Good to Great, Stockdale Paradox, Your Data- They’re All Connected

As part of our professional development program, the entire Skeleton Key (SK) and Brightsource IT (BIT) staff are reading Good to Great by Jim Collins. I have been ruminating on one particular concept that Collins discusses towards the beginning of the book – it’s called the Stockdale Paradox. Holding to the Stockdale Paradox means that you ‘retain faith that you will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties AND, at the same time, confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.’ In other words, you take a good hard look and understand the facts in evidence – you really know your data – while simultaneously believing that the outcome you desire is possible no matter how bleak the reality (i.e., that data) appears. SK/BIT is taking on this exercise to look inward and study how both of our companies can become GREAT-er. As I think about the Stockdale Paradox, my thoughts eventually wander outward, and I wonder how these principles can impact our clients. One thing that I see repeatedly in our clients is a desire to clearly understand their reality. In many cases they have years and years of collected data, but no reliable way to analyze it. In other situations there’s no data at all – there has simply been no collection mechanism in place, resulting in years of data which are in effect lost. Often clients come to me literally saying “I need a way to capture this data and then I’ll let it tell me about my reality.” In some way, each of these clients is grasping at the second part of the Stockdale Paradox: ‘confront the most brutal facts of your current reality.’ What’s my point?

  • The struggle to clearly see your own reality is not a struggle you need to undertake alone.
  • Seeing your data is good. Analyzing your data is better. Realizing the true meaning of your data would be great, but first you need the data.
  • Knowing your reality is still only half-the-battle. You’ve got to ‘retain faith that you will prevail in the end’.

Fortunately, there’s an option to start collecting that data now. We can help you get started. Contact us today. PROMOTIONAL GIFT OPPORTUNITY: The first 7 readers to submit a contact form to the right, will receive a physical copy of the book Good to Great by Jim Collins. Please include your mailing address in the message; so, we know where to mail the book. Please include: BLOG BOOK ENTRY in the ‘Subject’ field. These email addresses will not be shared with any third-party and will be used for the sole purpose of subscribing to our monthly newsletter, CHATTER. Once subscribed, you are free to opt out of the digital newsletter anytime. Jason Thomas manages Business Development at Skeleton Key and Brightsource IT. About Skeleton Key Skeleton Key is an accomplished team of technology consultants who solve business problems. We specialize in the rapid development of custom applications, integrating Macs and PCs in the professional workplace, and providing personalized training. Despite our end-to-end technical skills, we are consultant first and technologist second. We know that you don’t just need technology. You need to know that the technology you choose to deploy will provide the results you desire. Skeleton Key is a Platinum Level FileMaker Business Alliance company, an Authorized FileMaker Trainer, a member of the Apple Consultants Network and a Microsoft Registered Partner.

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Confidential! For Your Eyes Only…

Sometimes as FileMaker developers we have to give back to the kids. Let me give you an example: My daughter went through a phase where everything “spy” related was very cool. For her 9th birthday party, I dressed up as a CIA agent (suit, sunglasses, earbud com). So what more can a FileMaker developer, with kids interested in spies, do to support their interest…? Build them an app for sending coded messages of course! (I apologize now to teachers and parents everywhere. 😉 TopSecret is a fun little FileMaker Go file that encodes and decodes messages.

 

 

There are screens designed specifically for iPhone, iPad and the Desktop. Download the file. Mostly this is just a fun app, but there are a couple interesting things happening behind the scenes:

  • Layout design for portrait or landscape The iPhone and iPad screens support rotation and hide/show information based on the device’s orientation
  • Open with URL TopSecret passes messages via email and it uses FileMaker’s ability to open files from a URL to open the file and pass it some information about which code to use in the decoding process.

 

Providing instructions to a TopSecret app would just insult any spy worth his/her salt, but for the rest of us I thought an example might be needed. Take a look at this short video that demonstrates how to use TopSecret:

I hope you (or your kids) have fun with TopSecret!

Chad Adams is a FileMaker Certified Developer at Skeleton Key.

About Skeleton Key

Skeleton Key is an accomplished team of technology consultants who solve business problems. We specialize in the rapid development of custom applications, integrating Macs and PCs in the professional workplace, and providing personalized training. Despite our end-to-end technical skills, we are consultant first and technologist second. We know that you don’t just need technology. You need to know that the technology you choose to deploy will provide the results you desire. Skeleton Key is a Platinum Level FileMaker Business Alliance company, an Authorized FileMaker Trainer, a member of the Apple Consultants Network and a Microsoft Registered Partner.