“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” Leonardo da Vinci

April 15th is a significant date. It matters not if the letters I, R, or S are present in your email address, to do list or worry box. For April 15th marks the birthday of a true thought leader. A moment or two spent considering his accomplishments and contributions to our collective knowledge base may help us to become better thinkers ourselves. [caption id="attachment_12377" align="alignleft" width="300"]Close up of vintage movie film strips Close up of vintage movie film strips[/caption] Leonardo da Vinci would be something on the order of DLXIII years old on the 15th day of this year’s fourth month. To put things into perspective, there was of course no internet nor Google, no television nor radio, and the printing press was celebrating just its tenth birthday. The United Nations estimates the total earth’s population was 500 million then, or roughly that of present day North America. Leonardo had already drawn the iconic Vitruvian Man by the time America was even ‘discovered’. Yet his achievements dwarf those of any today in spite of the latest technological and scientific advancements. Today we are the direct beneficiaries of many of Leonardo’s thoughts, ideas and beliefs. He is credited with inspiring generations of painters, having himself brought a wryly smiling lady and fateful dinner get-together to the staggering heights of the planet’s most recognized works of art. And he was a master of mathematics, engineering, anatomy, geology, physics, cartography, botany, writing, sculpture and architecture. Today we over-use the term “Renaissance Man”, but he was it. He was the Renaissance Man. He knew how to think. His principles embodied curiosity, experience, self-awareness. The ability to embrace ambiguity and trust in one’s senses, engage the entirety of one’s brain in thinking, all the while displaying grace, fitness and poise all factored into his ideology. Most importantly, Leonardo could meld not just art and science, but he was keenly aware of the interconnectedness of all things as a means of ‘system thinking’. Each of us addresses the problems we must solve and the decisions we must make using our own tools and methodologies. We have likely honed these skills by learning from our mistakes, applying one theory or the next, or simply devising ways to look at the world through our own lenses. As we go about readying our organizations for the opportunities of today and uncertainties of tomorrow, let’s just for one day think about how Leonardo attended to the challenges that he faced. An analogy to the notion of business performance improvement from Leonardo: “The painter who is familiar with the nature of the sinews, muscles, and tendons, will know very well, in giving movement to a limb, how many and which sinews cause it; and which muscle, by swelling, causes the contraction of that sinew; and which sinews, expanded into the thinnest cartilage, surround and support the said muscle.” So it is true for us process innovators, business optimizers and general system consulting do-gooders. We must understand the interconnectedness of the sinews, muscles and tendons within our organizations to be able to understand the implications of their effects to other parts of our structural beings. The integration we strive to improve upon is always part of a bigger perspective. Think larger and deeper, and then take action. One last quote from the master to inspire: “Iron rusts from disuse; water loses its purity from stagnation...even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind.” Today let’s go forward and each draw a picture using our senses to see our challenges a bit clearer. Good luck. And happy tax day.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” Leonardo da Vinci

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April 15th is a significant date. It matters not if the letters I, R, or S are present in your email address, to do list or worry box. For April 15th marks the birthday of a true thought leader. A moment or two spent considering his accomplishments and contributions to our collective knowledge base may help us to become better thinkers ourselves.

Close up of vintage movie film strips

Close up of vintage movie film strips

Leonardo da Vinci would be something on the order of DLXIII years old on the 15th day of this year’s fourth month. To put things into perspective, there was of course no internet nor Google, no television nor radio, and the printing press was celebrating just its tenth birthday. The United Nations estimates the total earth’s population was 500 million then, or roughly that of present day North America. Leonardo had already drawn the iconic Vitruvian Man by the time America was even ‘discovered’. Yet his achievements dwarf those of any today in spite of the latest technological and scientific advancements.[Continue Reading]

Retirement takes planning AND implementing

I went to a retirement party last week.  I pictured we would be sitting outside on the deck where hors d’oeuvres would be served with the fanciful summer cocktail menu.  But alas, it was dull and dreary in the basement where co-workers had assembled to bid their adieu.  The recipient of the send-off had served the company unfailingly for over 30 years, but had indeed found a storied skillset had been replaced by a better connected, shinier, faster face.  The retirement had not really been planned, it was more like someone created a flash mob at the behest of the auditors.  Not the type of orderly and grateful departure one might expect at the end of such a long-term service engagement.[Continue Reading]

Soccer, Life & SAP Innovation.

Over half of the world’s population – that would be more than 3.5 Billion people – is expected to tune into the 2014 World Cup before it concludes in a few weeks. They will watch on TV, listen on radio, or check in via YouTube on shared screens or mobile devices in the far reaches of every continent. An incredible showing for a sport that barely registers in the world’s two most populous countries of India and China.[Continue Reading]

The Business Case for Data Archiving

CaseForDataArchiving

Is a picture really worth a thousand words? I just Googled ‘What is an Infographic?’ I immediately received a very long list of hits. One of the first ones—and my personal favorite—is the Infographic that explains what an Infographic is. Pretty cool.

And this brings me to the topic of Data Archiving. A stretch? Maybe not if you look at data as a ‘picture’ as does the Infographic referenced above. In ERP systems there are great volumes of data that need to be tamed so that it can be sorted, arranged and presented. But in ERP systems, the data is more complicated and how to manage it can get dicey depending on the stakeholders involved and their requirements. For corporate databases, growth must be kept in check or it becomes unmanageable. And, for those using the data, it must be available instantly whenever and wherever it is needed.

So it begs the question: Why not archive it? After all, archiving saves money on a variety of levels! Isn’t that what the boss wants? Ahh. You have to build a Business Case for Data Archiving? Enough said. Let’s go back to the picture concept. Check out the infographic below and let me know if this helps. Also, if you’d like to share this infographic on your own blog or webpage, please use the “embed code” below the graphic.

CaseForDataArchiving

Copy & Paste the Embed Code below to host this infographic on your own page or blog!

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 alt="The Case for Data Archiving Infographic" width="600"
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