Blog #470 Entrepreneurship #2

Coaching for Life Success:  Entrepreneurship Part 2

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/207488

Let’s look more at entrepreneurship today.  This article suggests eight ways to become a successful entrepreneur.

-1 Take a stand for yourself.  You can’t blame your boss (since it is you), or the economy; or your spouse.  You are you!!! You set the agenda. YOU are in charge. If it succeeds, it mainly is up to you; and if it fails, it mainly is because of you.

-2 Find the right business for you.  What is your personality? What is your style? What skills do you bring to the table?  Do you know technology? Can you code if you need to? Do you know web privacy? Is there a gap in the marketplace.  Do the research. Research business and environments that look interesting to you. Are you warm and friendly? Are you an introvert?  Are you good at sales?

-3 Make a business plan.  What are your goals, your strategies?  What is your mission, vision, and values (MVV – more on that in a few days)?  What are you building? Who are you servicing? Who will be your customers? I have a new business – math tutoring.  Sure, it is a small business, and I’m not doing it for the revenue. I have hands-on tutoring with five students currently (which is really about enough).  They are really appreciating the time and expertise that I am putting into it. No, this is not Sylvan Learning or Mathnasium or similar – it is good old, one-on-one tutoring – and actually relationship building.  One of my students learned about the can-do attitude two days ago (when she said “I hate math” “I can’t do this”). By the end of our session, she was saying (at least to me) “I love math”.

-4 Know your target audience.  You might have a great product, a great idea but if people don’t buy your product or pay for your service, your business is going nowhere.  Is there a niche where you can fit – a specialty that doesn’t step into other companies spaces?

-5 Understand that your personal and professional life will intertwine.  As an entrepreneur (without a traditional job), generally, as you start out, you ARE the business.  You will eat, sleep and be your business. Will your spouse be willing to put up with the business coming first?

-6 Build a support network.  Find personal support (family and friends), develop networking (who can give you ideas?); build relationships with vendors and with customers. Be generous with your time and with a SMILE!!!    (In some respects, they are buying into ‘you’!!! If your supplies, customers, personal support and others like you (respect you, listen to you, value you), you have a great foundation.

-7 Create value.  Does your product or service go over and above other similar businesses?  SERVE your customers, if you will “love” your customers, they will love you and come back to you.  Deliver more than you promise – also with a SMILE!!

-8 Get the word out.  You can do a lot with social media and the internet.  Get a website (like http://drbrucewhite.com); use Facebook, Twitter, email and more.  Write a blog (like I do). Have word of mouth advertising. My students (or really their parents who pay for the service) will be able to tell their friends that are needing some help in math to come to me.

But, down inside – do you want to start out on a new voyage that might be a dead end?  Do you want to be safe (and stay near the shore) or adventurous and explore for new lands (and a new you and a new business).  Not all are entrepreneurs!! It might not be your style. Maybe your entrepreneurial adventure could be a part-time job. Maybe it can be a retirement job?  Maybe it can be a job when you have accumulated enough savings built up to be financially okay and it can be a service to humanity. It will require introspection and a lot of thinking (and preparation) before jumping into it.

What do you think?

Bruce

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Blog #469 Blinders

Coaching for Success:  Blinders

Reference: https://www.drf.com/news/blinkers-closer-look-their-impact-racehorses

As cars became available over a century ago, horses frequently had blinders.  Blinders are basically flaps near the eyes to keep the horse from seeing things (such as cars).  In those days of early cars, horses would spook and throw their riders and this was an attempt to control that.  Modern racehorses do this as well to keep the horse from seeing the crowd, from seeing other horses, from getting spooked.

There might be times when humans need blinders as well  (Aside, my wife accuses me of being a ‘looky-loo’ when we drive as I notice businesses, fields, and other things outside the window.).  If we are working towards a goal, we don’t want distractions to come in our way. And, sometimes one distraction leads to two and to more and soon we are not working towards our goals. (Another aside – for seniors – there are times I may go to the closet for something (let’s say shoes), but as I walk through the bedroom I see the bed is unmade, so I make the bed, straighten the pillows and do some other minor things in the bedroom – and find that I never get what I went after – the shoes).

If you are working on a goal, you need a laser focus – disregarding all distractions around us.  Too many students say they are studying – but have their iPhones open and are texting friends; they have music playing and they can be singing around; they might be daydreaming and not really working.  So, in a period of three hours of study, they really only get a small amount done. The suggestion is to close the door, get rid of the distractions, no music, no phone, no video games, no television – a good desk with the papers and materials you need.  (And, make sure you use the restroom first – to cut that distraction out).

