Thank you to everyone who has supported me by reading this blog lately. As I wrote last month, we’ve been having a contest to encourage our bloggers to post more frequently – with the prize being a $200 donation from Kronos to the charity of our choice.
Today was the day of reckoning, and I’m pleased to announce that your visits earned the Alzheimer’s Association a $200 donation from Kronos and another $1000 from me as I committed to do if I won.
And if you’re feeling generous, you can add to my donation here.
I wrote last month about my Dad who has Alzheimers. The picture of him here is on his wedding day to my mother, July 4, 1953. That’s right, they married on independence day, a fact they always joked about. Dad was in the army, the Korean War was on, and leaves were brief. They got married at home, my mother in a dress she got at Filene’s Basement for $5.
Although my dad (and his dad, his brother, my brother, and all my uncles) served our country in the military, that’s not what this Memorial Day post is about. Rather, it’s about the central role that memory plays in defining who we are, how we feel, and how we experience the world. As Alzheimers and other forms of dementia progress, the affected person lives increasingly in the moment. We’ve all heard that being in the moment is a good thing – to fully concentrate on what we’re saying, reading, eating, or doing is to bring our full selves to the task and thereby do a better job or derive more enjoyment from our lives.
The problem with dementia, though, is that the disappearance of memory means there is increasingly less context for that enjoyment. The picture above shows my Dad on what was no doubt one of the happiest days of his life. He loved my mother with a passion for 61 years until she died on November 24, 2010. Eighteen months later, he has only a vague recollection that he used to be married. I hope that during this day of remembering those who served, you’ll join me in remembering those who can no longer remember.
I’ve had the pleasure of meeting with a few hundred Kronos customers over the past week in New York City, Milwaukee, and Columbus (Ohio). Annually, we host about 25 free one-day conferences around the US to provide our customers with an opportunity to learn, network, and give us their feedback. This is in addition to our annual customer conference – a three-day extravaganza that many customers have a hard time acquiring budget to attend. As a Kronite (yes, that’s what we call ourselves) who spends much of my time trying to figure out how to educate customers about what we have to offer, it’s a great opportunity to have conversations with people whose day jobs depend on us delivering a great experience.
The central conundrum of marketing is that too much communication turns people off, yet despite the tsunami of information we send to our customers, many are still unaware of our ability to help them in meaningful ways. We email, tweet, Facebook, YouTube, and enable our sales and service folks to tell our stories. And still those stories don’t reach everybody who’d like to hear them. At these conferences, though, we welcome a diverse set of customers who are hungry to learn what they don’t know and take it back to their organizations.
I’m part of a great team who do excellent work helping to tell the Kronos story through all the one-to-many channels mentioned above. But there will never be a substitute to experiencing those “aha” moments in person.