Just Seven Things

Exploring why and how we do what we do, and how we can do it better

Archive for the category “Change”

Are you having visions?

Well, if you’re not, you should be.

The power of the human imagination is still relatively little researched. Productivity literature, parents and teachers ask us to focus on the task in hand and our project plans. Yet we know through our human history that it has been the big thinkers that have enabled our faster progress as a human race: not those who just focus on the here & now and accept the norm.

As animals, we are goal oriented (food, sex….) and from what we know about our evolution, we can speculate that a sophistication in our goal setting was introduced as we developed consciousness. We could defer satisfaction. Invest time and energy, working together for a longer-term and ultimately more rewarding goal. I suspect this skill is also subject to further evolution. We can be bound by what we know, as framed by our human history and what we tell each other. Limited by the current ‘realities’ of our knowledge. Or we can recognise this will just bring us a tomorrow that looked like yesterday.

Instead, we need to recognise our own power of imagination. We use the same parts of our brain in imagining as we do in remembering. Your ‘brain’ doesn’t really know that your big vision hasn’t already happened; therefore you are the only blocker to your dreams. Your limiting self-beliefs, your why-nots. So let’s take advantage of our sophistication. Let’s blow the doors off everything that limits us. Let’s all start to have visions that we’re proud of: our reality is what we make it.

Fortunately a giant robot dinosaur called FAKEGRIMLOCK comes to the rescue of our human limitations on a post on Eric Ries’ Lean Startup blog. My favourite part:

EVERYONE GOOD AT SEE CAN’T. EVERYONE LIVE IN WORLD FULL OF IMPOSSIBLE.

EVERYTHING THAT MATTER IMPOSSIBLE UNTIL SOMEONE DO IT ANYWAY.

STOP BEING EVERYONE. STARE AT WHY NOT UNTIL IT GIVE UP AND BECOME HOW TO.

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Five Lessons for Entrepreneurs – LinkedIn’s Reid Hoffman

Five key business lessons that could serve to help entrepreneurs and other innovators as they look to the coming decade:

1. Look for disruptive change. As you are about to start a new venture, ask yourself these questions: What is becoming possible or necessary that wasn’t possible before?  Is a new product or service able to take over an existing market or create a new market? When I co-founded LinkedIn in 2003, the tech industry was in a deep depression. I looked at all the opportunities created by the Internet and had the idea that eventually everyone would need a professional profile online. This profile would enable them to connect with similar professionals and share news, tips and other information. The development of online professional profiles that people could create and control themselves led to an enormous, disruptive change in the recruiting industry. It provided a way for people to directly reach the best candidates rather than hoping for responses from a listing in the paper.

2. Aim big. Regardless of whether a start-up is targeting a big idea or small one, it will still require the same amount of blood, sweat and tears — so aim big! What is big? It is a new product or service that creates or dominates a significant market. If the market is small or your product is only a marginal improvement over what is already available, you will be taking the same risks but for a much smaller potential gain. I am on the board of a company called Shopkick, which aims to revolutionize retail shopping through a mobile application and incentive program that will enable retailers to attract new and more frequent shoppers. Shopkick founder Cyriac Roeding didn’t think small. He is targeting ALL retail shopping.

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Surely Continual Learning Should Apply to the Boss Too?

World in My Hand by Sachin Ghodke

World in My Hand by Sachin Ghodke

I was clearing through some old articles I cut and not yet reviewed. About a year ago the FT ran a survey of global business leaders to try and ascertain whether there was one business book which had had most influence over them.

The fact that there was no consensus (it was either a Peters or Drucker book that received four votes. All other books selected just received one vote each) is not the point of this piece.

It was an interesting set of assertions about global leaders’ reading habits that surprised me (I don’t think I misinterpreted…)

The gist of it was that such prominent leaders would be bordering on the dereliction of their duties if they were seen to be spending their time reading ‘business’ or ‘management’ books. That their shareholders would be aghast that such individuals would have either need (nor time) to read and learn anything from these books..

Maybe I did read it wrong?

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