September 16, 2011

When Life Trumps Business

I think we all sometimes wish that life could be a bit more like business, with clear and measurable objectives, decisions based on research and rationality, teams devoting hours to problem solving, and the ability to sometimes leave it on your desk on Friday afternoon – have a weekend – then pick it up again on Monday.

This week I am reminded that business is just a shared idea, and that life and death will trump business every time. This week we memorialized and remembered that awful day, 10 years ago, when thousands of people who showed up for work on a Tuesday morning were senselessly destroyed. Whole businesses ceased to exist. Fathers, mothers, children, friends, all were caught up in a tragedy that was, through no fault of their own, imposed on them. In those horrifying events, and for days, weeks, sometimes months after, thoughts of business and contracts and corporate objectives and departmental strategies became meaningless.

Also this week, a client of ours took his own life. I don’t know why, I may never know why, but I know that his demise eclipses all our mutual business plans and needs for awhile.

So, instead of blogging about outsourcing and software engineering services today I want to remind myself, my employees, my clients, my associates, anyone who is reading this, that in the end, the asset we are managing is people, the inventory that matters is people, the word “business” describes a human-relationship-centered activity.

If you have kids, hug them tonight.  If you have a partner, tell your partner what he or she means to you.  Call your parents, have a drink with your friends. Celebrate life. There will be time to get back to business later.