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Charles Araujo
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Welcome to CalCoastFood. My name is Alex, and I am a serious "foodie", but a very young one. I am thirteen years old. I know I may seem very young to be calling myself a "foodie" and starting a food blog, but I have some of the best taste for... Continue reading
Posted Oct 31, 2011 at CalCoastFood
I would like to announce that I have launched a new website called The Quantum Age of IT (www.thequantumageofit.com) and that I will be moving my main blog to that site. This site represents my vision of the future of IT and what it means to every IT leader and professional in our industry. The concept centers around four central themes: IT as we know it is dead. The fundamental IT business model has shifted to the customer being in control Because of this, every IT organization will need to make a choice and become either a Strategic Sourcer or... Continue reading
Posted Aug 16, 2011 at Transforming IT
I have a new episode of my Soap Box Series entitled, "Service Management is NOT a Toy." It is my little tribute to all the Kool Aid drinkers out there who get so focused on Service Management and ITIL that they forget what it is really all about. I hope you enjoy. Listen to Service Management is NOT a Toy Continue reading
Posted Jul 18, 2011 at Transforming IT
In IT, we get paid for the "how." From the beginning, it has always been that there is some problem that needs to be solved - and IT was HOW it could be solved. This has led to innumerate advances in technologies and processes over the years and it is a big reason that technology and IT has been the primary driver of productivity for the last twenty years or so. In some cases, however, this focus on the "how" can work against us. As we enter this new era for IT - what I am calling the Quantum Age... Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2011 at Transforming IT
So, I've done a major and much-needed rebuild to www.charlesaraujo.com. As part of this update, I've introduced a brand new audio series called The Soap Box Series. This series is just what it sounds like - me jumping on my "soap box" to let loose a little. I hope you enjoy them. The first three in the series have been released. They are: What Problems Are We Trying to Fix Do You Know Your Services Do You Know How to Trust Check them out. I hope that you enjoy them. And don't forget to let me know what you think... Continue reading
Posted Jun 28, 2011 at Transforming IT
How much time do you spend every day trying to make trouble? I bet the answer is not much. But that's the wrong answer. In today's corporate world - really in today's politically correct world - we all spend a lot of time and energy worrying about how not to upset or offend people. While we should all maintain a level of decorum and should seek positive (and not destructive) discourse, if you focus too much on trying to keep people happy it is a sure path to ensuring that nothing ever changes. One of the most difficult parts of... Continue reading
Posted Jun 16, 2011 at Transforming IT
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I have written before about my attitude on becoming a "yes man" - meaning that I try to say yes to everything that I can. I believe that this attitude has made a huge difference in my life, but when you become a "yes man" you run the risk that you reach a breaking point when everything falls apart. It's a risk worth taking, but it can leave a very bad taste in your mouth. So here's what you should do when everything comes to a breaking point and starts to fall apart: Give Yourself Permission to Take a Break... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2011 at Transforming IT
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I have a secret. I love to daydream. Daydreaming has a bad name. It implies aimless and useless wandering of the mind. It conjures images of a wistful soul more interested in dreaming about things rather than doing them. But I think that daydreaming has got a bad rap. Used properly, daydreaming can be a very powerful tool as you endeavor to transform both your IT organization and your career. First, let's think about what it means to daydream. Daydreaming is really just imagining a potential future for yourself. Daydreams can range from the fanciful to the almost practical, but... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2011 at Transforming IT
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Call me an old, sentimental fool, but It's a Wonderful Life may be my favorite movie of all time. It is a classic story that has a timeless message for each of us. In the movie, there's a pivotal scene in which Clarence the angel utters the line that brings the entire movie to a point: "Strange, isn't it? Each man's life touches so many other lives. When he isn't around he leaves an awful hole, doesn't he?" Each Christmas when I watch this movie it serves as a reminder to me that I need to be focused on people... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2011 at Transforming IT
It is always a bit gratifying to find others talking about some of the things we do and explaining why they work. In this article from FastCompany, founder of design firm IDEO and Stanford Professor, David Kelley discusses his view on creating "curious employees." It is a great primer on how to build engagement amongst a team and the benefits realized from this approach. If you have worked with us, you will see a lot of what we do in this article. Hope you enjoy it. Click here to read David Kelley on Designing Curious Employees. Continue reading
Posted Apr 21, 2011 at Transforming IT
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In the battle to transform your organization you have one great enemy and one great weapon - and they are one and the same: yourself. So much of the time, we are our own worst enemy. We make things more complicated than they need to be and we let ourselves get in the way of our own success. The reason is that it is easy to forget why we are doing what we do and we end up putting too much focus on the wrong things. As I have written about before, I spend an hour an a half each... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2011 at Transforming IT
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I have a new post that I will publish tomorrow. I was going to publish it today, but as I went to do that I noticed something - I hadn't posted in a month! I was, frankly, just plain shocked. I knew that I had been delinquent, but I figured it had been a week - maybe a little longer. But a month? No way. That is the danger of putting something off. It is the risk you take when you say, "This can wait. I'll handle it tomorrow." Sometimes it becomes a lot of tomorrows. There is always a... Continue reading
Posted Apr 18, 2011 at Transforming IT
The word transformation is beginning to fall victim to the hype of buzz word fads. That is unfortunate because true transformation is really about reinvention, but do you understand why and how this works? If you are writing a story, there is a classic three stage structure: Introduce a likeable hero and create a connection between them and the audience Create conflict by describing obstacles that most be overcome - the more insurmountable the better Show that the hero has overcome these obstacles and emerged transformed It is a powerful construct that allows us to associate ourselves with the hero,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2011 at Transforming IT
