Wednesday, January 14, 2015

A Defense Of Brevity...

I worked with this accountant once, more like a chief council kind of guy. He was about 70 with bulging eyes and a powerful look. At meetings he wouldn't say much. However, at a key point, he would spell out these one-liners that got all of us grasping for an answer. Classic grey-haired man, right? Yep... He was that kind of guy. Quick little quips about what we were planning that boiled us in business meditation (in some cases we actually abandoned our ideas). I wouldn't say the approach was that genius, but it did teach me something. Many times the best commentary or insight comes in small packages. It is the very act of simplicity of action/thought. One might call it thinking before one speaks

Friday, January 02, 2015

Why You Should Pitch The Disaster Plan First

What kind of story do you want me to tell you? I guess I'll tell you the one about the company that could sell $4m worth of widgets with $3.9m in profit in six months. I could also tell you about the company that could create 10x the product with only five people. I could also tell you about the company that could create a super app capable of pivoting into 10 different things when the market changes directions. But that company doesn't exist, and the business plan I really want you to believe in doesn't either. As humans, we are naturally optimistic, so we want to believe. However, the true nature of what we are about to launch will die (95% do). So, here's a crazy idea... When pitching ideas, instead of investors taking in said pitch and cutting it in half, why don't we just start with a realistic story and work like hell to get there.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Japan Trail Riding - Video

Monday, December 15, 2014

Why Businesses Should Thrive On The Expectation Of Ideas...

And then there are those organizations that die with a lack of ideas...

I had a dream about all the company employees I've know throughout my career. They were all standing in a circle telling me about "the good old days" of x company. They kept getting louder and louder. Some of them worked their way closer to me. "It was different then, it was different then..." They kept screaming at me. I finally broke through the crowd and ran away. I found a safe spot and rested my head. I was soon approached by one of the workers. He had a calm face and quiet demeanor. "Do you know why they are yelling?" He asked. I answered that I didn't know, and wanted them to stop. "No one listens to their ideas anymore... Their ideas are dying, and so is their work. When ideas die, so does good good work." He said lowering his head in sadness. It was then that I woke, and started writing this blog post...

I'm not sure if the worker who approached me in my dream is right, or not. But I realized why all the workers were so upset. If no one listens to the troops in the field, then wars are lost. The same is true of companies. Those executives that don't talk to their customers, nor listen to what field-level employees are saying will similarly lose revenues. A lot of the best ideas come pre-packaged, not from consultants who simply re-package what you already know, but from the field-level employees whom have carefully considered the angles of their idea, usually, with the customer involved. They are truly a wealth of knowledge. I've learned, throughout my career as a leader, that just by listening and engaging employees you can super-charge your organization. I've also learned that ideas soon begin to flourish when you listen. It all seems so simple, yet we don't do this...

In my dream, I ran from the employees. Instead, I wish I had just engaged with them as the workers in my dream were my ideas trying to gain their voice. Even in our heads, we stifle what could be a the next big thing. Listen up, and down, and inside!

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Next Year, I'm Going To The Coastal Gravity Park - Video!

Looks like one of the coolest bike parks around the Northwest!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Steve Jobs - "Think-ing Different" - Video

Excellent example of a CEO detailing the product roadmap, discussing strategy, marketing and team development/communication...