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In today's world of {fill in the blank here} people do business with other people.

The heading sentence suitably filled out is a useful standby next time your manager asks you about why you have wandered into his office at 11 in the morning smelling of fried okra and stale garlic with a bemused look on your face. Hmm. On second thoughts, don’t – just stay out of her/his way and make yourself inconspicuous.

In the last few weeks I have been experiencing one illustration after another of social and technological forces moving against each other like tectonic plates of the market and CHS positioned conspicuously on fault-line. The first noteworthy event saw large number of engineers, managers and executives hob-nobbing together at the Hyatt Dearbon at IESF (about 400 attendees I think), and then two internal to Mentor Graphics events held virtually. Each in turn was chock-full instructive .


A keynote presentation at IESF Detroit March 2010

A keynote presentation at IESF Detroit March 2010

My last Blog entry was before the IESF conference in Detroit. That event lived up to my expectations. I finished that day informationally replete.  Two of the sessions in particular  inspired me in terms of ideas I want to develop in as short articles here. When I get time. Supply of time is short at the moment. I would  like to still have some of those lunch times at school when I was sixteen years old because there always seemed for one of those boring interludes to be about three months of nothing to do, and also those evenings when there was nothing to do when I was fourteen lasted about the same length of time. Can I trade some of those in now please? At the IESF conference I met up with many people who I have not seen much of this past year or so, and highly interesting it was too to catch up with them and what people were doing who I have not seen for a while – their current concerns and future plans.

I have been lately involved in a couple of important Mentor Graphics internal events. Last week was referesher and update technical training given by those nice people who engineer the software and put out new releases with interesting and useful new functionality. The week before was a virtual conference held by the World Trade Organization of the company. The theme of this event was  Focus/Plan/Deliver with many meditations on how Mentor’s customers businesses can be beneficially affected by ownership of goods and services with the Mentor brand. Last year the event slogan was Common Purpose/Uncommon Passion.

Which reminds me that on the weekend between the weeks when these  took place I accepted an invite from a friend to join him in running the Passion 5k. This is an event running around Walled Lake in the north western suburbs of Detroit and has an option of a 5 mile circumnavigation. My friend was running the 5 mile route. Of course he was. And the call to action here was “Passion 4 Life” – with a goal of helping out a charitable cause. When you run at the pace I do, there is a little time to mull over things, as the lake shore steadily moves by your side in the bright Spring morning, and the sun gets from weak to stronger. The IESF event in Dearborn, many people weathering the economic conditions and looking ahead to how their companies will prosper in the brighter times around the corner. The internal virtual events with people bonding as a team to reach collective goals, and the length of time I have known various co-workers now in the WTO,SDD, IESD, CSD and Mentor Corporate nooks and crannies.  Was there much lost to having the internal events virtual instead of face to face and would IESF with the customers have been as effective as a Webinar or series of Web meetings? These are big issues and my opinion is one of many, not as important as the feedback from the customers attending IESF.


Passion4Life 5 mile run

Passion4Life 5 mile run

Later, with about three quarters of a mile left I manage not to watch where my feet were being placed and take a little tumble/skid. Knee exhibited fresh blood – which I found quite amusing.  I could say something trite about going that extra mile, however I was simply not watching what I was doing.  Picked myself up and finished in a time I was fairly happy with. Room for improvement of course. Live, love, run, stumble, jump up and finish.

My attempt at filling in the blank: “In today’s world of ever more pervasive and impressive collaborative technologies interpersonal rather than impersonal communication is important because people do business with other people.”  I think it is too long a sentence.

What’s yours?


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About Paul Johnston

Paul JohnstonI help Mentor Graphics customers to be successful, accomplish a more rapid return on investment. My professonal focus is on the Capital product line. Customers need a good technical and commercial understanding when making software system purchasing and adopting decisions and in addressing issues through to best resolution. I am one of the team of experts Mentor employs to support the Capital worldwide. I was born just outside of Manchester England, am now resident in the metro Detroit area of Michigan USA. I have worked for Mentor Graphics for more than 15 years. Visit Paul Johnston's Blog

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