Dear Readers,

As my attention was riveted on the Olympics for two weeks in February, I reflected on the similarity between Olympic athletes and world class companies. Common characteristics that immediately come to mind are focus, execution and flexibility.

Medal-winning athletes have a singular ability to focus on the objective at hand. Their well-trained bodies allow them to do physical feats that we couch potatoes could only hope to do. Conditioning both the mind and body helps them be fast and flexible in making the split-second decisions that are often the difference between winning and losing.

Our issue this month touches on these same critical success factors as they apply to business.

R. Todd Stephens, a wonderful presenter if you ever get a chance to hear him, suggests in his feature story that the ability to focus on strategic objectives is a hallmark of many successful organizations, and he advises smart companies to replicate these winning strategies. Sid Adelman, longtime "Ask the Expert" moderator on DMReview.com and now a DM Review columnist writing on tools and technology selection, recommends that you learn your company's mission and make it your goal to support that vision.

If you can't perform on the day of the race, all the game-day preparation is for naught. George Veth, co-founder of Palladium and a new DM Review columnist, discusses the importance of strategy execution and will write monthly columns about the science behind effective strategy formation.

Just as a world class athlete has to excel to succeed, so too must an organization be agile in order to respond to changing market conditions and maintain a competitive lead. In our executive interview, Ralph Kimball, longtime data warehouse proponent, comments that data warehousing professionals have moved up to the top level by providing a BI platform that can respond to the need for real-time, integrated, tactical, operational and compliant information.

With the Olympics a recent memory, the timing is perfect for DM Review to again sponsor the World Class Solution Awards. If you think you have a technology solution within your enterprise that is exceeding your expectations, providing unanticipated benefits or delivering exceptional ROI, we want to know about it. Please contact Valerie Latzke, valerie.latzke@sourcemedia.com, for guidelines and submission forms. In August we'll announce the award-winning companies and their best practice solutions.

Enjoy the issue and please send any feedback to me at maryjo.nott@sourcemedia.com.

Mary Jo Nott
Editor in Chief

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