Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Too Many Priorities

Earth Day.

Promotional Products Work Week.

Technology Summit.

Decide between competing prioritiesSo many topics, which one should I blog about today?  The smart money is on Earth Day.  It’s the day this blog publishes and my “editor” at Promo Marketing reminded me 10 days ago that I would be published on Earth Day.  So there Kyle, I mentioned Earth Day. Happy now?  For the 2 of you who just might think about recycling your old electronics, head to http://greenergadgets.org/.


Then there is the promotional products work week from PPAI which started 4/21.  I support this effort and believe we all need to generate awareness of the value of our industry.  But hey, this blog publishes late on Tuesday, how many of you will really take action in the next 72 hours?  For the 2 of you who will, go towww.promotionalproductsworkweek.com and do something about it.

And in 4 weeks, the first PPAI Technology Summit will be held in Atlantic City May 20 & 21.  This event is for industry technology people (not you marketing people!) to get together to discuss and solve industry problems.  But so few of my readers are really technology people so why spend too much time on this.  But if you have a technology problem and a technology leader, send them to http://www.ppai.org/Education/Pages/ppai-technology-summit.aspx to sign up for what will be a valuable conference.  

So, instead of focusing on a single topic, I just spread the blog over 3 topics. Never really targeting the right person nor getting enough information to help people take much action.  And here lies the real story. 

You give your technology team the same “focus”.  If you treat everything as equal, very little is accomplished.  You have to set your priority and back your team when they focus on the priority to the point of excluding other topics. When a fire burns, they have to change focus, but just because you read the latest blog from an Industry IT genius (is there more than 1? J) that tells you to switch to the agile development methodology (which you should) doesn't mean they should stop what you had them start 3 months ago.

Priorities change constantly in business and in IT.  You have to adapt, but you need to keep the top priorities at the top and keep talking about the priorities every week.  Yes, this isn’t really a technology issue at all, it is a leadership issue.  And so much of good IT boils down to good leadership from the top IT person and the top executive.

If you remember nothing else about this blog and you’ve read this far, remember this:  Recycle, be energy conscious, support promotional products work week, attend the PPAI Technology Summit, adopt agile development, and focus on only a few priorities...

Dale Denham, MAS+, is considered the industry's top technologist and is the chief information officer at Geiger . Read Dale's thoughts on technology, business, and the promotional products world ever other Tuesday. Follow Dale on Twitter @GeigerCIO.