Think

David Byrd : Byrd's Eye View
David Byrd
Chief Marketing Officer for ANPI

Think

IBM is celebrating its 100th year as a business and for that I congratulate them. Consequently, IBM is getting a bit more press and we can gain insight into how they accomplished such a feat. Last Sunday on CBS Sunday Morning one of the feature stories covered IBM and its history. Most of us are aware of IBM’s start as a developer of mechanical machines for tabulating things and money. Some may remember the IBM 360 that moved IBM to the head of computing technology for years to come. However, I was surprised to learn that my laptop, a ThinkPad, owes its name to a simple pad of paper issued to IBM personnel and customers.

Sometime in the 1920s, Thomas J. Watson, Sr.  introduced "THINK!" as an IBM catchphrase. Eventually, the company took the word and placed it on the cover of a small note pad. In addition to blank sheets of paper, the THINK Pad, as it came to be known, listed the company’s goals:

  • Growth
  • Product Leadership
  • Efficiency
  • Profitability

I thought this an important story for two reasons. The first of which is we all need to consider what drives us as a company. What do we wish to achieve as entrepreneurs? Upon deciding that, how do we communicate it to our employees, business partners, customers and prospects? Like many companies, Broadvox has a mission statement but I would gather few of our employees know it. I like the idea of a short, memorable list to identify the goals of your company. Ours contains four key goals as objectives for the company that when reduced to phrases are as follows:

  • Premier service provider
  • IP communications product leadership
  • Excellent support
  • Positive work environment

These phrases represent the thoughts of our founders and leadership team. Not as brief as IBM’s but just as meaningful when it comes to developing and executing our business strategy. Regardless of the size of your business, it is important to develop a succinct statement or list that summarizes your raison d’etre.

The second thought was the idea that IBM tied a simple concept from its beginnings to one that demonstrated technological leadership seventy years later. Consider that the Lenovo ThinkPad X220 Tablet PC with 12.5" LED display, Intel Core i7 with Turbo Boost Technology, 2.7GHz, 4G DDR3, 320G HDD w/Docking Station is named after a pad of paper.

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