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DON'T BOOTCAMP IT
The funny thing about start up boot camp is that it's just a boot camp.
It simulates real-life struggles, pains, and turmoil but can barely do so without either running out of steam or funding.
Start ups who are cocooned in this type of environment believe that it will always be easy, there are answers to almost everything, and that with the right technique you can have it all in quick time.
In business and in life, there are many uncontrollable factors and under time pressure, funding pressure, and impact pressure, few entrepreneurs make it without the emotional, psychological, and physical trauma and strains of keeping with the program.
The biggest take-away that a boot camp can do is to let entrepreneurs learn on their own without the grants, supports, networks, and prized monies. What will that look like?
Strip away all the prestige and glamour attributed to entrepreneurialism, it's really about marshalling whatever you have, rather than aiming and getting to their best position.
Bird in hand...
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UNLEARNING EVERY TIME
The best organizations are constantly unlearning not just learning constantly.
There a big difference between those who are always challenging themselves versus those who are already feeling that they have reached and arrived.
A few comments I have heard through the years where external help is rejected on the basis of:
If it's not invented here, it wont work.
We are pretty good at what we do.
We have another consultant that we 're still working on.
We don't need another external person to know our problems.
The current Board or Executive will not support this intervention.
Our Request for Proposal is our vehicle for getting help.
Our priorities right now are very different from the last Executive Director.
We don't have a budget for this kind of exercise.
All these are excuses and should not be seriously considered.
The best organizations do recognize that 'if there's a will, there's a way.' Unlearning should happen before actual learning happens. Bringing a resource is a matter of strategy and an asset that can be deployed when needed, not when the organization is in a critical condition.
Past success is never a predictor for future success.
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ETHICS TRUMP TALENT
I just said today that ethics trumps talent in a class.
One said, "so it's okay to hire mediocre but good people in your organization.'
Talent is so overrated and that hiring managers are beginning to look at not just the 'soft side' of competence but the overall adaptability and mindset of the person they are looking to hire.
At the end of the day, the worst corporate scandals are committed by people who are have no qualms circumventing the laws of the land to suit their motives and agenda.
This is not a zero-sum game either. There has been a shift towards hiring employees who do not have the perfect CV or educational background but have the right mental, emotional, and intellectual fitness for long-term growth. Good enough is better than someone that can't be trusted to make major decisions for the company, whose integrity is questionable or consistency suspect.
At the end of the day, when ethical dilemmas arise in the workplace, which always happen, in micro or macro way, we hope and pray that the one making the decision has the moral and ethical code he/she lives by daily. We hope that our HR managers can stand up for what's right in a given situation. We hope that our executives truly exhibit transformative leadership.
Ethics is the cornerstone in our businesses and organizations. It's the rudder in a turbulent, volatile and ambiguous world we live in. It's the compass, without which we will become a civilization without a heart and soul.
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THE COVID19 LENS
Lately in a coaching conversation, I learned that applying a COVID19 lens as an intentional approach to planning, decision-making, and resources allocation is not only safe but strategic.
Given that majority of the world is still battling the third wave, dangerous variants have weakened and collapsed many health care systems in the developing countries, and developed countries have yet to pick up the pieces of their lives and economies- COVID19 will not go away just as it came.
The COVID19 lens should be used beyond the pandemic and the virus transmission. It's about reconstruction, restoration, and healing of societies and economies. It's also about getting back to the root causes that alienate us from our environment, community, and self-sustainability. I heard that those people who recover from COVID19 had after-effects felt for months and years.
These are facts we are grappling today:
How can the whole society recover from mental health issues, depression, and isolation? How can we recover from deaths of family, friends, neighbors, officemates due to COVID19?
How can we recover from suicides of people close to us who died because of COVID19 isolation?
How can we recover our businesses from taking a nose dive due to lockdowns and travel/mobility restrictions?
How can we recover from deaths that are not COVID19 because the health care systems refuse to treat emergency surgeries?
These are not irrecoverable or irreparable but they do leave lasting impacts that will take years to completely undo.
On a positive note, this virus will never be back again. On a more realistic note, we will have to face more diseases, deadlier than this one unless we get better at monitoring, testing, rules and policy enforcements, and cooperation.
How are you operating your organization through the COVID19 lens and beyond? Are you ready for the slow but sure emergence in the horizon?
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Perseverance, called Percy, the car-sized rover landed on Mars last February 18, 2021 collecting samples of rocks.
What great timing in terms of being proud as humans even in the gloomiest situation we found ourselves in!
We all need more perseverance these days with the most restrictive lockdowns ever to come down in Alberta.
What areas in your life, whether personal or professional would use more Percy?
What areas in your team environment would use more Percy?
Are you fed up with dealing with nasty, angry, very difficult public and customers?
Hang in there! Churchill said, "If you're going through hell, keep going."
Adversity produces Character, Character produces Patience, Patience Hope.