I just watched a video of former AOL/Time Warner CEO, Gerald Levin apologizing for the “Worst Deal of the Century” in reference to the 164 billion dollar merger bettween Time Warner and AOL. That statement, in itself, is remarkable from a CEO. The statement is stunning for numerous reasons, but if you watch the video Mr. Levin talks about his former company not having a mission. He refers to it as a “culture”. If you know what he’s talking about, it’s being part of an organization with a soul. Why is this important to Techno folks like us? The real question is what isn’t important about this to the IT departments of the world. If I were able to get back the hours upon hours I have spent speaking with a support engineer to get some piece of technology running, I could add an extra ten years to my life. My point is that, as technology folks, we spend a huge amount of time getting the individual pieces to work correctly. We spend almost no time getting the people who work with us and for us working together with an overall purpose. We spend too much time looking at the trees and forget about the forest. Here is a suggestion. Start with a simple mission. You could choose something like “let’s create the best phone call return policy in the entire company”. It sounds small, but it IS a mission and does create a bit of a “we’re all in this together” approach to working in a department. Ta Da! Culture. Culture is very elusive subject for most companies. It is elusive because most companies just take it for what it is. If you have ever entered an Apple retail store, you can almost feel the culture oozing from the store, the people and its products. This is not an accident. This culture has been deliberately created and fostered by Apple’s founder Steve Jobs. Computers and companies can be cool…really! For that matter, so can a department. One of my favorite types of customers to visit are the advertising firms. It’s remarkable how different they all are. Some are intellectually funny, and some are whoopee cushion funny. Each has their own personality, unique and complimentary to whom they are and the clients they serve. It all stems from a basic mission. Do you know what the mission of your company or departments is? Do something unique. Do something daring. You don’t really want to be known as just the guy or gal who fixes computers…do you? Wouldn’t it be cool to be known as the best department inside the company because you and your colleagues, along with being knowledgeable, are great to deal with? Dare I say it….fun?!? Try setting up a twitter account for everyone who you service. Send them out a weekly “hey, did you know if you….. you computer would work better or check out this cool web site?” Simple but effective! If you don't know how to do it, drop me a line, I would be happy to help you get this going. Carpe Diem! (Latin for “seize the day”) Make that difference! Change something! It’s a new year! Expand your horizons! Create a mission for 2010, even a simple one. Create the rabid following and appreciation for you and your co-workers that you deserve. Looking forward to a super Partner Summit 2010!!!!!!