San Dimas High School Rules and the 787

Who doesn’t remember that classic bit of cinema known as Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure? Before we blow it off as a complete bit of ’80s silliness, let’s talk about some of its key messages.  The easy one is that Bill and Ted realize they won’t be anything and fulfill their destinies until they get off their butts and put forth some real effort.  The mere want to have Eddie Van Halen play for Wyld Stallyns isn’t going to make it happen nor have any impact on who they’d become.  There’s another good one which is Be Excellent to Each Other.  Again, this is critical.  Companies are finding out that in today’s world, treating their customers like numbers and without dignity will earn them the boot.  What I’m going to discuss here is the football team.

It’s computers…

It’s scary but it’s all too often that we hear these words applied today with the terms “social”, “mobile”, and “The Web” thrown in.  We all to often either don’t understand the changes we see happening around us or don’t try.  Then we shout “San Dimas High School Football Rules”, give each other high fives, and walk offstage thinking that we’ve actually accomplished something.  Technology is the cure all and will help us through our troubles and business initiatives.

To a large extent, this has led to engineering fiascos such as the 787 which is late, over budget, and grounded.  The F-35 is another complex grounded project whose only real successful flight is in the face of logic and reality.  Successes like the Mars probes seem more rare as complexity overwhelms us.  It’s hard to believe that some engineers in a room of spare parts saved Apollo 13.  They didn’t even have an iPad!
Triumph vs. Proclaimed Mediocrity
Triumph vs. Proclaimed Mediocrity
Technology has brought us terrific success and transformed our lives.  It’s also a crutch at times where we rely on computing rather than people working together.  Poor planning or oversight and a lack of communication leads the same place regardless of how much science is applied.  Where we see the most success is when we factor in the human elements of what the definition of success really is and what it takes to get there.  Applying technology and human elements together to accelerate learning and collaboration while minimizing the mundane is where progress really thrives.

Success still takes effort to get from a garage band to changing the world.
And it certainly helps to be excellent to each other.

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