Greetings.  Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area my favorite radio station had an unusual and amazingly "accurate" approach to the weather.  At the same time every hour a roving reporter would stop someone on the street and ask them to tell listeners what the weather was like.  "Hi, I'm here in the middle of Union Square with Susan," the reporter would say.  "Can you tell us what the weather is like?"  "Sure," Susan would reply.  "It's a bit overcast and you'll probably need a sweater or a light jacket."  Making the weather both real and timely for anyone listening.

There was no sophisticated equipment.  Or detailed computer models.  No long-term projections based on a careful analysis of the complicated weather patterns forming continents away.  Just a regular person expressing their honest opinion about the weather based on first-hand knowledge of their immediate situation. Sure the weather could change in an hour or two because a storm was forming out in the Pacific Ocean.  But for now it was simply "a little bit overcast" or "cloudy and breezy" or "a perfect day to sit out in the sun" or "about to rain really hard" or "pleasant but not quite as warm as I expected it to be."  Real time weather provided by real people living in the moment.

It turns out that we need both approaches when trying to guide our companies and organizations.  We need the insight that comes from using the latest technology, looking at patterns, and plotting the data.  But we also need the feet on the street or, more precisely, eyes on the sky.  Folks who are paying close attention to what our customers and the marketplace are saying right now faced with today's challenges and opportunities.  We need a sense of the big picture as we frame our approach to innovation, creating operational efficiencies, and creating the most compelling customer experiences.  But we also need to have our hands and hearts on the pulse of those we choose to serve.  Always knowing that colleagues, customers, partners, and other shareholders are real people who plan for the future while they live and act in the present.

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We win in business and in life when we think about the world in real time as we imagine a future filled with remarkable possibilities.  And that means never losing track of what really matters here and now.

Cheers and have a sunny and comfortable week ahead filled great success and a gentle breeze!