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    Entries in Development (3)

    Friday
    Nov302012

    Hunny, You're Risk Mitigating Again...

    Not a phrase I've ever heard from my wife...not likely that I have will.  The concept however, I hear all the time.

    In my professional life, it's what I do.  Internally with our team, externally with clients as they grow their business, asking the question: If you do this, what's the worst thing that could happen? Or better yet: If you do NOTHING, what's the worst thing that could happen?  At the core of Risk Mitigation is the promotion of strong decision-making.

    Risk Mitigation is boring.  Most people never think about it, because it's much more glamorous to run hard and chase dreams than lean on the emergency brake.

    Sometimes it's the language that you use that is important; "We're doomed if we do this!" Are you doomed...or are you just afraid?  Other times it's just the demographic you are in.  Entrepreneurs are known for being profoundly unbalanced in their both high-tolerance for risk, and intolerant for those that refuse to risk anything.

    There is however a healthy balance in the world of risk mitigation that can be summed up in a simple statement: Know the risks.

    The risk adverse person hates risky situations and/or environments that they steer clear of them altogether...often then by default steering clear of opportunity.

    The overtly risky person runs to risk...because where there is risk, there is opportunity!

    The balance is in the middle.  Define the risk, make a judgement call on the risk vs reward and move ahead.

    Sounds simple doesn't it!

    Unfortunately, when you're "gut" says jump, but all logic and those on your team say "don't"...what then?

    There are many stories of individuals that beat the odds, and jumped when everyone was staying put...and became a huge success.  Unfortunately, for every 1 of those stories, there are hundreds (if not thousands) of stories where the individual or company "jumped" and landed in bankruptcy or financial hardship.

    Making good decisions starts with surrounding yourself with great people, but the battle is often won or lost on the scale of knowing the risks!

    Happy Jumping!

     

    Monday
    May142012

    Why Execution Trumps Innovation

    It's a real trendy word these days: Innovation.  It definately sounds cool.  Much better than other hot words right now like "Uber" or "Holistic."  The trouble with innovation (and creativity in general) is that it often STOPS at the development stage. 

    "Here's a great idea..."

    It's difficult to execute.  Delivering on the final product requires stuff that creative hate...logistics, costing, etc.  Unfortuantely, the execution of an innovative idea or concept IS what in fact makes it innovative.  I develop theoretically how flying skateboards would revolutionize children's play patterns...but if I can't make it, sell it and ship it...my idea is irrelevant.

    This is all very basic, and most people understand it..however, what many miss is the importance of WELL executed ideas and products.

    The ability to execute poorly is not difficult, but the discipline to deliver quality execution to an innovative idea drives success.

    Last week I played golf at GreyStone Golf Club and encountered (for the first time) the 9th Tee Call Box.  We pre-ordered sandwiches to be ready as we turned the corner onto Hole 10.  Sounds like an innovative idea, and obviously, with it right there (see picture) innovation has gone to market.  Unfortuantely, due to garbbled voices and a broken talk button...it didn't really work.  Very disappointing, as upon discovering the innovation, my expectations raised and I became excited to order my food.

    This is a classic example of failed execution.  The real question is this: Would GreyStone had been better to NOT innovate by foregoing placing a CallBox that wasn't 100% working...OR have one that was not functioning correctly.  When we went into the ClubHouse afterwards, it was explained that the CallBox had some glitches and they weren't sure what was wrong.

    Execution trumps innovation because if innovation is not paired with excellent execution...the innovation would be better off dead.

    Tuesday
    Mar132012

    Leadership

    Being a leader is lonely work.  Sacrifice & hard work...the only people that understand it are the people that are in it.  The question often arises "How do I become a better leader" and it's really simple.  At the heart of every successful leader must be a commitment 3 key principles.

    1) Development - At the core of every successful leader that I have ever met, this principle has always been at the center of their success.  A continued commitment to learning is critical.  The quote "If your not growing you're dying" is very applicable to any leader.  Read good books, Cast big visions, Listen to other great people.  In addition to developing yourself, it is critical that you are developing others.  Great leaders multiply.  Whether it's Collins, Godin, or any of the other Leadership-Gurus...there is consensus...Leadership is by definition NOT self-seeking, but rather looks to promote the objectives of the team, and multiply personal strengths in those around.

    2) Excellence - Mediocrity just doesn't do.  One of the disciplines that I have picked up for myself is to pick up a piece of garbage when I see it.  Small thing...yes...but by competing this mundane task, I put into my practice that even that little scrap of paper on the ground stands in the way of reception looking EXCELLENT.  By practicing excellence daily and in the small things, it makes the big things simply a continuation of routine

    3) Perseverance - Life can be hard.  This comes down to Gladwell's Outliers principle of 10,000 hours.  To become an authority or expert in anything, it takes first 10,000 hours of hard work and/or study.  Press on, work hard, do the tough stuff...because 99% of people won't...so when you do...you will be an expert.