The old adage that “Ye Shall Reap As Ye Shall Sow” is so true even without Biblical connotations and this article is not going to get into any of that here: Nonetheless, this principle applies as a maxim of which we should all be aware and live by.
Accordingly, it is my contention that we are now unwittingly reaping the consequences of having made some very poorly thought out, short-sighted yet seriously impactful decisions and choices that have led up to us now effectively short-changing our children and the youth of today which, in turn means we have set out to short change ourselves as a nation.
This comes, at least in part, from our having abrogated our responsibilities for educating, guiding, mentoring and molding them towards becoming effective, capable, self-sufficient, creatively productive adults: It is my view that we have bred a host of monoculturally limited young people with consequent limited ability for innovation and critical thinking. This article explores some of the possible reasons for this conclusion as an extention of data gleaned from personal experience and from recently published related material.
Monoculture: The hazard we face developing a monocultural youth is quite real and also really quite not understood. More and more through successive upcoming generations of our youth since the early 80’s, we have successively reduced training the capacity for critical thinking as we have cut back on education. The old adage that “Ye Shall Reap As Ye Shall Sow” is so true even without Biblical connotations though this article is not going to get into any of the latter aspects here.
Growing any business in any financial environment – good or bad – is a continual experimental, and incrementally developmental, process; a “work” that is continuously “in progress”, a journey without end if handled correctly. There is a constant need to monitor and analyze direction and results: What is working? What is not? At MISSI, here we are looking to discover, define and evaluate the real needs of entrepreneurs seeking help in resolving business development challenges by seeking feedback from that audience.
Growing any business in any financial environment – good or bad – is a continual experimental, and incrementally developmental, process; a “work” that is continuously “in progress”, a journey without end if handled correctly.
There is a constant need to check and analyze direction and results: Is the mission still meaningful? Do we even have a quotable, believable and workable mission for our business? Are purpose and goals still relevant? Is the intended audience (market, customers) still open to expansion for our particular collection of products or services or is it shrinking as was the case for Buggy Whip makers in the early days of Automobiles replacing Horse Drawn Carriages. Is the revenue stream a net-cash-inflow and is the net profit margin and business equity value growing and capable of further growth … or not? So many questions that we must continuously ask ourselves, get answers and review to make sure our business direction is upwards and not stagnating or going downwards. Continue reading “Starting, Building, Growing, Turning Around or Selling/Merging Your Business? Could You Use Some Help? What Kind?”
There is a well know aphorism – because it represents a sad but true reality – that “First rate people tend to hire only other first rate people whereas, second rate tend towards hiring third rate and on down the line”. First rate people know who they are without either arrogance or fear: Not afraid that someone else might challenge them in their work or position, humble in their attitude towards team-mates and others and always keen to help and support where help and support is appropriate whereas, as you go down the line, you find that the second rate and, more and more so with those one would rate lower, tend to be more concerned about their position in the game and with whatever they can take from the game than they are about their contribution to the game. By “rate” I’m referring to overall performance capability and team integration characteristics, not just academic and skill based qualifications.
“Lessons Learned: Why diversity matters (the meritocracy business)”
First let me acknowledge that the above subtitle has been taken directly from the title of a blog posted originally in February 2010 by Eric Ries ~ @ericries the guru (along with Steve Blank @sgblank) of #lean in web start-ups ~ that came back into focus recently; an event that was the stimulus to write this blog and which led to the choice of wording for the primary title for this blog. More about this below.
In the course of this edition of the MISSIcom blog, and in the context of the title and sub-title, I want to discuss with you some of the related issues underlying such key staffing considerations as I perceive them: Recruiting and Maintaining the best and the brightest; what are the factors to be considered in the effort to achieve a Meritocratic team comprised of an appropriately Diverse group of recruits? Is the goal of building a meritocratic team even capable of achievement if diversity has also to be achieved or are these actually mutually exclusive objectives? What do we mean by meritocracy and what do we mean by diversity?
In regard to recruiting processes, this discussion is not just about being, or even about attempting to be, politically correct in our choices of candidates or even about functioning appropriately under the directives of Affirmative Action nor is it about discrimination or avoiding discrimination per se albeit that we are naturally obliged ethically and morally as well as legally to bear such issues in mind when making recruiting choices. This is about how, in reality as individual human beings charged with responsibility for putting together a team, we most often tend to go about achieving what we individually consider to be a well balanced team of the best, brightest, appropriately most capable staff for most effectively achieving the objectives we have at hand while knowingly functioning within the bounds of these various constraints. Continue reading “Team Meritocracy? Team Diversity? ~ Can the former be achieved if the latter is a constraint?”
Today the smarter business uses Inbound Marketing and eCommerce principles. This approach effectively drives down costs while driving up results: The mode today is to create web sites, to blog, to twitter, to use Social Networks to spread the word about your offerings and to design and use your web site to not just share information about your products and services … and … Today the smarter business also heavily relies upon data; information that it gathers from visitors to its web site, its blogs, its tweets and from the internet in general where relevant to the business and the environment in which the business is operating. The Smarter Business Knows Answers Lie Hidden In The Data And Continually Seeks to Uncover Those Clues So As To Be Vigilantly Proactive In Its Decision Making.
Nothing Ever Happens Without Sales:
And Sales cannot, and will not, happen – first and foremost regardless of any Marketing and/or Sales efforts or how wonderful you think your product is – unless your business is providing a reliable, effective answer to some particular “pain” or “need” and unless your target market is aware of your solution and has an easy way to acquire that solution.
So why take the chance, metaphorically, that someone strolling along your street/web neighborhood is going to pop into your particular store/web site to buy some specific item in your store/site when you have made no overt effort to attract attention to what you have on offer in your store or web site?
That simply means that:
a) Unless your product or service provides a clear and ready solution to a specific, clearly identifiable, need or issue andb) Unless you have brought your solution to the attention of your potential customers in a way that really draws them in to find out more about your solution andc) Unless you make it easy for them to commit to buying (investing in) your solution.
then nothing is going to happen: No one is going to happen along and buy, whether by visiting your store front or by visiting your web site, except through serendipity. Remember that “hope is not a strategy!”
Building a successful business has always been, and most likely will always be, about finding a universally recognizable “pain-point” or need, something that is literally calling out for an answer or fix, and quickly providing an attractive, cost-effective, reliable, dependable, safe solution, or at least a very significantly better solution than any other currently available solution, to that demand.
Of course, philosophy aside, building a successful business, at its core, is also ultimately about building resultant profits and growing the net value of the enterprise both of which depend, amongst other factors, upon providing a solution that generates sufficient relief and interest to an ever growing audience that also results in a trend of increasing Sales: In other words, “Nothing Happens Without Sales“.
In fact, the IRS does not consider any activity to even be a “business” unless it is purposeful about making a profit, assuming the business is not intended to be a non-profit, hence building sales must be a primary objective for the enterprise or otherwise it is nothing more than a hobby. Naturally, revenue from sales must also exceed costs at some point in the life of a business but that is part of another discussion to be had later under the title “A Growing Business Is A Smarter Business ~ It Seeks Answers in Supply-Chain Processes!”.