Nick's Notes

Focus

There is only one real thing to write about this week – the CIO Connect Annual conference, which takes place on Wednesday 1 October.

That means I can’t write in any detail about the four occasions recently where I have trusted someone to an extent none of us do normally and how each of those people have repaid that confidence fully. You each know who you are, and thank you.

It means I can’t talk in detail about a new and upcoming idea, not yet here but emerging, of software-defined data centres. I had a great conversation with a CIO and an expert in this area a few days ago, and learned a great deal.

Much as I think it would be interesting, neither can I tell you the story of our CIO Connect app, which is now available in the Apple App Store.

And I can’t use many words to talk through the exciting planning going on at CIO Connect for our 2015 programme, although I shall undoubtedly return to that subject in one of these blogs soon.

I’ve long wanted to write a blog about displacement activity – the things we do to avoid getting on with what is important. Before starting today, I mowed the lawn, listened to the radio and completed The Times crossword – it is a Sunday as I write, lest you think I live a life of leisure.

And I should be writing about the Conference, rather than all these other things. Displacement activities are so easy. Focus is hard work, even when you enjoy doing the key activities you know you need to pay attention to.

I love writing. This blog, the CIO Connect Points Of View and my opening Conference speech all require me to clarify my thoughts and commit them to, well, a screen as it happens, as few of them ever show up on paper. I welcome the focus that writing brings, but sometimes it is hard to start.

So, to the Conference – our theme is “Innovation isn’t anything new”. It has two meanings: we have always needed to innovate; and we have to focus our innovation, as it isn’t just anything new.

I’ve been thinking and writing a lot on this subject. I’d love to share it with you so I do hope to see you at the Conference.

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