The executive board of SDL just concluded its quarterly meeting at headquarters in Maidenhead. We welcomed our new CMO Grant Johnson who will be asked to be a ‘change agent’ in terms of driving company brand awareness with clear, compelling messaging. Currently, SDL is known more by its individual products (Trados, Tridion, SM2, etc) than by the overall company brand. Given the fast evolving nature of gobal CXM and the demand for faster, easier and more measurable solutions, we need to get the market to understand the breath and depth of the SDL CXM platform beyond our best of breed point solutions.
Grant already has a full plate and I look forward to his immediate impact.
These face-to-face meetings are great touch points for the divisional heads to share ideas on forward strategy and to make sure that we are all aligned in the overall company vision. The meetings are less about spreadsheets and more about how to collectively position ourselves to be successful in our fast-growing marketplace. There is seriousness about the business and the work ahead, but also optimism about what can be done on a long term basis for improving global customer experience.
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The recent bombings at the Boston Marathon has affected people around the world in different ways. At SDL, we have two offices in the Boston area (Waltham and Wakefield) and many other persons with Boston ties. One of them is Warren Sukernek, VP of Social Business. He is a Boston native who moved to Seattle 7 years ago but still has very strong ties to his hometown. In fact, he often vacations every summer on Cape Cod, visiting friends and family in the Boston area. Like most of us, Warren was moved by the event at the Marathon on Patriot’s Day. He had several friends running in the race and at one time lived around the corner from the finish line.
To show his concern for the region, Warren created a heartfelt presentation on Slideshare that incorporated public images distributed on social networks around the world in the days following the Boston Marathon bombings. In my opinion, the presentation has captured the sentiment of the city and resonated with viewers globally. In the past 3 days, more than 30,000 people have viewed the presentation. As a result, the presentation was honored with a ‘Slideshare of the Day’ award yesterday. Warren said, “As a Boston native, I was moved by the events over the week and the images published on friend’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Curating this presentation was a labor of love and made me feel particularly connected with my city.”
The events this week in Boston impacted all of us around the country. The SDL family is a tight community and we really came together during this dramatic week. We will never forget and always remain #BostonStrong. Warren’s presentation expressed how we all felt and we are proud that his passion for his home and community was recognized by Slideshare.
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I flew about 150K miles last year. For most people this may seem like a lot of time in the air. Yet, I’m fairly certain most of the other executives at SDL logged even more miles. Such is the life of an executive of a global company. For the most part, I would not want it any other way. In fact, I started Lift9 specifically so that I could travel internationally as part of my job.
Given all my travels, I discovered some helpful tips for long flights to help overcome some of the wear and tear on the body and spirit. In this blog post, I explain that fasting can be helpful in overcoming jetlag when traveling across many time zones. The basic premise is that our human brain have a second “feeding clock” that can over ride our “master clock” when food is scarce. In theory, then, avoiding food for long periods of time (usually 12-16 hours) can reset our “feeding clock” while our biological clock can only adjust a little each day. By not eating on long flights, therefore, you should be able to adjust to new time zones (resetting the feeding clock) more quickly.
Another very helpful aid to long-distance air travel is noise canceling headphones. I’m surprised by how many people on long flights do not have these. These headphones should be essential for all frequent fliers. An airplane in flight makes a tremendous amount of noise. After some time, we get used to it and don’t realize the stress the noise is causing on us. Furthering the problem passengers try to listen to music or watch videos over the airplane noise at high volumes. All that takes a huge toll on our bodies.
I recently splurged and bought a Bose QuietComfort 3. It has been worth every penny. Using these I can survive long flights without nearly the fatigue as before. Other less expensive noise cancelling headphones work well too. The key is to have one. Whenever I briefly take my headphones off in flight, I’m shocked at how loud the airplane actually is.
Save yourself some wear on your body traveling the globe and invest in a noise cancelling headset. You’ll be glad that you did.
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged Airports, John Song, SDL on November 4, 2012 |
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Just returned from a set of very productive work meetings in Vietnam. We held our SDL Social Intelligence Leadership Strategy meeting in our Ho Chi Minh office to lock down our product roadmap for 2013. I’ll blog another time why I occasionally hold these meetings in Vietnam.
In this post, I just want to reflect on how airports can be one of the saddest or the happiest places around.
On my way out, I saw a couple outside sitting on a bench in front of the airport in a full embrace. She buried her head into his shoulders while she visibly sobbed. Any movement by him resulted in her clinging tighter to him. She was Vietnamese, petite and young. I could sense a bit of desperation as she wouldn’t let him go. He was twice her size but looked just as vulnerable at the moment trying to console her. I’m sure he was trying to reassure her about his eventual return.
He had a well-weather face that was red. He had a receding hairline but long hair in the back that touched his shoulders. His hair was completely white. He was publicly emotional and sad, which softened his otherwise coarse appearance. She kept melting tighter and tighter into him. Airports can be a place of miserable good-byes..
Behind them was a big crowd of people waiting for their loved ones or friends to step out of the airport and into their arms. Every time the doors slid open, there was a grasp of anticipation. One middle-aged woman was greeted by screams of her name and an eventual mobbing. These tears were the happy sort.
I walked past, envying all the raw emotions around. The music in my ears made for a music video of life that would be hard to replicate on camera.
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