Thursday, February 26, 2009

Being Pennywise and Pound Foolish

It seems like everyday I start this blog with a discussion on the economy. In these fluid times we see companies announcing their loss of significant amounts of money on a daily. GM announced today that they would lose $9.4 Billion this quarter. The amount is staggering and is a sign of the decline of the American automobile industry that has been happening slowly for years. Let's not forget who Killed the Electric Car, sometimes its about vision and missed opportunity. However, other companies sit in fear that they must conserve all resources, and reduce any and all costs. This is where being pennywise and pound foolish comes alive.

Recently I heard of a project that had the opportunity increase profits for the organization by some $70 million per year. The way this is done is through price and cost optimization, and sounds like some very cool stuff, that I know very little about. The project has been delayed, primarily due to limited customer resources, but also to save money. To me this seems a little counter-intuitive. At times like these you need to invest time and resources to improve and optimize revenue and do anything you can to improve profits?

Conferences are similar. I know that individuals and organization struggle with idea of investing in education at a time of economic turmoil. I think it is more important than ever to invest. The cost of going to an event like Collaborate09 is very reasonable and can be justified as a valuable investment in staff and knowledge. This is a time that we need to keep our best resources and to ensure that they are completely prepared for all that will be coming. Employees today can expect that they will need to do more with fewer people. So the people that we have in our organizations today, it is them that we must invest in. We need to spend their education and knowledge. They must be aware of best practices and build a network to help. Today the network and the knowledge you have will help save your database. It is a time to invest. It is a time to share. We must learn from the past and conferences are both historic and visionary. Hope to see you in May at Collaborate.

So think about spend or not to spend. Now is the time to think of it as an investment not a cost.

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