Why We Do What We Do. (Part 3 of 5 Part Series on JDE 5G Postponed)
By Kem Butller-Oracle on Aug 18, 2014
By Lyle Ekdahl - Oracle JD Edwards Sr. VP General Manager
In the closing of part two of this 5 part blog series, I stated that in the next installment I would explore the expected results of the digital overdrive era and the impact it will have on our economy. While I have full intentions of writing on that topic, I am inspired today to write about something that is top of mind. It’s top of mind because it has come up several times recently conversations with my Oracle’s JD Edwards team members, with customers and our partners, plus I feel passionately about why I do what I do….
It is not what we do but why we do that thing that we do
Do you know what you do? For the most part, I bet you could tell me what you do even if your work has changed over the years.
My real question is, “Do you get excited about what you do, and are you fulfilled? Does your work deliver a sense of purpose, a cause to work for, and something to believe in?”
Alright, I guess that was not a single question. So let me just ask, “Why?” Why are you here, right now? Why do you get up in the morning? Why do you go to work? Of course, I can’t answer those questions for you but I can share with you my POV.
For starters, there are several things that drive me. As many of you know by now, I have a somewhat competitive nature but it is not solely the thrill of winning that actually fuels me. Now don’t get me wrong, I do like winning occasionally. However winning is only a potential result of competing and is clearly not guaranteed. So why compete? Why compete in business, and particularly why in this Enterprise Software business?
Here’s why! I am fascinated by creative and building processes. It is about making or producing things, causing something to come into existence. With the right skill, imagination and determination, whether it’s art or invention; the result can deliver value and inspire. In both avocation and vocation I always gravitate towards the create/build processes.
I believe one of the skills necessary for the create/build process is not just the aptitude but also, and especially, the desire and attitude that drives one to gain a deeper understanding. The more I learn about our customers, the more I seek to understand what makes the successful and what difficult issues cause them to struggle. I like to look for the complex, non-commodity process problems where streamlined design and modern technology can provide an easy and simple solution. It is especially gratifying to see our customers use our software to increase their own ability to deliver value to the market. What an incredible network effect! I know many of you share this customer obsession as well as the create/build addiction focused on simple and elegant design. This is what I believe is at the root of our common culture.
Are JD Edwards customers on a whole different than other ERP solutions’ customers? I would argue that for the most part, yes, they are. They selected our software, and our software is different. Why? Because I believe that the create/build process will generally result in solutions that reflect who built it and their culture. And a culture of people focused on why they create/build will attract different customers than one that is based on what is built or how the solution is delivered. In the past I have referred to this idea as character of the customer, and it transcends industry, size and run rate.
Now some would argue that JD Edwards has some customers who are characters. But that is for a different post. As I have told you before, the JD Edwards culture is unique, and its resulting economy is valuable and deserving of our best efforts.