The funny thing about start up boot camp is that it's just a boot camp.
It simulates real-life struggles, pains, and turmoil but can barely do so without either running out of steam or funding.
Start ups who are cocooned in this type of environment believe that it will always be easy, there are answers to almost everything, and that with the right technique you can have it all in quick time.
In business and in life, there are many uncontrollable factors and under time pressure, funding pressure, and impact pressure, few entrepreneurs make it without the emotional, psychological, and physical trauma and strains of keeping with the program.
The biggest take-away that a boot camp can do is to let entrepreneurs learn on their own without the grants, supports, networks, and prized monies. What will that look like?
Strip away all the prestige and glamour attributed to entrepreneurialism, it's really about marshalling whatever you have, rather than aiming and getting to their best position.
Bird in hand....
The best organizations are constantly unlearning not just learning constantly.
There a big difference between those who are always challenging themselves versus those who are already feeling that they have reached and arrived.
A few comments I have heard through the years where external help is rejected on the basis of:
If it's not invented here, it wont work.
We are pretty good at what we do.
We have another consultant that we 're still working on.
We don't need another external person to know our problems.
The current Board or Executive will not support this intervention.
Our Request for Proposal is our vehicle for getting help.
Our priorities right now are very different from the last Executive Director.
We don't have a budget for this kind of exercise.
All these are excuses and should not be seriously considered.
The best organizations do recognize that 'if there's a will, there's a way.' Unlearning should happen before actual learning happens. Bringing a resource is a matter of strategy and an asset that can be deployed when needed, not when the organization is in a critical condition.
Past success is never a predictor for future success.
Perseverance, called Percy, the car-sized rover landed on Mars last February 18, 2021 collecting samples of rocks.
What great timing in terms of being proud as humans even in the gloomiest situation we found ourselves in!
We all need more perseverance these days with the most restrictive lockdowns ever to come down in Alberta.
What areas in your life, whether personal or professional would use more Percy?
What areas in your team environment would use more Percy?
Are you fed up with dealing with nasty, angry, very difficult public and customers?
Hang in there! Churchill said, "If you're going through hell, keep going."
Adversity produces Character, Character produces Patience, Patience Hope.
Are you a bricoleur or a planner?
Do you look at your fridge and make do with what you have or do you list down what you don't have and have a trip to the grocery?
Do you look at what's already working in your organization and build from your bench strength or you're always looking for some best practice out there and apply it across the board?
Do you have a tendency to conform to the standards of 'doing things right' or your organization create your own good practice consciously?
In resource-scarce and start-from-scratch organizations, bricolage is not just pragmatic but it helps managers and leaders get on with their agenda. They shun the demand to be 'follow the dream' with more inputs, but understand that their paths can lead them to second-best options.
In a perfect environment, the best planners win. In a non-perfect world, the bricoleurs and improvisers get things done and accumulate rapid success with less. Talent, creativity, and improvisation are great combinations in times of crisis and ambiguities.
Know yourself and the connections, networks, knowledge, and resources that you have at your disposal.
Dig in deep and marvel at what you can achieve, now.
In strategy, the conventional wisdom is to start from your current state/situation/position.
This is faulty and utterly difficult. Our status quo thinking and action propels us to look at what's in our current view. We rarely, in matters of management, look beyond, proactively because as Drucker said, we are constantly bogged down by "the tyranny of the mundane."
The leaders' and managers' job is not to solve problems but to look for opportunities. The future while fraught with uncertainty and high level of contradictions also provide a giant opportunity for innovation and applied creativity. Where to look is a good starting question.
We always look at the leading brands and organizations that are killing it even in the worst of times. But, their trajectories and strengths are different. They also have 'failure money' to experiment without risking their mortgages and future pension.
You have to start with your good practice. You have to start with backward thinking and then create the strategies linking the present situation to your desired states. Some call it the zero moment, when the future states are achieved in the present. Before you even reach this stage, you would be already on to your next-level challenge for your organization.
How much of your time these days is devoted to focusing on future prospects and opportunities, and how much time minding the daily business of keeping the lights on?
In the last 6 months, I learned that there's no way that the epidemic or the conservative responses to the epidemic could help any forward-looking organizations get back on its track or even pursue innovation, if it's just looking at what everyone's doing.
There's no need to wait for someone or something to happen to greenlight what you want to accomplish in the next 6 months.
Either, this pandemic will pass like other flus in a natural way with the vaccine as a first-rate preventative tool or not. It's a given.
If you have the resolve to change the road you're walking on, change.
If you want to continue but adjust, adjust well.
Act on them now and let the chips fall off.
Better yet, build your own roads, streets, or traffic lights.
Don't look behind your shoulder because there's no one there, except your shadow.
The most important of all: Take care of yourself and be kind to others.