Wednesday, June 30

5 Secrets of Entrepreneurial Success 

From Fred Smith, founder of Federal Express:

1. The first secret is to have a compelling business idea, one that is differentiated and sustainable.
2. The second secret is to be a zealot.
3. Third on my list of secrets is to have a conservative business plan.
4. Secret number four is to work effectively with others.
5. The last secret of truly successful entrepreneurship is to change and grow as your business grows.

Fred Smith Speech to Entrepreneurs: The Five Secrets of Entrepreneurial Success

From David Newman, founder of UNCONSULTING:

I would suggest that these 5 secrets apply no more or less to entrepreneurs than they do to people working inside organizations. In fact, they may even apply MORE so!

Do you have the 'X' gene? 

"We often talk about ourselves as if we have permanent genetic flaws that can never be altered."
-- Marshall Goldsmith

This snippet from America's preeminent executive coach (and founding director of the Alliance for Strategic Leadership) speaks volumes about where most people are today, and where they COULD BE.

My wife was on the phone yesterday (we share an office) with her business partner in their video production business. She asked him, "So, Rob - do YOU have the sales gene?" Turns out that neither one of them believed they had "the sales gene."

Guess how robust their sales are?


And the term "gene" - as in the creativity gene, the leadership gene, the money-making gene, the happiness gene - is as FLEETING in reality as it sounds BIOLOGICALLY PERMANENT when we talk about it!

Thomas Watson, Jr. of IBM weighed in on this issue when talking about excellence (or the 'excellence gene' as we could call it in this context):

"If you want to achieve excellence, you can get there today. As of this second, quit doing less-than-excellent work."

Try this version on for size: If you want to achieve X (sales, creativity, leadership, whatever), as of this second, start believing that you DO have that gene -- and ACT on that fact.

Remember, you were not brought here to fail.

Tuesday, June 29

Ideas are flowing much faster now 

'Ideas are flowing much faster now than they ever used to.'
-- Pradeep Sindhu, Founder, Juniper Networks

This snippet from a FAST COMPANY interview in December 2001 got me thinking that a good measure of corporate innovation is very simple to measure. I call it IDEA FLOW.

Here's how to measure it - right now!

Answer these 8 questions:

1. How many ideas have come across your desk in the last 30 days from anywhere in your organization?
2. How quickly did you respond to them with either:
a. feedback
b. discussion
c. implementation
3. How many ideas did you personally contribute anywhere else in the organization?
4. How many got one of the three responses in question 2 above?
5. Where do most of the ideas that are ACTED UPON come from in your organization?
6. What formal or informal structures are in place to harvest, encourage, and reward business ideas - even crazy or offbeat ones?
7. Are managers rewarded for not only the ideas they come up with, but others' ideas that they credit, promote and implement?
8. What is the path of the typical IDEA FLOW in your organization? Are there many stops along the way or is there a streamlined process (who remembers the public TV cartoon on "How a Bill Becomes a Law?" - connect that to "How Do Ideas Become Profit?")

Wednesday, June 16

Innovation is ALIVE: the real value of IT 

From IT senior consultant Jim Carty (www.isvaluecorp.com):

Innovation is Alive! Report from the Drexel University Baiada Center
2004 Entrepreneur Conference

Listening to the entrepreneurs pitch their ideas and compete for capital, it was clear what the next frontier of Information Technology will be: Innovation.

They weren't inventing a new technology or making scientific breakthroughs - but rather were applying already existing technology in new and innovative ways to a wide array of functions - both business and personal.

With all the advances in IT, along with the stretching of Moore's Law (Gordon Moore, the Co-founder of Intel predicted the computing power of microprocessors would double every 18 months - and it has for the last 30 years - until now. It's now taking scientists almost 30 months to double the power of a chip - egads!) The greatest value multiplier is human creativity. Now that technology has reached its current stage of maturity, a whole new wave of advances in the APPLICATION of IT will be arriving soon.
Remember, folks, my definition of CREATIVITY = thinking up new stuff.
INNOVATION = doing new stuff (with what you've got if possible!)

Neuroeconomics 101 

Neuroeconomics is the study of how the brain makes economic decisions. Colin Camerer, George Lowenstein, and Drazen Prelec, three smart guys from Caltech, Carnegie-Mellon University and MIT, respectively, wrote the first major paper on neuroeconomics in February, 2003. You can read the entire paper in .pdf format by clicking here.