Of course, there are jobs where distractions have to be observed.  Mothers have to know where their toddlers are – are they climbing the stairs, touching the stove, or some other dangerous act?  Drivers need to anticipate (and watch for) distractions – such as cars running a red light, or cars swerving in-and-out (maybe a drunk driver?).  And jockeys need to know where the other horses are in a race – but the horse doesn’t need to know that!!

Can you keep your focus on your task at hand?  Can you focus on what needs to be done and ignore the distractions?  (I heard a friend talking about his prayer time – and how quickly and easily he can become distracted).

Can you really focus?  

What do you think?

Bruce

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Blog 468 Entrepreneurship 1

Coaching for Life Success:  Entrepreneurship Part 1

https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/207488

Wow – I want to be an entrepreneur!!  (And, I want to spell it correctly!!!)

Let’s start with a definition of entrepreneurship: “The capacity and willingness to develop organize and manage a business venture along with any of its risks in order to make a profit. The most obvious example of entrepreneurship is the starting of new businesses.”

“In economics, entrepreneurship combined with land, labor, natural resources, and capital can produce a profit. An entrepreneurial spirit is characterized by innovation and risk-taking, and is an essential part of a nation’s ability to succeed in an ever-changing and increasingly competitive global marketplace.”  Taken from: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/entrepreneurship.html

Frequently we view an entrepreneur as one who is willing to take the risks to take an idea and build it into a viable business.  

There are three concepts:  taking the risk, taking the idea, and building it.

Risk:  My son-in-law is working for a startup company.  Actually, his second start-up company. The first was traumatic, about four years before the company started to make a profit and then became very successful and was acquired by a much larger company (and he did quite well financially).   This second start-up has been two-and-one-half years, building a dynamic smart cloud computing storage solution. They have sold it to two companies as I write this. Will it become a success? Maybe. The founder is scrambling finding purchasers and finding additional funding to pay the eight employees.  The founder is on his third start-up with two successful companies that were sold off at a profit. Can this founder do it a third time? Maybe.

There is a significant risk.  My son-in-law quit a very successful large, well-known technology company.  He as an employee has risked a steady paycheck for a lesser paycheck but the potential for a bigger windfall.  The founder has invested some of his wealth from his previous successes in this new project – paying employees for two-and-one-half years with no sales for most of that time.  He could have put his profits from his previous successes into the stock market, but instead, he is taking the risk on another start-up.

Idea:  At the heart of entrepreneurship is an idea.  What might be a new and exciting field? What gaps or niches might exist that your idea could fill?  What current produces or processes frustrate you? How might your skills be transferred to a new field?  What technology disruptions might open a new field?

Think back – before the iPod, if you wanted to listen to music while jogging you could have had a cassette tape player or a portable CD player.  Before the internet, if you wanted to buy tickets to an event, you might have to call TicketMaster (or similar). Netflix destroyed Blockbuster with on-demand downloads of movies.  Buy almost anything online? Not true thirty years ago.

What ideas might you have?

Building it:  Great ideas need a lot of work to become realities.  Do you personally have the expertise to develop the concept?  Does it need programming skills? Does your idea need manufacturing?  Can you hire people to make your idea a reality? What will you pay them and how will you pay them?  Do you have wealth that you can use to fund your idea? If not, can you get funding from venture capitalists or banks or other sources?  Will you sell too much of your concept and lose control of your idea? Will you need to rent an office?

Building your concept into a viable, successful company may take several years.  Similar to the BHAG of putting a man on the moon in the 1960’s took several years and millions of dollars.  Sometimes you get close to success and run out of funds and out of steam. 90% of the way to a successful business is still not reaching your goal.

Things to think about:

Can you be an entrepreneur?

What risks are you willing to take?

What ideas do you have that could lead to a successful business?

What resources might you need to build your business?

How can you develop multiple ideas – how can you be a creative thinker to develop ideas?  Can you practice idea generation and work with mentors and others to create ‘the next great idea’

Quote:  “The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.” Nolan Bushnell, entrepreneur.

And … a recent quote:  You cannot discover new lands unless you lose sight of the shore.

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Blog Post #467 Ambition 1

Coaching for Life Success:  Ambition

Ambition can be viewed as positive or negative.  

