A few years ago, I have written about the concept of blue ocean.
To fortify this idea, I have encountered recently that it is wise to move upstream when there are bigger sea creatures and not get clipped by a speeding boat and hit by ski boards when you are closer to shore. The former gives you the wide room to maneuver and avoid the predators while the latter constricts your basic movements.
Organizations concoct arbitrary rules, policies, and standards without due consideration to the actual costs and value that these inputs could do to obstruct relations with their customers, suppliers, and partners.
More rules created becomes barriers for taxpayers, businesses, and stakeholders to access services, programs and opportunities for partnerships.
Designed to safeguard an objective process, smaller organizations become their own enemies when they make these arbitrary rules to their detriment. There is a word for that 'bureaucracy.'
Bureaucratic organizations tend to treat themselves as insulated from growth and results orientation, with the pr0pensity to perpetuate themselves regardless of their impacts and relevance to society.
From non-profits, associations, community clubs, government organizations, and other types of community initiatives, and social enterprises, the first question to ask: how can we get rid of the problem so that we can get out of the way?
As professionals and workers in the marketplace, we put our best selves forward many times until we hit a breakthrough and get better at our craft. We continue to pound the pavement, get through the adversities, and refuse to be intimidated by we call the 'baptism of fire.' As the saying goes, if you are not failing, you are not trying enough.
Well said. But your next best hit is something that is totally unknown to you. Artists, professionals, experts would say time and time again, that they don't know why did their career moved to the direction unbeknownst to them. It as if, the fate, the universe, or the invisible Hand had guided the opening of certain doors and the closing of some.
We can always improvise but there is no way to predict the outcomes of certain projects, initiatives, plans, and situations. We can be persistent which is a good substitute for talent and innate abilities. To do that, would mean to be able to prepare in high season and in low, monotonous cycles where no one seems to care. It is that instance, that we gear up for the inevitable, the crashing of walls of resistance, the slow-motion towards the fulfillment of goals, and the gratitude when success is imminent.
My high school journalism teacher said, "the higher the objective, the sweeter the triumph." The more difficult the task, the sweeter the reward. He prodded us to meet the challenges of difficult writing assignments and roles, beating the deadline, working on our drafts, preparing to write professionally and with passion, and being able to face corrections for our good. I still remember that teacher. He was a turbo-charged nudge, always ready to look at our first initial drafts (which were always not good!) without condescension. Our first school publication bearing our names in the editorial box was the first for me, the real meaning of 'credit.' You give credit where credit is due.
You must assume that success is not final and that failure is never fatal. You have to be skeptical about overnight, landslide victories and be equally level-headed when things don't go right for you.
Frustrated, defeated, and feeling that there are no options left but to quit?
This post is not about that, but when does quitting becomes an opportunity to get on track or refine one's vision of life, work, career, or business.
Quitting or the process of quitting opens up the possibility to give chance to reinvention and self-affirmation;
Quitting or the process of quitting clarifies your own contributions, the strength that you brought to the table and the qualities and assets that you can take wherever you go;
Quitting will identify who the real friends are and who aren't: they will provide the insights of your contribution without you asking them for it;
Quitting releases the drive to make the most of what you had and gathers the strength to move on with things that you want to continue building and enhancing;
Quitting earlier than later means that you are taking control and that frees you up to do the things that you love and want to do;
Quitting can be a dramatic exit which you can leverage in an organization where the stakes are high and you can make a big difference out of leaving;
Quitting does not mean that you will not try again in the future. It is not definitive as long as your reasons are clear and that you don't burn the bridges to future interactions.
Before you quit, ask yourself, how can my quitting helped me become a better person, professional, and entrepreneur?
Quitting isn't always a bad move! It can be the most liberating to do when you know how to bring the best out of a seemingly bad situation.
This year, I have written in different ways how moving along the action continuum can propel you and the work that you do in your organizations to new levels of accomplishment.
While the rest of the world tells us how little we can actually control the circumstances that are looming and seemingly in perpetual crisis mode most of the time, we can take comfort in some of the ways we can take action in our own spheres of influence- family, neighborhood, company, network, community, province, global communities, and other groupings of great import.
These headlines illustrate only the fact that things are not going well for our society.
