importance of context

My kids and I are constantly quoting movies. Some movies have more relevance than others and some are more quotable as well. We have been doing this for years. Every Christmas we watch It’s A Wonderful Life and every February 2nd we watch Groundhogs Day. I realize that they are corny movies but they help build context. Two of our favorite movies are It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World and What’s Up Doc. These movies are movies that you can watch with the kids.

At work we joke about movies like Caddy Shack and The Godfather, neither of which are appropriate for kids. To me, the importance for these touchstones is a commonality. We try to build similar commonalities with cutomers. Some of them are contrived and some of them are really shared experiences. I’ve been talking to some of Oracle’s long time customers and they really like some of the events that we host. I’m not talking about the lunch and learn lectures or speaking events at hotels. I am talking about events like plays, volunteer events, or even golf tournaments. Years ago I got tickets to the Shell Open and sat on the 16th green with one of my friends/customers. We still talk about it. It was very interesting watching the players round the corner and see how each of them made their approach shots to the hole.

I guess that a common theme is starting to repeat itself, history. History is what makes us good at what we do. History is what makes us have a common ground to share more experiences. History is what lets people trust each other. If I was right the last ten times, there is a good chance that I will be right again. If I bent the truth the last two times and it cost you money, it will probably cost you money again.

My only hope is that I am building up enough history and karma so that I will be trustworthy. I know that part of the Boy Scout oath is a scout will be trustworthy. I guess this is what it means.