Silicon Valley State of Mind, a blog by John Weathington, "The Science of Success"
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    Welcome to a Silicon Valley State of Mind, thoughts tips and advice based on the consulting work of John Weathington, "Silicon Valley's Top Information Strategist."

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Silicon Valley State of Mind

Tips, thoughts, and advice based on the consulting work of John Weathington, "Silicon Valley's Top Information Strategist."

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Common Sensors

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The right information is probably available, but are you sensing it? If not, this information is doing you no good. How in touch are you with your common sensors?

I just walked into my chiropractor’s office five minutes late. This is unusual for me, I'm usually very punctual. Unfortunately, I fell victim to my own informal control plan. No, I don’t track statistics on how long it takes to drive to my chiropractor; however, after going for several years I have an internal sense for the central tendency and variance of the drive time (a little Six Sigma lingo for you this morning). For good measure, I always leave 30 minutes prior to my appointment, which I did today.

As soon as I hit the freeway, I was in gridlock traffic. I thought there may be an accident; however, I didn’t see anything. It took a total of 35 minutes to make it to my appointment today; fortunately, my chiropractor wasn’t too upset.

What’s important to note, is the information for my travel time was available, I just wasn’t tuned in. Whenever you get directions on Google Maps today, not only does it tell you distance, but it also tells you driving time based on the current traffic. If I had a sensor to this information tied into my workflow engine, I would have known to leave a little bit earlier today.

Fortunately for me, this particular bridge isn’t critical to my daily operation or my strategic objectives; however, do you know what information you need to collect, and how timely it needs to be?

These are what I call common sensors. Sensors are the devices used to collect information. What makes them common is the fact that they should be baked into your organization. Don’t let the word common take away from their criticality. In fact common sensors are the most critical sensors you have. They drive your strategy and they drive your operations.

Know and instantiate your common sensors. It’s one thing to be late to the chiropractor—it’s another thing to be late to the market.

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John Weathington is President and CEO of Excellent Management Systems, Inc., a management consultancy that helps people and organizations achieve strategic results. His Fortune 500 clients include Hewlett Packard, PayPal, Sun Microsystems, Hitachi Data Systems, Cisco and Visa where he managed and mobilized their enterprise data strategy, a comprehensive program of 150 projects, over 45 initiatives, and 5 major tracks. John can be found on many social media sites including LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+.

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Guest Tuesday, 19 June 2018