strategy session in Boston. It has been one of my favorite meetings to attend over the last several years. We just concluded this year's session. While much of the content is not for public disclosure, my feelings and general impressions certainly are fair game. Allow me to share . . .
- Succeeding to Plan is Planning to Succeed - (This is a corollary to one of my favorite sayings about failure.) It was is so reassuring to hear about the plans for our company and to know that, 1) There are plans, 2) The plans were carefully considered, and 3) We have an opportunity to ratify and/or tweak the plans. Our plans exist at a detailed product level, including plugging gaps in our portfolio in quick and decisive ways, and the plans exist at a macro company level, including the pending transaction with Dell. We also have some super-stretch goals (aka BHAG's).
- Professional Development - It is nice to take time to hear from 3rd party experts on topics like leadership, diversity and innovation. This year we were fortunate to hear (again) from Marcus Buckingham and Frans Johansson. They were educational and motivational. I don't take a lot of professional development courses during the year, so the investment is much appreciated. Equal in professional development value is time spent networking amongst my peers, many of whom I only see once a year.
- Serious Business, Serious Optimism - There was plenty of joking and humor during the sessions, but at the end of they day everyone was extremely serious about the task at hand. Not only are we on the cusp of Quantum Leaps for our company, but we're seriously positioned to take Quantum Leaps for the industry as a whole. The amount of talent, energy, optimism and focus in the room really should strike fear in the hearts of our competitors.
- Awareness of Individuals & Teams - While there was plenty of talk about products, customers and competitors, I felt a sense of strong sense recognition for individuals and teams. It helped that I was selected from among my peers to receive an award for the Utah Leadership Team related to our Great Place to Work initiatives. But it went beyond that too, as I experienced and witnessed people interacting in personal and meaningful ways. I walked away feeling valued as an individual person as well as an important part of the several teams in which I play a role. I also made several new friends.
In summary, I am honored and truly excited to be a part of the EMC Federation at this point in time. I am grateful for the amazing people that are on the journey with me. I am humbled to be a leader helping to plan and execute on the great vision that we share . . . to enable the Digital Enterprise through business and IT transformations via Trusted Hybrid Cloud, Modern Application Development, Big Data and Cyber Security solutions.