Hope Is Not a Method

Last Tuesday, our Chairman opened our Annual Meeting with a speech that, among other things, talked about the challenges ahead of our organization. Knowledge Transfer is one of those challenges. Then, he talked about the tools we are using to meet these challenges; Enterprise Content Management (ECM) is in that list. Those of you familiar with this blog know about my experience with our ECM effort. Those of you familiar with ECM know how important management support is to an ECM project, so you understand how happy I was to hear ECM being mentioned in the Chairman’s speech.

After the business meeting, Admiral James Ellis, CEO of the Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO), delivered an amazing keynote address. His presentation had been uploaded to our Internet-facing SharePoint site earlier and I noticed that the title began with “Hope is Not a Method” then trailed off after a few letters. I found the partial message intriguing and I asked him for permission to use it. He said he didn’t mind, because it wasn’t his message. Ironically, listening to his speech, I think it was part of his message. As Admiral Ellis described INPO, its history, operational characteristics, mission and its vision, it became clear that INPO’s success was not a series of random events. Their success is the result of skill, analysis, careful planning and systematic effort according to that plan – no hope involved. His was a speech that reinforces the notion that if you have the knowledge, are prepared to work and, if you work, you will succeed.
I love hearing stories like that. Success stories are the single best tool we have to muster support for SharePoint and ECM. I’ve written here before about how I publicize our success stories within our organization – nothing sells SharePoint like the successful use of SharePoint. Everything else we say is marketing hype; we might be slightly more credible than Microsoft, but it’s still “picture yourself doing this” and “wouldn’t you like to solve this problem?” – with all the credibility of EPA estimated gas mileage. If that’s your approach to marketing SharePoint or ECM within your organization, you are currently hoping for success.
I’m not sure who typed the message that accompanied Admiral Ellis’ presentation. I’m not even sure that the title string was the complete message. One thing I do know for sure, I like that message – hope is not a method of any process, if the goal is success.

Picture note: Our Annual Meeting was in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. it was nice to be able to take a picture that didn’t include snow and ice so I just had to use it here.