What do Sarah Palin, Gen. Douglas MacArthur and I have in common? We all take a sanguine view of new directions.
The headline news of the July 4th weekend was Palin resigning from her position as Governor of Alaska to ‘effect positive change outside government’. Well, this past week, with less fanfare but not much less surprise among those that know and work with me, I also stepped down from my 15 year tenure at Microsoft with much of a similar rationale.
As those who follow my other blog ‘Dynamic Work’ know, a strong interest of mine is how organisations innovate with work practices and work places to improve efficiency, productivity, satisfaction and carbon footprint. Microsoft has trail blazed in this area with its New World of Work initiative that has centred on how technology supports these workplace innovations. My own role in the UK Server business complemented this initiative both directly with backroom infrastructure and indirectly in architectural parallels. In my new venture, I will focus more directly and exclusively on this area of ‘Dynamic Work.’
What does all this have to do with Gen. Douglas MacArthur? Well, Palin’s speech concluded with a reference to one of his famous quotes which is a fun turn of phrase embracing failure…
“We are not retreating…we are advancing in another direction.” (minute 6:37 of video above)
In my case, I am leaving Microsoft, but not abandoning its New World of Work vision that I have been promoting for some time now and plan to do so even more earnestly going forward. This is probably the only time you will ever find me aligning myself to Sarah Palin since I disagree with just about every political stance she has. However, on a personal level and germane to the subject here of embracing adversity, I do applaud her as a consistently powerful, heartfelt and eloquent advocate for the bright sides of parenting a disabled child. Even her speech yesterday included an upbeat line, “Sure wish folks could ever, ever understand that we ALL could learn so much from someone like Trig – I know he needs me, but I need him even more… what a child can offer to set priorities RIGHT – that time is precious… the world needs more "Trigs", not fewer.”