Quoting from: https://www.ukessays.com/essays/philosophy/ambition-as-a-negative-quality-philosophy-essay.php:   “Ambition is defined as a longing to accomplish something or even as the motivating factor for one’s personal success. Everyone has a goal or dream that he or she wishes to achieve, but sometimes it is hard to reach this without some sense of ambition or longing to attain it. The societal view of ambition is considered to be an essential quality of any leader. Anyone that has done great things in his or her life or even desired to do greater things possesses a certain ambitious quality.

Positive Ambition:  When your goals are good, not only for you but for your company or society.  Wanting to move up in a company, having the ambition to succeed.

I have used the adage “You cannot discover new lands unless you lose sight of the shore”.  You have to be ambitious to move away from your comfort zone, to seek new experiences, to grow in your assignments.

I was a high school teacher for seven years but wanted to be a college teacher and professor.  I was ambitious I wanted to move up to the collegiate level.  If you will, I was “hungry” to be at that level.  

And, once at the collegiate teaching level, I finished a Ph.D. in Management Information Systems, I applied for (‘sought after’) opportunities to be of service – from being elected to the board of directors.  Then when that organization needed somebody to chair their annual conference, I stepped up. I ended up being the conference chair for an international conference four times (the most anybody else has chaired was twice).  When the opportunity to be an evaluator for accreditation, I applied and have been an evaluator for accreditation for over 10 years. I applied to be a Fulbright exchange professor and was accepted to a short-term Fulbright in Eastern Europe.  While I did not apply and did not actively seek other recognition, I was named the “Computer Information Systems Educator of the Year”, the campus where I was teaching honored me and others as ‘excellent’ teachers. I applied for and was accepted for the United States Quality Award Program (the Malcolm Baldrige award).  I have been awarded two special awards for my service to my profession and to my campus.

Yes, I was ambitious.  

Could I have stayed at a high school teacher?  Yes – and worked at being the BEST high school math teacher.  But, I was ambitious and worked hard to be a great teacher, mentor and professional.

Scenario – you have been a great employee at a company for a period of time.  Should you wait for the manager/director / CEO to come to you and say “You have done well, I’d like to promote you”; or should you approach your manager and say “I think I have been doing a great job, what advancement possibilities might there be for me?” (i.e. being ambitious)

But ambition can also be negative.  A person can be so ambitious that he or she will cheat, use people in a negative way, be greedy to move up.  Such a person might be power hungry “I will do ANYTHING to get my next position” (or promotion, recognition, win the election or similar thoughts).

Adolf Hitler was ambitious to a negative degree.  He manipulated others, stepped on others, promoted genocide to reach his goals.  

Things to think about:

  • Are you ambitious?  How so? Positively ambitious or negative ambitious?
  • How are goals and positive ambition related?  Can you have BHAG and not be ambitious?
  • How can you challenge your ambition to reach your goals in a positive sense?

Quote for today: “The desire to reach for the stars is ambitious. The desire to reach hearts is wise.” 
― Maya Angelou

 

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Blog Post #466 WHY #2

Getting to WHY – part 2

George Mallory was a British mountaineer who made three attempts at climbing Mount Everest.  On the third climb, it was unsure if they made the summit and then died or died before getting to the summit.  An eyewitness said he saw to figures close to the summit, but it was confirmed if they made it or not.

But asked about “Why he climbed Mount Everest”; Malloy gave a famous quote “Because it is there”.  That really isn’t much of a ‘why” answer. There are a lot of things “there”. Why did I go to the new grocery store?  Because it is there?

My analysis suggests that Mallory deep inside had a desire for adventure, for challenges.  He didn’t want to live a complacent life.

Getting to the real “WHY” can be hard.  Sometimes it can be hard to say why you picked one thing over another.  Mallory could have climbed any mountain, but choose Everest “because it is there”.  Would he have climbed Everest if it wasn’t the highest mountain in the world? Maybe, but maybe not.  

What if Mallory wanted to climb the ten highest mountains in the world – would he have started with Everest?  Maybe, or maybe not. If he reached the summit (and returned), he would have fame (if not a fortune as well). That is an incentive.  If he was the first to climb K2 – the second highest mountain in the world, that might be noteworthy in the climbing world, but might justify a small one-paragraph announcement in the London Times, while climbing Everest would be a front-page notice.  

