Every entry filed under "Foundations"

Spend your way to success?

Runnymede

Grand hotels chew through a lot of cash.

Some of it goes to location: the beach, city centre, by the conference, opposite the park. Some goes to furnishing and fittings and the 1000 thread-count Egyptian-cotton linens on the beds. More goes to offering intriguing service options that get you in the spa with hot stones on your back.

Anyone with enough money can spend their way to the top end in their industry.

It’s not enough.

Grand hotels and great businesses hook the moving parts together to make them sing –  it takes grand people who never settle, who keep an eye on everything, always push, set up with an expectation of quality, and do the right thing rather the easy one.

Cash gets you to the start gate, it takes will to stay in the race.

Skippy Strategy: Great products aren’t enough. Blend with great people and attention to detail.

Neatly filed under Foundations on September 2, 2015

What changed

Monolith

What changed?

Everything was going along swimmingly. Emails were exchanged, coffee was drunk, meetings were productive.

And then … a change of tone, less responsive, everything slowwweddd. And. Stop.

Don’t jump to the worst case – that’s it’s about you, your proposition, your product. It might be, but maybe not.

Other people’s organisations are always more complex than the shining monolith you see from the outside. Lots of moving parts and shifting priorities. If a key decision maker leaves, if funding is uncertain, if a crisis boils, if any one of a thousand other misadventures … things (especially other people’s things) go on hold whist they work out who or how to get back on track.

Don’t assume it’s you. Don’t assume active decision making. Do give the benefit of the doubt.

Accept that it’s something. Find out what. Deal with reality.

Skippy Strategy: Look out for changes of tone or pace. Find out what changed.

Neatly filed under Foundations on August 23, 2015

Roadblocks

Barriers

There are roadblocks.

People who have authority and refuse to budge. Regulations that stop you doing what you want to do. Funding that falters. Unmovable forces.

If it’s a human blocker there’s always another, and another way of approaching them – and maybe next time, with the right support and a following wind at your back, things might might might be different.

For every other kind, and most of these humans too, accept the barrier as a reality and find another way to your destination.

Even the most unstoppable force shouldn’t waste time or energy head butting immovable objects – all you’ll do is sit in a jam.

Skippy Strategy: If at first, second and third attempt you don’t succeed, try another route.

Neatly filed under Foundations on August 15, 2015

Forcing the schedule

Important

There are always things – not urgent, but important – that need your time but you never manage to get to.

You want to do it, really … but there’s always a client meeting, a busy work load, a trip to the dentist, not urgent exactly, but pressing.

To get the important stuff done, remove choice and emotion and soft-avoidance and easy-cancelling from the equation. Force it into your schedule, and commit.

Pick a date that’s far enough away to not worry about, then treat it like a family holiday, or a client kick-off, or a court date – whatever it takes. Sacrosanct.

Make time for the important things, the truly urgent make time for themselves.

Skippy Strategy: What have you been putting off? Open your diary. Pick a date. Block it out.

Neatly filed under Foundations on August 14, 2015

Dealing with the boogeyman

Boogeyman

Problems don’t go away on their own.

Not the kind that eat away until they’re dealt with properly.

You can pretend they’re not there, ignore them, drown them out with busy-ness and sing the la-la-la’s.

While you weren’t looking … boo! … still there … still eating, still growing.

What do we do about the boogeyman?

Turn the light on, look it in the eye, work it, spin it around, consult your team, put the time in, brainstorm, talk it through, ask for help, offer some options, test the waters, wrestle it down.

In other words, face up and deal with it.

Skippy Strategy: Anytime you’re trying not to talk about something, you know that’s the thing you need to talk about. Call the meeting.

Neatly filed under Foundations on August 8, 2015