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Every consultant says the same thing - you need to start by finding some quick wins. It is overused and can come across as trite, but that does not make it any less true. But do you know why? This weekend, we met some friends down at the beach for a little bike riding and fun. That meant that I was going to need to pull out the bike rack. And I was dreading it. The bike rack was stuck up on this high set of shelves and it wasn't easy to get to. Nor was it easy to attach... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2011 at Transforming IT
I was thinking tonight about what to write and I had this fleeting thought that I had said everything I had to say. That's not true, of course. But when you focus on one theme it's easy to feel like you have said all there is to say. The same thing happens during an IT transformation initiative. You spend so much time on the same topics and themes that eventually you'll reach the point where you will feel that you have said everything there is to say. When that happens, you need to say it all again. We sometimes forget... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2011 at Transforming IT
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The other night, my wife, son and I had the privilege of going to see Seth Godin speak. He challenged us on a bunch of levels, but one of them was to focus on building critical thinking skills with our children. His suggestion was simple - spend time talking to them about things that matter. It's a theme that you hear often when you hear the personal stories of highly successful people. Indra Nooyi, the CEO of PepsiCo, tells the story of how her parents would pose questions around the dinner table about how to solve problems with world affairs.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2011 at Transforming IT
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One of my favorite lines is from a book Jack Welch, the legendary CEO of GE, wrote in which he told the story of his transition to the new CEO, Jeff Immelt. He said that he simply told him to "Blow it up." That simple phrase has a tremendous amount of power in it. It says that nothing is sacred. It says that what worked in the past, may not be what's needed to succeed in the future. It says that their true legacy was not in the things they had built, but in the people they had grown. It... Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2011 at Transforming IT
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This weekend, I finally got my email under control. After a few crazy weeks, things finally started to settle down. But the craziness left "chaos" in its path. I had hundreds and hundreds of unattended emails - and it was driving me crazy. So for most of last week, I was diligently working through my email systems replying, filing and deleting. I just hated having all of those emails piled up. Same went for my RSS reader - so many posts that hadn't been reviewed. Finally this weekend, I had caught up. Monday morning, I had the feeling that things... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2011 at Transforming IT
Your IT organization does a great job, but does anyone notice? Could it be that you're not giving them the chance to notice? As I've written about before, over the last year or so I've lost a fair amount of weight - 55 pounds and counting. If you've ever lost a good chunk of weight, you know that one of the challenges is clothing. Don't get me wrong, it's a great problem to have, but I've dropped 4-5 pant sizes and it can get tough replacing your wardrobe that quickly. As a consequence, I held on to a lot my... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2011 at Transforming IT
First off, let me apologize for going dark. A little over a week ago, my aunt died suddenly and it threw me for a bit of a loop. She was quite young and we are a very close knit family. Despite this, I don't think that I really anticipated it hitting me like it did. Over the last week or so, I have spent a lot of time with my family catching up and sharing stories about my aunt. I was also asked to give the eulogy and to put together a picture slideshow of her life. Doing these things... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2011 at Transforming IT
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Are you investing your resources building an "A" Strategy or an "A" Team? The other night, I attended a business function where the speaker was the former head of a $1B Private Equity portfolio. He was speaking on the current investment market and what investors were looking for when they invest today. While he covered a range of topics, one thing really stuck with me. He said that in a down economy, the key was the quality of the people. His point was that if investors felt that the management team was solid, they would invest even if they felt... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2011 at Transforming IT
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Last week, I had to go to the store to buy some new socks. My socks had seen much better days and there was a big sale going on, so it was a perfect combination. An opportunity, really. What I didn't expect is how hard it turned out to be. I know my socks. I wear them almost every day. It shouldn't have been hard to pick out some socks. But it was. I knew what I wanted, but when faced with rack upon rack of socks, I was overwhelmed. While I walked in thinking that I knew exactly what... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2011 at Transforming IT
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This is part 4 of a 4 part series entitled, The Three Undeniable Trends that Will Shape the Future of IT. IT organizations have an addiction problem. We are addicted to "big." Almost since the beginning, IT leaders have sought the big leap in technology that was going to change everything - touch every corner of the enterprise. It is this addiction that leads to $100MM and $500MM and $1B ERP projects. It is why we love big, giant data center projects. It doesn't matter if we are developing them or migrating them or consolidating them - just as long... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2011 at Transforming IT
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IT organizations have been looking at their infrastructures all wrong. For years, organizations have been focusing all of their energies on pretty much one thing: efficiency. The idea is to create the most automated and efficient infrastructure as possible. There are mountains of technologies to support this model. Even virtualization is primarily looked at from an efficiency perspective - buy fewer servers and optimize them through the use of virtual machines. Efficiency is good. It helps meet one side of the value equation by continually optimizing costs. But it is only half of the puzzle. The other half of the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2011 at Transforming IT
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This is part 2 of a 4 part series entitled, The Three Undeniable Trends that Will Shape the Future of IT. Click here to read part 1. The wild, wild west is a bygone era best left for old movies. Those carefree days of the cowboy cultures in which IT was able to operate in relative obscurity are gone. Today's IT organizations are large and complex. They employ hundreds, thousands and sometimes tens of thousands of employees with a vast range of skills, cultural influences and experiences. They operate across vastly diverse geographies and typically support multiple customers each with... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2011 at Transforming IT