First 50 Days
Day 2: Tech-ing OrderWritten by Matt Elwell, CPLP
For today's story, you have to know our tech guy, "Fitz." His visits are kind of like the beginning of the "Fun Bobby" episode on Friends, so it's always good to see him. But of course, this was his first visit with me in my new role. So, it was time to link up Quickbooks to my laptop, change my ACT status, give me the comedy launch codes -- you get the drill.
Now, as new as I am to social media (more on that later), I do EVERYTHING on my computer. I'm such a tech snob, I bring my own to work. Sony VAIO, 2.40GHZ duo processor, with 3GB of ram. (Why yes, I did play a lot of Dungeons and Dragons in high school! How did you guess that? Do you have Psionics?)
Anyway, after losing my computer to two hours of that, I decided to just spend the day diving deep on all things tech. So, I studied how our web metrics work, and then learned -- you guessed it -- how to post and edit blogs on our website!
Just so you know, the last time I was directly connected to our web traffic was about 5 years ago -- and the difference is like night and day now. We used to only see how many visits we had a day to our site. With Google Analytics, now we can tell who comes, where they go, how long they stay, and a ton more. (What does it mean when the people who are on your site the longest are from India? Should we open ComedySportz Mumbai?)
Now as valuable as this tech time was, it did make me question how clearly I had envisioned this day before it began. So, today I learned that if you don't walk into the office with a strong agenda, the office will find one for you. While I'm already discovering how much technology is going to help me do my job, it seems like good old-fashioned time management is the real "killer ap."
Day 1: Soiree DataWritten by Matt Elwell, CPLP
Is it a bad omen when your first day on the job looks like Stephen King's Storm of the Century? For some reason, when I envisioned what my first official day as "President and CEO" would look like, I didn't see a blizzard!
Omen or not, the weather was definitely a metaphor. I hope this blog will serve as a place to record what I am learning in this new position. And, the first thing I'm learning is how to navigate a blizzard of data: budget vs. accrual, accrual vs. cash, attendance, liquor sales, online impressions, and on, and on. Especially in our company, with a suite of corporate creative services running alongside our 149 seat theater and bar -- the data is everywhere. As I've spent the last month "ramping up" to this transition, I came up with this simple formula:
Impactful Information = Data * Context * Savvy
For me, it's pretty simple. Whenever I'm shown current data, I ask "now what do you usually compare it to?" Our business is seasonal, so when establishing context, we usually look at the same month in a previous year, rather than just the previous month. Although, as everyone knows, you can have all the context in the world and still shoot yourself in the foot. That's where "savvy" comes in.
Savvy means surrounding yourself with people who know and keeping your eyes and ears open. I usually accomplish this by continually dragging people to Mi Tierra, a Mexican restaurant in Lakeview, and plying them with good food and drink until I feel like I know what they know. (I like to call this "margarita-boarding.")
So, that's the lesson I take home with me on my first day,as I trudge past the well-mannered piles of freshly plowed snow. I can't wait to do the same with all this data!