It has been over eight years since I moved from Boston back to Chicago, after two years working in the Lotus division offices in Westford and Cambridge, Massachusetts.  So there was some sense of déjà vu yesterda.  I drove out to Westford for the first time in many years, and sat in an office with the Notes product manager, Dwight Morse -- just down the hall from the one-time office of Notes product manager Ed Brill.  As the day progressed, I managed to meet with three of my new staff -- I promise you'll meet them all on the blog at some point -- and have about 10,000 ad-hoc conversations.  

The rhythm of the day was off for me -- I got a Sametime ping from Tim Kounadis, Director of Channels for Lotus, who then teased me about a minute later that "the old Ed Brill would have responded in 30 seconds".  The old Ed Brill didn't have the opportunity to sit in an office and be face to face with his team very often.  It will be interesting to see how that is different today, sitting in an operations review almost the entire day, or tomorrow, back in my home office.

The most frequent questions of the day were, essentially, tell me more about your new job, or, in more than a few cases, who is taking your old one.  I will write more about both in the coming days.  For now, let me say that on the new job front, there is simply limitless opportunity.  It was great to find through discussion how my new team and I are in sync on so many issues and opportunities, and I am sure there will be more of that today.

I can't thank all of you enough for the congratulatory comments here, e-mails, Twitter tweets, Sametime or IM pings, phone calls, Facebook comments, blog entries...wow.  As with any job change, there's a range of responses, from simple congratulatory notes, to three-page long "here's what I think you should do in your new job" opportunistic strikes (and I mean this in a positive way).  If I haven't acknowledged yours, I apologize -- I was up to midnight last night trying, after having dinner with Alan Lepofsky here in Cambridge.

I'll leave this morning with one other interesting observation.  Yesterday, I had contact with two of the most important ISVs and partners that my team works with.  It struck me how the styles remain different from company to company, and yet we're all successful in our own way.  Partner "A" has an explicit no-blogging policy for their employees, in fact they can't even make a comment on a blog using their company affiliation.  Both Partner "A" and Partner "B" choose not to pre-disclose new products.  And Partner "B" says that they can't even sign up to exhibit at a conference other than one of their own, or be listed as speaking at one.  For all the social networking and web 2.0 era openness that exists in the market, there are still many, many companies that choose to operate differently -- and are successful in doing so.  It's a good thing that we haven't abandoned the basics of how to work across multiple organizations just because there are new tools -- social networking won't replace e-mail any more than YouTube has replaced television.  Sometimes it's just going to take proven "working together" approaches to make things happen -- but we're going to do it.

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