There is an adage “You cannot discover new lands if you don’t lose sight of the shore”.  To get to new lands, you have to get outside your comfort zone. But, WHY do you want to discover new lands?  Because they are there?

Think of these terms:

– Ambition
– Challenge
– Curiosity
– Desire
– Passion
– Entrepreneurship

Do you have these in your life?  Do you desire to find new shores?  Do you have the ambition to climb mountains (be those literal/true mountains; or challenges at work or challenges in your mind)?  “Curiosity killed the cat” might be a true statement, but are you curious? Do you want to see what’s on the other side of the hill?  

Or, are you content with where you are?  Is ambition good? Is being contented good?

Those are questions you need to answer.  What is deep inside you? On your deathbed will you smile and say “I conquered <goal>”?  Or will you say “I never even tried to do <goal>”?

In these series of lessons, I’ve suggested you keep a positive attitude, you set goals – including big hairy audacious goals, to be remarkable, to shoot for great (not just good); and (lately) to figure out your WHY.  

A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.  Where are you going to go?

Bruce

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Blog #465 – Getting to WHY -part 1

Coaching for Life Success:  Getting to WHY – part 1

https://startwithwhy.com/

Who are you?  (Really?)

How do you do what you do?

What drives you?

And … down deep – WHY do you do it?

Simon Sinek has an excellent “Start with Why” concept (see link – and especially the TED Talk video).  He writes the following:

“Fulfillment is our right.  Not a luxury for the chosen few”  (are you feeling fulfilled?)
“Imagine a world where we wake up inspired to go to work.” (are you inspired to work?)
“Imagine a world where we feel safe at work.” (are you safe at work?)
“Imagine a world where we are fulfilled by the work we do?”

“Why do you get up in the morning?  Why does your organization exist? Your why is the purpose, cause or belief that inspires you to do what you do.  When you think, act and communicate starting with WHY you can inspire others.” (Do you have a reason – deep inside – an answer to the “WHY” question?)

What is YOUR purpose in life?  To make a lot of money? To be happy?  To give back to the community? To be a great citizen leader?  To be an industry/financial leader? To be the best mother (or father) you can be?  To be a great doctor? How about being a great lawyer – helping those who can’t help themselves?  How about being an All-Star NFL Football Player?

As mentioned before, here are Zig Ziglar’s Seven Life Spokes:

Mental
Spiritual
Physical
Family
Financial
Personal
Career

We briefly talked about those areas when we talked about goals.  Today, I want you to go deeper – What is important to you – and WHY?

My WHY list is changed in the last three years as I retired.  Actually, I have struggled to find new meaning, goals and why do I want these things in life.  I know a lot of senior people that I am pretty sure have no real deep WHY’s in their life. Their WHY’s might be – I want to live to be 100 years old.  (Okay – and why is that? Ohh … I don’t really know – just seems to be a nice goal. ) I am reminded of the neighbor who retired from a food processing plant and within six months at home, (watching TV and snacking all the time), he had his heart attack and died.  He didn’t have real ‘WHY am I living” reasons.

Can your WHY be to enjoy life – through fishing, golf, pickleball, or travel?  Sure it can. But be ready to defend your lifestyle – not as “well, I wanted to keep busy” – but as I really deep down enjoy the challenge of fishing (or golf, etc.)  

To think about:

– What is your WHY?  Why are you living? What is deep down inside you?  

– If you don’t have a good answer, maybe you need to rethink your life

I’m going to continue to make a difference in people’s lives until I die!!!  I am going to show compassion, love, and acceptance to others; and I am going to be a bright spot in other people’s lives – so they will say “That Bruce White is always so upbeat and cheerful”.

Bruce

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Blog #464 Perseverance

Coaching for Life Success:  Ambition.

If you want something special, you have to work for it. 

Malcolm Gladwell in his book “Outliers” talks about Bill Gates having great access to computing in the early days of computing when such access was almost non-existent and gaining 10,000 hours of computing excellence; likewise, he talks of the Beatles playing 10 to 15 hour days in Hamburg in their early days for weeks on end.  He suggests there is a 10,000-hour threshold to greatness.  Put in your time (ten thousand hours minimum) and you are going to be able to do great things.

This book and these lessons have urged you to be ‘remarkable’ to be able to compete with millions of college students from around the world.  You can’t just wish to be remarkable; you have to put in your time.  What do you want (goals); are you prepared to go after it (attitude); and practice, practice, practice. 

