Friday 25 September 2009

What STAGE of Development is YOUR business at?

I learned an invaluable lesson this week, one that pulled me off the edge of the precipice! These are tough times and this economy is tightening further. Therefore the speed of reaction is more important than ever. Guess that's why they rate adaptability so highly huh?!

Then I read this excellent article; http://www.dceb.ie/news/susan-spences’s-ten-tips which brought the reality surrounding my own business into sharp focus. I didn't realise what STAGE of development my own business was at. Apparently there are 3 stages;

1. Survival (This can generally take 3 years) Do you have recurring revenues, can you predict income?

2. Sustainable (A key objective has to be the ability to generate recurring revenues, pay per use, book deals, repeat orders/contracts) You may need multiple income streams to achieve this.

3. Expansion (then back to sustainable) This may mean you have to Internationalise to break into bigger markets. Irish people are gregarious and have good interpersonal skills. This gives us a competitive advantage.

Susan Spence- Group Director of Softco offers Ten Top Tips they are included in the link above.

When something resonates the second you read it you know it's true and great advice. I've taken it....how about you...?

Friday 18 September 2009

The Golden Rule gives way to the Platinum Rule

I came across a saying recently worthy of a short blog post. Many of us are familiar with the 'Golden Rule'- 'Do unto others as you would have them do unto you'. Nice when it happens! The Platinum Rule goes a step beyond that. It states: Do unto others as they would do unto THEMSELVES'.
That got my attention and it takes your assessment and awareness processes to another level altogether. It also shifts the emphasis away from yourself by factoring in the needs and wants of other people. So this actually just 'saves me from myself !'

When playing with this new learning during the week, I was struck by 2 things I feel I got 'for free' from this insight;

1. It neutralised my own agenda and helped give me a more balanced perspective.

2. It also helped my decision-making and saved me from the trap of needlessly short-changing others.

Look how the emphasis changes when you alter just 1 word -'you' to 'themselves' !. Try it out, it may also work for you.

Friday 11 September 2009

There are only 2 Types of Business

Several years ago, back in my J&J days, our European President was commenting on the Dot Com boom of the late 90's. He was not impressed. Being Sicilian he was both reflective and directive!. "Alasdar, " he said,"there are only 2 types of Business, good business and bad business. This looks like bad business to me". How right he was! I've used this thinking ever since.

Our Country GM had another reflection. He described the way he was trying to lead our business as; "Enlightened Self-Interest". It struck me both observations were insightfully correct and peculiarly they were also linked. The link is the first calls for sound business judgement and an ability to look under the bonnet of what's on offer. Then apply clear thinking and sound perspective. The second can be layered on top of that to inform HOW you do business. These together shape your credibility as a Leader. This is how great reputations are built. All legacies depend on it.
Today in business, this is often called 'win-win'. I'm a big fan, let me tell you why. When you adopt this as a way of life, you get good business discipline for free. Your focus is on adding Value to the agenda of your clients. This negates any tendency towards self-serving behaviour. Your success then is an OUTPUT of that process. It's how all positive relationships are built and nurtured. In my experience, people respond to that and personally, I feel more effective and congruent working in that way.

Sometimes in life you need an exception to prove a rule. The global Banking crisis is a prime example Have a look at this satirical story told using cartoons. http://docs.google.com/present/view?skipauth=true&pli=1&id=ddp4zq7n_0cdjsr4fn
This highlights what happens when these principles are violated.

Your comments as always are welcome.