Friday June 18, 2010,
Let’s find with in ourselves greatness today.
Charlie Tremendous Jones, in the book Life is Tremendous once published this Quote from an unknown source.
“Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can reach. Don’t bother just to be better than your contemporaries and predessors: try to be better than yourself.”
To the Defending Champion Los Angeles Lakers , congratulations on your victory and showing the courage to battle through the hype and weight of past accomplishments to become champions once again.
To be continued
I heard a statement this week from someone I have done business with for several years that got me fired up regarding change, and our enthusiasm to ignore the past lessons in business when thinking about online revenue generation.
I don’t know the entire context of the statement but it went something like this… “If you want to move forward with online get rid of the old employees and bring in the new. Now he was not saying fire your staff and bring in a younger group which understands online but he was stating that it would be easier to get to your goal then to try and train an old dog new tricks.
A couple of items to consider before jumping into that raging river…
- New blood has little concern for the longevity of your business. The new generation of employee lives in a world that changes everyday so to them any linkage to past or future business is already obsolete the moment it is put into practice. This concerns me because we lose the foundation of what we are. Not to say the next generation of employees will not be awesome to watch grow our world, I see great talent in the younger generation I hire but you need to train them and give them a foundation to stand on.
- In newspapers for example we are about freedom of the press, government watchdog if you will, and holding the truth to viable standard. If we forget that then how do we find security in a world which top news sources goal is to go viral?
- If we don’t train the next generation and teach them the goals for an organization past next month but for the next 25 years how are they supposed to find a foothold in our reality.
- I have seen publisher and station managers lose revenue annually because they give up on the ship before it has sunk, just to move onto the next ship. I know lousy metaphor but here me out.
I recently worked for a group of papers which had several publishers that took different roads when it came to competitors and core product sales declines.
One group of Publishers choose to jump ship and basically not give any focus to the profit center which was showing double digit declines monthly. The other set decide that the ship may go down but they were going to work a little harder to suck every ounce of revenue from it before transfer to the new ship. While they worked harder they also built in time to prepare the new ship so that when it was time to move on they would not be slowed down. Can you guess the results of these two teams?
- The first team showed double digit declines for another year as hey got the other engines fired up and their new boats moving in their new direction.
- The second team of publishers continued to work hard generating revenue from the sinking ship at about 60% of past volume, plus started the preparation of their new ventures at the same time. In the same year they out produced the other team by more than double in revenue and in the next year out produced the first team in the new product as well.
This example of business I think happens all the time now when business is confronted with today’s ever moving marketplace.
Five foundational questions to consider when moving directions;
- Does the new direction require and new mission statement?
- Are the foundations that originally built your business still relevant and if so at what percentage?
- What monetary value is there to be lost or gained by changing directions abruptly and no longer servicing the old foundations?
- How much training is required on new generation of staff in the foundations of why the company is in business… from the beginning?
- Am I prepared to go backwards in business volume in order to gain the riches of the new future?
- I have often discussed with businesses, which change marketing strategies from traditional methods to all new age marketing, if they are willing to work as hard in business today as they did their first three years of business? To me that is what will happen to business in many cases.
- Do I have patience and belief in my new direction? How is your resolve? Any time your organization changes you will be challenged to find patience. But if you change dramatically, jump into the raging river, your patience will be tested.
The future will come and many millionaires will be developed in this age of change, so I too want to ride that wave. But more than anything I want my wave to last another 100 years and not be washed out with the changing wind.
I battle daily in my field of marketing the temptations of organizations to change quickly to the future technologies of today’s society. The online revolution in marketing changes so fast and so dramatically that it is hard not to just jump into the raging river without a life vest.
This last week my school district where my children will be hopefully graduating from in the next 4-7 years respectively, chose to jump into a raging river of change involving how we teach literature, English and basic vocabulary skills. This change was not a knee jerk reaction and its supporters seem to feel it is the future of education; however I can’t find comfort in this new development.
