In very cold Seattle it’s the morning of the day before my favorite holiday. The Saturn is packed for an early ski trip to Whistler; Gemma has retired from ski racing so we’re going to have a normal holiday for the first time in years. Friends are joining us tomorrow for the weekend and one way or another we’ll gobble together a Thanksgiving feast.
Though most of us are pretty far removed from the effort and activity of growing things, Thanksgiving still celebrates the blessings of the harvest. Joined by friends and family, and perhaps someone who has nowhere else to go, it’s a day without appointment, one where the clock moves at a different pace. Without a schedule to race around, there’s simply nothing to do but cook and prepare the meal, sit with people you like, and simple pleasures.
I love the fact that the world has forgotten about Thanksgiving, leaving it alone for the meaning we want to give it. As I watch the folks around me head off to see their moms and dads, it’s easy to fast forward and think about my daughters, coming home to wherever Susan and I are. Perhaps someday with children of their own. It makes me think I should be heading east to see my mom.
Apart from my family, there’s nothing as important to me as Cobalt. The enterprise has fed, clothed and roofed my family for 15 years, and I am enormously thankful for that. The company provides these same benefits for more than 1,000 people and their families and friends, and of course we help create commerce for thousands of dealerships and tens of thousands of their employees – a pretty big impact.
It’s been a twisty, turny year and we’re still going through lots of change and challenge as we adapt to life inside ADP, but the big picture view seems A-OK to me. I feel like we’re almost through the initial steep learning curve and vocabulary lessons, and I can see a path forward to assemble all the various digital marketing assets and initiatives we now own and provide even more value to our customers. As important, I see ways we can create considerable value for ADP that I didn’t necessarily understand when we agreed to the transaction.
As I think ahead, I have tremendous anticipation for what’s coming next. Moving to our new HQ will be exciting. The views are great and it’ll be good to be back in the downtown core. More than anything, I am going to like having so many of us under one roof. It will draw our community even tighter, making us even more defined and forceful. I love the fact that the folks on the phones talking to customers are just a few stairs away from the folks making the stuff their customers are using. Apply agile methodology to real-time customer feedback and it may be hard to go home at night to sleep.
More important is the opportunity we’re going to have to understand how, why, when and where advertising works, then multiply these findings times millions of shoppers on behalf of thousands of dealers.
When we announced the sale to ADP, I told Steve Anenen we would be the fastest-growing part of ADP Dealer Services. I absolutely believe this today, exactly 100 days later. We have some very good things going on, and that’s before we harness the true power of our combined assets and the breadth and width of ADP’s industry knowledge, scale and access. We’re going to do our bit and more.
I think we’re getting through to the other side where the water will be smooth and flat, like the leeward side of the 520 on a stormy day. Knowing it’s still pretty choppy, I will give my biggest Thanksgiving THANKS to the men and women of Cobalt, for their patience, their steadfastness, their optimism, their integrity, their thoughtfulness, their effort and their maturity. We have kept our eye on the prize in the midst of considerable change. That’s the right thing to do, but not everyone is willing to rise to that standard. We have and are, and that’s my Thanksgiving thought.
I hope the next few days are great days. When you smile, stretch your cheeks. When you exhale, lower your shoulders. If you’re walking, stop, pause and turn 360 degrees. Look up. Think a thought, and take it a step further. We have much to be thankful for, and it would dishonor our good fortune to not acknowledge the plenty we enjoy. If you can, find a way to share it, extend a hand and pull another forward. Goodness creates goodness.