Friday was the one-year anniversary of my promotion to Director of Product Management.  I am grateful to my current and former managers and executives for the opportunity I was handed on October 2, 2008.  The first year of life as an IBM executive has been challenging, inspiring, educational, and fun.

I would enjoy making today's posting a bit of a victory lap, but many of the key accomplishments of my first year in this role are only just starting to be visible externally.  More importantly, this is a job that is never done -- constantly moving from one challenge to the next, in and out of projects and issues, focus shifting internally or externally from moment to moment.  What I can say with certainty is that there have been many highlights in the last twelve months, not the least of which is managing an inspiring team of professionals who have moved mountains and changed the way we do business, all for the better.  My team, peers and superiors in the Lotus brand and IBM software executive team help inspire me every day, and we have seen incredible efforts from all of them in the last twelve months.  I even had my first opportunity to meet with Steve Mills the other day, and talk with him about the great new stuff we are doing in Notes/Domino 8.5.1.

I've learned how to work differently over the last year.  The concept of "executive attention span" is real, and much of the adjustment is the need to quickly zoom in and zoom out of situations, opportunities, and decisions.  I schedule concalls for 45 minutes max, and sometimes I don't get to hold them as scheduled.  Emergencies, real and imagined, crop up daily -- and half the fun of the job is offering the perspective that will help solve them.  I work harder than ever before, but I also have an awesome team that can take on challenges without them ever hitting my radar, or bring them to me when the fun has really started.  

If I were to pull out a few highlights from the first year: Launching Notes/Domino 8.5 at MacWorld Expo, Lotusphere 2009 for all the obvious reasons, building Domino support for the Apple iPhone, shipping Symphony 1.3, launching Alloy (IBM/SAP integration), bringing several partners into the Notes 8 fold, and readying Notes/Domino 8.5.1 for market.  Of course, there have been a zillion great customer interviews, conferences, speaking engagements, and more along the way.  I'm happy to be part of the IBM Academic Ambassadors program and have spoken at DePaul University, Bowling Green State University, and University of Illinois-Chicago over the last year.  And I'm especially proud to have been part of the working team around the new "Lotus Knows" campaign.

This anniversary is also an opportunity for a bit of refinement.  While it makes little difference to the external world, we made a few organizational shifts in the last couple of months within the product management team.  I've updated my bio to reflect my goals for year two.  First stop -- Tuesday's webcast to launch Notes/Domino 8.5.1.  This is more than a maintenance release -- and tomorrow, you'll find out why.

Post a Comment