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Failure: The Foundation of Innovation and Success

Does our strong aversion to failure lead to higher business risk, and a greater probability a project or venture will fail? Eliminating failure and all risk is impossible. While risk mitigation and eliminating failure are certainly reasonable and necessary aspirations, how do you balance the need to grow and innovate with the inevitability that failure will occur along the way? How can we better use failure to innovate like, Edison, Disney and Jobs did? What systems and processes do you have in place to identify, understand and address failure in your organization? The real question is not how to eliminate failure, rather how do you use failure to spark innovation and minimize risk in your business? In most cases, it is not the failure that stymies the...

Seven People Who Help You Succeed

Whether you are building your career or building your business, there are seven archetypal figures that can both support and hinder your progress.  It is critical that you recognize their characteristics and interact with each accordingly, in order to better assist you in your endeavors.  The seven types are;  Your First Boss, Wise Man, Brilliant Skeptic, Spiritual Advisor, Advocate, Catalyst, and Nemesis. Your First Boss: This is the first person in your career that saw your raw potential. He or she is the one who took interest in you and mentored you as first started to navigate the early stages of your career.  They protected you, yet they let you make the mistakes that served as the foundation of your current success.  Never lose touch with this person. ...

How many casualties did your crisis cause?

Congratulations! You own a business! You are the boss and you are a person of action.  You are successful.  You have a strong team of associates that help you run your business and you are diligent about staying focused on the 5 Keys that Build Value in your business.  But you have this nagging feeling that the business is not as efficient/effective/profitable as it could be.  Your business is moving forward, but it does so in fits and starts.  There is not the traction you want. You are not quite sure what the cause is, but you know things are just not clicking. Before you jump on your team, look at yourself.  Every business is faced with challenges large and small, long-term and immediate.  HOW ARE YOU DEALING WITH THOSE CHALLENGES?  Does every customer...

Effective Brainstorming – Getting the Most Out of Your Team & Yourself

Brainstorming by definition is a group problem solving technique, but often it devolves into a session dominated by one or two individuals, or meanders aimlessly or becomes a group think rubber stamp.  This will not allow you to achieve your desired end – PROBLEM SOLVED.  In order to help get the most out of your brainstorming sessions there are several “tricks of the trade” that will keep you and your team focused and get everyone contributing. Preparation: At least one week prior to your brainstorming session, assemble the team and define the desired results in broad terms.  Assign broad areas where you like each team member to focus their efforts.  For example, logistics, accounting, marketing, etc.  Then provide the team with...

Value Building Resolutions for Coming Year

As we close out 2012, reflecting on our wins and loses – and as we look to 2013 and its’ opportunities and risks.  These simple resolutions will help keep you focused on your mission. 1. Take the Time to Think: Covey spoke of “sharpening the saw”, Gerber speaks of “working on the business of your business”, the point is you need the time to think and reflect on what is working and what is not.  You need to evaluate if your business is growing consistent with your goals and objectives. This means creating time with your leadership team and creating time for yourself outside the chaos of the day-to-day. Opportunities to Achieve this goal: – Monthly leadership meeting (preferably off-site) that focuses on the...

Aligning Core Company Values and Strategic Focus

It is my experience that most companies have a mission and vision statement.  However, often they were created as a marketing tool for both customers and employees, rather than a true embodiment of company’s core values.  The result is a mis-match of actions versus expectations that can derail the company.  To correct this potential disconnect it is critical you inspect your core vision versus not only the perception in both the market and internally, but against your execution to your vision as well. Questions to consider: What are the 3 to 5 words that define your company? Some examples might be creative, innovative, honesty, results, integrity to name a few. What is the company’s focus? It’s Passion? In other words, what niche do you...

Building Value: The 5 Keys for Achieving Success

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