It seems like humans try something and give it up “It is too hard”; “That’s not just for me”.  In lesson 3, we talked about practice makes perfect.  If you practiced shooting three-point baskets twenty hours a week for 50 weeks, you could be at 1,000 hours in a year – so after ten years, you would be a true master.  Or do you go to the gym, shoot three or four three-pointers and then do something else? 

There is an old adage “No pain, no gain”.  The ‘pain’ of doing something – computer programming, calculus, basketball or your goal for 10,000 hours will pay off. 

Couple the practice with a great attitude (“I think I can”), imaging (“I can see myself shooting a three-point basket just before the buzzer to win the championship”), and self-talk (“I’m good at this”) put you soundly on the road to success.

(But, a quick counter position:  Somebody asked a teacher how many years of experience did they have.  The teacher responded “20 years”.  The first person then asked, “do you have 20 years of experience – or one year of experience just repeated 20 times?”  Our experiences need to move us forward.

Problems:

  • Going back to your goals – what practice and perseverance are you doing to get to the top? 
  • Are you reviewing your work / your practice?  What is going well and what do you need to focus on?
  • Open your goal statements and revise them in light of dedicated practice and perseverance.

Quote: “Ambition is the path to success. Persistence is the vehicle you arrive in.” (William Earley)

 

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Blog Post #463 Moving out of your comfort zone – Idea

Coaching for Life Success:  Outside the Comfort Zone #2

Resource #1: https://blog.bulletproof.com/step-outside-your-comfort-zone/

Resource #2: https://www.aconsciousrethink.com/7222/lessons-learn-beyond-comfort-zone/

Back to getting outside our comfort zone – here are some ways to get outside our comfort zone.

This is the active part of getting out your comfort zone ideas:  Try some of these – then write a response about how you felt.

From the first link we have this:

-Drive a different way to work.  (Many times I have driven the same old drive and then asked myself “Did you see the new restaurant?” “Did you see McDonald’s?” “Did you see the new property for sale signs”.  And, most times, my answer is ‘no’. I really wasn’t paying attention. A different drive to work may help break you out of your complacency/comfort zone

– Do lunges and squats when you take the stairs.  Yup – time to stretch your body as well as your brain

– Take on a project that you think you might be able to handle, but definitely is a stretch.  (I’ve been tutoring math/algebra lately. But, one of my students needed help with physics. Oops – out of my comfort zone.  But, her first three assignments (before I helped) were 0 out of 10; 1 out of 10, 3 out of 10 – and the assignment I helped with was 10 out of 10!!!  WOOO!!!

– Open a conversation with somebody you don’t normally talk to!!!

– Take an art class or music class with stretches you.  (I’ve had many friends do one of those ‘art parties’ – where everyone paints about the same picture in the evening.  It looks like fun; you are with friends (within your comfort zone), but painting is outside your comfort zone)

– Find something that you generally do alone and then find a group that does that.  (I’ve been relearning my German language skills – on Meetup in the Austin area are many German groups – time to get out of my comfort zone and practice my German with others)

Other links suggest that happiness is rarely found within your comfort zone.  (You are hardly awake in your comfort zone – get out and smell the roses)

– The magic doesn’t happen in your comfort zone.  (When you are just on edge, maybe some butterflies in your stomach you can find that magic challenge that will change your life)

– Try a different cuisine; try a different beverage, try a different grocery store (where you don’t know where everything in)

– Visit a different church/synagogue.  – try a different small group – go to a predominantly black church (if white) or predominately white church (if black).

– Do a charitable event – Alzheimer’s Walk, Walk against Cancer, paint run.  

– Do something outlandish.  We talked of BHAG – big hairy audacious goals – set up a challenge for yourself to do something big and out of your comfort zone.  How about going to New York City on New Year’s Eve to watch the ball come down – with millions of others.

– Read a new author – in a new genre.  Go to the SciFi row at the library and check out a book (assuming you are not normally a Sci-Fi reader).

– Watch a political show from a different point of view.  If you lean left, watch Fox; if you lean right; watch MSNBC.  (And try to understand their viewpoints)

And … a couple of quotes from Robin S. Sharma

“As you move outside of your comfort zone, what was once the unknown and frightening becomes your new normal.”

“If people aren’t laughing at your dreams, your dreams aren’t big enough.”

