There's no paucity of resources in growing under challenging times. Growing, though runs the risk of getting into all sorts of complications.
On-purpose organizations should aim for simplicity, not just in operations but in strategy.
The moment the strategy gets lost in the minds of stakeholders in the organization, confusion and frustration set in.
I was working for a non-profit organization a few years ago where a grand vision was unveiled only to be reduced to a few doable 'strategic chunks' at the end of the honeymoon phase between the Board and the new managers. No resources and incentives were set in place to fuel the commitment to action. It became one of those 'false starts.'
High on good will, the leaders lost it by failing to bring down the vision into its elegant simplicity, which means showing the first key steps to making it real in the lives of customers and seeing progress through.
Simplicity is far from failure work and simplistic notions. By working on simplicity, organizations with scarce resources and under-pressure to provide value for less can support their mission with greater clarity and effectiveness.
People are not necessarily afraid of change. It’s the journey that gets to them, most of the time.
Show them that the future is that good that incentives for switching outweigh the perceived or imagined problems.
Everyday, people are moving on with their lives. They are getting married, having babies, building companies, hiring people, and trying to make a living.
If there's one consolation we can derive from another extended lockdown- we don't have to meet people, we don't want to meet.
We don't want to waste our time in meetings that go nowhere.
We don't have to fall in line in stores when we know we can buy online.
We don't have to drive or ride a plane to get to seminars, workshops, conferences.
But we want to, we will make a way for things to happen.
If you're not moving on, you are resisting the flow of action.
Contradictions rule our time. Everything is in flux, including yourself.
Go with flow and welcome uncertainty as a given.
There are 12 months, 365 days and 8,766.15 hours in a year.
How many days will you be spending in procrastination, regrets, and fear?
How many days will you be spending your time to meet long-range objectives?
How many days will you be spending in indecision and doubt?
How many days will you be spending to meet a short-term goal?
How many days will you be spending creating memories and building lasting legacies?
You can earn another dollar but you can't get back lost time.
We have 365 days and 8,766.15 hours in a year.
Now that the year is about to end, the perennial institutional reviews kick in.
Leaders are wont to take stock of the wins, misfires, and those things in-between.
With COVID-19, moderate gains are applauded for the reason that things have been tough on many fronts. Going through the year unscathed is an impossibility.
With tighter controls back again since March, the economy will continue to fluctuate based on the reading of the vaccine situation.
Are you prepared to face 2021 with a short-term bridging plan to tide you over until the situation stabilizes?
Are you using your pre-COVID19 strategies to get you by?
Are you being opportunistic and proactive about what's going on and using levers you can use at your disposal?
Are you secured in the belief that it will become better and acting on this hopefulness?
Are your team members aligned with you in your strategies and in the intention to keep looking at the opportunities in this crisis?
If yes, to all of these, 2021 could be a transitional phase for all its intents and purposes. A great year for emergence and renewal.
The old baggage is thrown away, new ideas are welcomed, and being persistently mindful of taking care of ourselves and each other.
What have you learned this year and made you realize that life is what you make of it, not what happens to you?
This applies to everything!
Yesterday, I presented a special lecture with Prairie College Business Management students on Fair Trade. As I have been updating myself about this topic, a few headlines grab my attention:
Kitkat withdrawing from Fair Trade
Fairtrade : Is it really fair?
Shocked but not surprised: Fairtrade responds to report of widespread child labor in West African cocoa industry
The system is not perfect but it is working for a lot of farmers, artisans, and producers in the South. The current labelling and certification process for fairtrade has become a million dollar industry. Ethical consumers are beginning to vote with their purchases and this trend will be going to continue in the next 10 years. The question for the actors is that how can we prevent consumer confusion with all these competing claims in the marketplace?
The fairtrade sector is growing at an accelerated rate from $ 1.5M in 2005 to $9.8B in 2018. Yet, fragmenting in many ways due to the crowding of claims within and outside of the ethical/fair markets.
There has been tremendous harmonization of fairtrade. All actors understand, agree, and commit to its principles and standards. In the future, actors must as well agree and commit to growing and evolving fairtrade without compromising its foundational principles but at the same time, honoring its commitments to the broader marketplace.
The heart of true fairtrade lies in the producers and farmers. If they're not benefitted from these initiatives, why would fairtrade exists?
Talent is so over-rated.
Leaders and managers continue to tout that they want to hire the best, brightest, and the most promising of all candidates.
The best seldom accomplishes more than what they think they can. They have limited versions of themselves that fit their current frame of 'success' and 'achievement' which could be limiting their chances of becoming better than they really are.
Whereas those that are average are always in the look-out to prove themselves and surprise themselves that they can do way better, with the right attitude and process.
Grit trumps genius, talent or high IQ (Duckworth: 2016). This is well-documented with the inner city students research that came back that persistence enables them to survive and thrive despite hardships or obstacles.
In these last three months, I persisted in the absence of positive news. It seemed that it's becoming a futile effort and I have to be preparing for the inevitable. The Plan B and C aren't better than the first option. It would mean more work and more expense on my part. I'm not even prepared to go that route.
Yesterday, a breakthrough came through. I'm happy I persisted. One colleague said, "Good for you, you have the time and talent."
On both those counts, I don't have enough. But I have grit and it's helping me reach my goals.
What are you trying to accomplish? Are you the near the end of your rope?
Hang in there, it's not the time to throw in the towel yet.
Persist and win.
Give up and lose.