I wonder if our culture today has decided to stop fighting. Did we even know we were at war in our own communities? There was a time when generations were developed on the backbone of our fathers. We developed foundations that supported our dreams and our visions. And even though our own country was born out of dramatic change and revolutionary vision, the foundation of truth they laid out was based on foundational knowledge of the past.
As we move forward in 2010’s we seem to have crosses a barrier in thinking that has allowed our will to feel safe with out foundation. We seem to have moved to a place where flying before we know how to jump or land is thought to be proper technique in order to survive.
My question … or Warning is this. What happens when the winds change again and we have no foundational knowledge to once again ground us? Are we raising a generation of employees and children that have been feed a vision with no circumstances? Although I would comply that updating and reviewing past practices for relevance in today’s society is a very good task to tackle, I would suggest that we are leaping into new technology or fads of today’s reality with recklessness and would be wise to review our foundations before continuing forward.
To be continued
I have been working with sales people and businesses over 16 years in developing the next Big Idea for individual businesses, and I find it humorous on how many ideas are replayed over time. Got me thinking, How far will great ideas go? Can they still change a culture? Have we as a people become more creative or less creative over time?
- Today I read about the Apple I-Pad and how it is helping Newspapers publishers generate increased revenue from marketing on their applications. As a past publisher in the Newspaper business I find myself excited to think of what might be with this new technology.
- John Wooden, the great UCLA basketball coach, today lay’s in a Hospital bed at the age of 99 and fighting for his life. He has claimed to be a peace with life and the legacy he leaves behind. And Mr. Wooden should be at peace. Mr. Wooden brought the idea of greatness to sports, the pyramid of success. He revolutionized the game of basketball and how coaches, teachers and managers operate their teams in competitive situations. His ideas on leadership and character I believe changed generations of people.
History provides us with hind sight, and that hind sight inspires us because of simple but great ideas that work.
- Recently I was watching Disney Channel with my youngest son and was struck by the teen stars and the PSA they developed for changing our world. Not just Green but just doing what is right for the future of our planet. (Don’t get me wrong, I probably don’t qualify as an environmentalist, dad was a logger and I hate spotted owl.) Can today’s Teens provide us with the next great idea? The great Motivation to change?
- In the 1980’s Michael J. Fox took us on a journey in time with the movie “Back to the Future”. Do you remember the gadgets he found in the future? Tell me the I-Pad doesn’t remind you of that movie. When did the I-Pad Idea start? Was today’s genius struck by the power of the Flux Capacitor?
Big ideas, half Baked ideas, creative concepts, visions for the future… They are the life blood of our nation. Where the next one comes from is a mystery to most. We know that there are R&D groups all over the planet hard at work in developing the next great something.
What about you? Can you create one today in your office? Do you need to be the next great something to create a great idea? I don’t think so; I think you just have to decide to take a different path. Take a look at something just a little different.
How do you create a great idea today?
- Find a comfortable, yet stimulating environment.
- Invite two or three people you trust for a small brainstorming session. (important to note that these people don’t need to be affiliated with your business in order for this to work)
- Identify a subject or problem you are looking to solve.
- Start discussion with a little stimulation exercise. Something to make participants verbalize something a little out of the ordinary. (What color is your favorite and how does that color resemble who you are in business.)
- Keep it simple
- Make it fun
- Keep it short.
- Start Brainstorming with simple rule that nothing is out of bounds. All ideas should go on the board. Participants should feel free to say any thing at all and know that they will not have to defend themselves.
- Once you have run the course of ideas, go back and discuss each item, especially ones that stick out as different. Talk about nothing but the great points of the idea.
- Identify two or three ideas from first list to dig deeper on.
- Start brainstorming discussion on how those ideas might work how they might develop and how they will be successful.
- Implement your favorites…. That is the key. We see or hear great ideas everyday yet often we have no action and the idea fades away. ACTION is the key to great ideas.
- John Wooden did not just right a book about coaching, put his words to action.
- I-Pad developers acted on an idea. Maybe it came to them during a movie.
- Disney is making waves with the youth of our nation because they acted on an idea or passion.
I believe there are millions of new great ideas out there. Question is who will ACT!
I hope that I am one which will act on ideas and not let the next one pass me by.