Today is the one-year anniversary of me and Lenovo. As John Lennon sang, “..and what have you done? Another year over and a new one just begun.”
I tend to take start-date anniversaries seriously. October 11, 1988 was my start-date at Forbes and every year my editor, Bill Baldwin, would sit me down with all the stories I had written in the previous 26 issues, and let me know where I stood and what I should work on.
At McKinsey start-dates weren’t important. The entire firm went into introspection mode twice a year in July and December.
Anyway, if I had to list the ten professional milestones of 2006 for me, in roughly chronological order:
- Assimilation: Lowell Bryan at McKinsey told me, “No one is fully effective for six months.” I don’t know when exactly I began to feel comfortable in my own skin, but the first few months were predictably confusing as I learned Lenovo’s acronyms and internal vocabulary.
- Metrics: I brought in Omniture SiteCatalyst to measure our online marketing.
- Blogs: I launched the first corporate blog. It would have been sooner, but I was out of action due to the Memorial Day Bicycle Incident.
- Proactive Support: I started an informal blog monitoring and service/fulfillment support program with Mark Hopkins.
- Interactive advertising: we shifted dramatically towards a “direct” model of advertising, using metrics to back up the expense to revenue ratios.
- Viral: some good viral was produced (not by me), but I think I can take credit for changing some attitudes about the role of viral.
- Quality of Life: recovering from the Bicycle Incident put the long-distance commute between Cape Cod and North Carolina to the test. I think I have achieved equilibrium.
- Big Idea: not to jinx it, but I think I am succeeding in selling the big one for 2007.
- IT: we’ve brought in some new thinking to the types of systems needed to support a world-class interactive marketing group. These should bear fruit this year.
- Influence: slowly but surely I’ve built my network and have a much better idea today about who does what, etc. than I did in January 2006.