SNC-Lavalin chief finds guilty of corruption on all counts;
Sheer resigns as Conservative leader;
Greta Thurnberg is exhausted;
Canadians are complaining of rising food costs;
Yet there are many unreported, unnoticed, and under-published stories of greatness, courage, community, and spirit of solidarity and cooperation that can inspire us to become better persons and contributors to our society. We seem to forget them or they are buried in the 'human interest' section nobody can find to read. Media is wired to focus on the worsening, worst, and bad things happening all over us and that stirs paranoia, unfounded fears, and general anxiety.
There is a tendency to generalize what happened based on a few specifics, or not take specific action from the generalities. We can't say we didn't win because of this or that but we can't also devalue the factors external that lend our efforts to be unsuccessful. Some things are completely out of our hands. But there are sure ways you can do to bring better results next time.
From a standing position, taking action requires more effort than from a moving vantage.
Next year, consider moving forward based on the momentum you have under your feet, not stalling and not stopping when you need to speed up to the next finish line.
We live in an age where there is an oversupply of choices and options.
I remembered, I was two or three, when we only had 2 channels in our black and white television set which was given away by a generous relative. Those days when only a few people in the community can afford to own a set, the whole community will gather to watch whatever show it had on. It was fun, having all your neighbors in one room, all glued to the tube. Those were the days.
Now, we have hundreds of channels to choose from cable and over the video streaming, there are hundreds of shows to watch. There are also pay-per-view channels to choose from and of course, the extinct DVD/CD watching, which became a staple in 90s and early 2000s.
How is this oversupply of choices make for decision-making?
We become paralyzed, unable to make the right choice.
We have to conduct research to suit our 'unique' situation and preferences, and most of the time, postpone making a decision.
When the need to become more informed is a prerequisite, it has become too much of a burden to even do it.
Most of the time, we listen and rely on the most popular feedback or comment about the product or service from friends and people we trust.
This has not changed although, there are more creative and insidious ways than ever before to promote and spread buzz around. There is a store in our area that says 'closing sale' for few consecutive years now. They haven't closed ever.
This paralysis analysis over products and services will continue because we will have more choices for some things and less for some things in the future. That distinction is something that we need to grapple on.
At the microcosm of the decision-making, here are some ways to stamp out the paralysis analysis:
1. Know the 'musts' and be open to 'preferences.'
There are certain things you can't live without and there are certain things your spouse/children or relatives or friends would prefer more than you do. You can live with the latter.
2. Know the real need it is trying to resolve.
The seller will sell you all kinds of features but is it actually resolving the need, replacing the old, and giving you a new framework to live with?
3. Investigate but keep an open mind.
There are tons of fake news and comments about products and services. 1/2 of the people will say it is good and half will say don't even go there. But it is up to you to you know what you don't know and try it before you can make an honest judgement.
How are you dealing with too many choices and considerations? Share your thoughts here.
The Fraser Canyon is beautiful and treacherous at the same time. It is not for new drivers as it is one of the oldest roads in B.C. Traversing this road takes skill, planning, and masterful execution to get through unscathed. It also takes familiarity with these roads to be able to set contingency measures along the way.
There are sharp turns, zigzags, and steep hills, and difficult narrow passes. It is important to stay awake, alert, and anticipatory of the next difficult move.
Taking sharp turns in management parlance has a different meaning. It means getting out of your normal situation (whatever that normal is) and taking risks to reinvent yourself, your organization, and your initiatives to take it to the next level, leaving behind anything that doesn't help you get there.
What are the signs saying that you need to take the next sharp turn? Traffic signs help you navigate difficult roads and alerting motorists of the potential dangers on the road. There are also signs that alert you that you are 'stuck' without you knowing:
1. People in the organization are defensive, conservative, and fearful of needful change;
2. People in the organization refuse to heed to environmental changes and trends that affect the business;
3. People are comfortable with the level of growth and do not want to 'rock' the boat that much;
4. Progress takes time and the next growth is such an uphill climb compared to when you are starting;
5. Deals run out, market shrinks, customers/clients stop buying for some reason;
6. The management is protective of earlier successes and cannot imagine a different future;
Some of these signs represent the truism that past success does not determine future performance.
Relaxing and cruising along is fine on a nice day in a nice road.
Do not do that when you are building your business or organization.