The short story: we humans are programmed to first make emotional decisions, then 'thinking' ones.

I've been saying this to my corporate sales and marketing clients for years, so it's nice to finally have academic proof!

Tuesday, June 15

Vote 2004 - and LisaBeth's cool pins 

If you're voting Republican, DON'T click this link!
Fundraising Pins

Monday, June 14

Innovation Top 2004 Priority for 90% of Companies 

The "Innovation to Cash" study published recently by The Boston Consulting
Group found that of the 236 executives (from 30 different countries)
surveyed, 20% said innovation is THE top priority going into 2004; 69% said
is was part of their top three list; and 90% put innovation in their top

Leading executives say innovation is a top priority for 2004, but they
aren't happy with their firms' abilities to harness or deliver it

Perhaps more important, 64% of the companies surveyed plan to spend more in
2004 on initiatives that increase innovation within their organizations, the
study found.

For a free copy of BCG report "Raising the Return on Innovation:
Innovation-to-Cash Survey 2003" send me an email david@unconsulting.com
with "BCG innovation" in the subject line. I'll send it out to your inbox

Tuesday, June 8

Seth's Blog: On thinking big... 

Seth Godin hits another on the head - take a look:
Seth's Blog: On thinking big...

In my UNCONSULTING seminars, we spend about 10 minutes talking about what I call "canvas size." And my point is that most people's canvas is too small. Sometimes WAY too small.

To indulge the analogy for a minute, these folks can paint just as well as other artists... they just limit themselves to those small little 3x3 canvasses you can get at the art store.

Now, let's say you have big-canvas talents. For example, let's say you're a Chuck Close or a Jackson Pollock.

You could certainly paint on a little 3x3 canvas, but you wouldn't have the space or capacity to express YOUR message in YOUR way. You'd be constricted, small, and tight. You certainly would not be considered a master of modern art. You're working on the wrong canvas size - it's too small for you. Or worse, you'll make a mess on the rug and the table as your paint spills over the edges.

"Nearly all rich and powerful people are not notably talented, educated, charming, or good-looking. They become rich and powerful by wanting to be rich and powerful."
-- Paul Arden

How’s that for a goal? Imagine this:

“Billy, what do you want to be when you grow up?”

Billy: “Rich and powerful!”

Isn’t that great? What is wrong with that answer?

Nothing, NOTHING, NOTHING! Or as my Jewish mother says, “there’s nothing wrong with making a lot of money, you know.” (Thanks, Mom.)

Paul Arden gets it. On the cover of his book It’s Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be, he has the subtitle “The world’s best-selling book by Paul Arden.”

That’s what we’re talking about!

Multi-Tasking and Management 

...don't mix. See my consultant colleague Bret Rigby's introduction to this notion here:
Culture Comments: "Multi-Tasking and Management"

My take on it is a little contrarian. No surprise for a guy who coined the term UNCONSULTING.

Less is truly more. Here's Picasso's take on it:

You must always work not just within, but below your means. If you can handle three elements, handle only two. If you can handle ten, then handle only five. In that way, the ones you do handle, you handle with more ease, more mastery, and you create a feeling of strength in reserve.

-- Pablo Picasso

If any one thing characterizes the time in which we live, it is the tendency to strive and to overreach and to want more, more, more, now, now, now.

The problem with this pattern of life and work is that there is no room for mastery, for ease, for “strength in reserve.”
* If you want to get more done, work more slowly.
* If you want it faster, develop a singular focus.
* If you want to get better, do less.

The age of better-faster-cheaper is over. And you know what? Even if you want better-faster-cheaper, the internet has already raised the bar on you because it has brought with it the expectation of perfect-now-free. You can’t win that game.

Success, according to Picasso’s definition of “mastery, ease, and reserve” is much like the great pot roast recipe that has been handed down from generation to generation in three simple words:

Low and slow.

You can’t make a good pot roast quickly.

In a hurry? Fine.

Start cooking it sooner.

Buy good meat.

Make your own stock. Don’t open a can.

Use fresh vegetables cut to the right size.

Add only the things you like and what you know tastes good. (Hate potatoes? Don’t add them – it’s YOUR pot roast!) Take care blending the ingredients.

Cook it low and slow. (This seems a good recipe for living, too.)

The above is an excerpt from my book, Relish! The Highly Authorized Guide to Life. Check it out here.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?