While performing the recent seven day challenge of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, there was time during the daily six – eight hours of walking to reflect on various subjects of life. On one of these days I was struck by the strong parallels between “Team SYSPRO” and “Team Kili” as we affectionately called it.
Why does someone climb a mountain? Why am I climbing Kilimanjaro? These are questions we have all asked ourselves and don’t really have an answer to. With 10 women doing this with me – it’s not about a personal challenge of “I must get to the top at all costs” it’s more a case of “I’m really looking forward to the fun I’m going to have with my friends over the next nine days, and hopefully we will all summit.”
Imagine walking into an Architect’s office; he asks you two questions:
- How big is your family?
- What type of family are you?
You answer and he says: “Yes, I specialize in your type of family and fully understand your requirements. In fact, I have the perfect house for you.”
Childhood and adolescence, for example, are both important and often frenetic phases in life, where any and every change dramatically impacts our development and invariably teaches us a lesson or two.
Later in life, as our experience of change grows, we either accept it, coming to terms with the truth that ‘change is the only constant’, or waste precious resources fighting to remain set in our ways.
I found it interesting to note how two recent and completely unrelated events, both emphasized the growing impact of mobile devices in the world of computer technology. The first was a product survey that SYSPRO conducted amongst its customers across the globe. It produced an extensive number of individual responses to a wide range of questions; offering ample evidence of SYSPRO’s ability to understand and address the needs of its customers. Our intention was to listen to what our customers regarded as the key needs to be addressed in Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solutions, to help equip them better for the future. We were also keen to get their honest comments on our existing products and services.
Isn’t it interesting how people give route directions differently, each believing to get the listener to his rightful destination in his own way? So often they start off with: “You know where XYZ café is? Well, from there take ….” Others may draw a crude sketch, showing the number of traffic lights you need to cross before turning left; but always adding “I think” before continuing. Still others take a map book, open it on the right page … and before providing directions, turn the book to face true north!
The travel savvy enquirer mostly stops listening and asks for the street address. He knows that his trusted GPS will get him to his destination in no time without counting traffic lights, memorizing upside down street maps or figuring out the assumptions (mostly wrong!) of confused co-travelers.
Imagine living in a world where we humans don’t age gradually: we do so in one leap every birthday. After being fed at your mother’s breast for a year, your first birthday brings a rapid doubling in size, the ability to move around on four (perhaps even two) legs, babbling a few words, wide open eyes that see everything clearly … all in a flash. The second birthday sees you suddenly walking and running unaided and making conversation. And so the process goes until a ripe old age. An ideal situation? I don’t think so.