 

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Blog Post #462 Outside your comfort zone #1

Coaching for Life Success:  Outside the Comfort Zone #1

Resource: https://lifehacker.com/the-science-of-breaking-out-of-your-comfort-zone-and-w-656426705

In this series, I have written about getting ‘outside the box’, ‘thinking’ and getting ‘outside our comfort zone’. Today I want to look more at getting outside our comfort zone.

This article suggests that we need some stress in our lives to be more productive (Optimal Anxiety)   But, this is also a challenge – too much anxiety and we get turned off; too little and we rest in our comfort zone – which these authors state is a place of low stress, low anxiety, a standard routine, and regular happiness. Having a comfort zone is generally good as we need a place to relax.  But, we don’t grow much without some anxiety in our lives.

The article suggests the following:

– You will be more productive.  Being in the comfort zone doesn’t stretch us – we become comfortable and can almost work mechanically.  

– You will have an easier time when a change occurs.  Many authors state that “change is inevitable’ or ‘the only constant is change’.  Thing about your major or your work. You have new teachers or new colleagues and move away from old teachers and old work colleagues and friends.  When you went to college, you had a big change – moving away from home, being challenged by new classes and meeting new friends. Likewise, as you take your first job or a new job, you are moving away from your campus (or previous job), and again being challenged in a new environment.  That can be challenging and stressful. My first summer at Citibank, it took time to figure out some of the logistics – parking, cafeteria, cubical, management person and more.

-You will find you can push out your comfort zone boundaries more in the future.  In my second summer at Citibank, I was in a different group doing different analysis – but by that time I was comfortable with the environment.

-You will find it easier when you get out of your comfort zone to brainstorm and to consider new ideas.  

So, good reasons to get out of your comfort zone!!!  Tomorrow we are going to look at the rest of the article about some gentle experiences to get out of your comfort zone!!!

What do you think?

Do you get out of your comfort zone (into your Optimal Anxiety area) frequently?

Bruce

 

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Blog Post #461 More Thinking outside the box

Coaching for Life Success – Thinking outside the box #2

https://www.inc.com/jim-haudan/3-ways-to-make-thinking-outside-box-less-rare.html

Yesterday I started with the concept of THINK with thinking outside the box and thinking outside our comfort zone.  Today, let’s go deeper on that (from this article – linked)

Harvard Business School professor Francesca Gino wrote in that article: Thinking outside the box is supposed to mean confronting problems in atypical ways, thinking creatively and freely, and encouraging frequent challenges to the status quo. “ <and>  “Gino’s research confirms that out-of-the-box behavior is rarer than you might think. In a study of 1,000 employees in a variety of industries, fewer than 10% said that they worked in firms that encouraged nonconformity or thinking outside the box. Additionally, the Harvard Business Review conducted an internal study asking employees how often they saw senior leaders challenge the status quo or ask their teams to think outside the box. Only 29% said “often” or “always,” 42% said “never” or “almost never,” and 32% said “sometimes.””

The article gave three ways to think outside the box:

1) Question the status quo.  “Why are we doing this?” “Why are we doing this process this way?”  I have written about disruptive technologies in the past – what new approaches could we be doing?  Software people have moved from the waterfall methodology to agile approaches and other creative thinking processes.  I remember a story about an old, small, privately held company that had made drill bits for many years. When the son took over the company from the father, he told the employees: “We are no longer in the drill bit industry”.  That got some negative feedback. He went on to say “We are the in the hole making industry”. There are many ways to make holes – from laser cutting to even shooting a hole in the object. Drill bits might be a major part of making holes, but not the only way to make holes.

2) Taking a wider perspective.  Is there a parallel between how (say) online banking works and how our accounting system works?  Is there a need for the reams (and reams) of paper we use – can we go ‘paperless’? How can incorporate robotics or artificial intelligence into our business?   Just because it isn’t done in our industry are there ideas in other industries that might relate. Note: colleges have avoided some changes over the years. There are four classes: freshman, sophomore, juniors, and seniors.  You need 30 credits a year and 120 credits over four years. But, there are colleges with shortened online classes; or with credit by examination, credit by advanced placement.

3) Draw pictures – work on metaphors for your business.  Look at the processes and products from different angles.  We tend to be left-brain and right-brain thinkers. Can those processes cause a new way of thinking?  Can we draw a picture (creative thinking) as compared to writing paragraphs of text?

Managers tend to love the status quo – but changing things up can be very rewarding as you change your approach – and get ‘outside the box’.

Tomorrow – blind spots and getting outside your comfort zone.

 

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