Greetings.  On a recent stroll through the neighborhood one evening I happened to notice how clear and beautiful the sky was.  A glowing canvas of stars, planets, and other odds and ends just waiting to be appreciated.  And for some odd reason, I recalled studying astronomy in elementary school and the moment in fifth grade when we learned about the planet Uranus.  Which really is a planet, and a pretty large one at that–for those of you who remember the controversy surrounding the status of our buddy Pluto.  I also remembered how amusing all of us ten-year-olds (but especially the boys) thought its name was, given that it sounded exactly the same as a certain part of the human anatomy.  Was there, in fact, a remarkable connection between astronomy and anatomy?  Or, were we just being childish?  I even recall conspiring with several of my closest friends to create a science fiction movie about traveling to this distant icy and blue sphere.  A movie which we, of course, called "Journey to the Center of Uranus" thinking we were so funny.

Well fast forward to the age of 50 and, if you are lucky and preventative, you get to have a starring role in your own version of this movie by simply changing the last word slightly.  Because you are now old enough, according to guidelines published by the American Medical Association, to have a colonoscopy as I did a couple of weeks ago.  And if you've already had one or know someone who has, you know that the procedure itself is pretty unremarkable.  After all, you sleep right through it with the aid of a bit of anesthesia and when you wake up have no recollection of it even happening.  It's the preparation that gets all the attention as it involves the digestion of some fairly potent chemicals, creation of sounds you never imagined that a human body could make, and an evening spent in your favorite bathroom reading something that doesn't require a lot of concentration or completing your favorite sudoku and crossword puzzles.

But in the grand scheme of things the whole experience is a small price to pay for finding and preventing potentially life-threatening problems.  And even if the test doesn't find anything–which is typically the case–the value of having peace of mind is equally compelling.  Of course it would be nice to innovate and reinvent the prep experience.  Maybe we could then entice more people to sign up.  

Which got me thinking about the power of preparing our customers in order to get the best possible result from the products, services, and solutions we offer.  Only in our case, the value of making the prep as easy, fun, informative, and beneficial as possible.  And using it in more innovative ways to develop their ability to be even more successful in getting the results they need from doing business with us.  And then making sure the actual use of our offerings is interesting and exciting enough to keep them awake and wanting more.  That's not to say that many customers would like things to work so well that they never need to think about them.  That our offerings just happen perfectly–while customers are attending to other things or sleeping soundly knowing that we have them covered.  And knowing that we'll also work to prevent problems now and in the future.

All because of a simple diagnostic procedure and a journey to a place that sounds a lot like a planet.

We win in business when we protect those we have the privilege to serve.  From disease, or mistakes, or down time, or having a bad day, or anything else that might stop them from reaching their potential. And when we take the time to look up at the sky.