Back to Blog
The impact sector is inundated with the latest jargons: decolonizing, indigenizing, circulation/circular economy, digital transformation, human-centered, etc. Everywhere you go, whether in health, trade, technology, community development, and other fields, these are the fashionable ideas.
Recently, I came across network colleagues pushing for digital transformation for the small and medium-sized enterprise they are trying to serve. Apparently, this transformation has three to four meanings depending on interpretation, none of which serve the small and micro-businesses' interests now and in the near future!
Our sector is overstimulated with all these buzzwords that will continue to be regurgitated by anyone who thought that they hold the promise to the future or unlock a key insight into the human evolution.
If organizations continue to adapt the 'next shiny object' without integrating what works and what they already have, they are likened to a mouse on a spinning wheel. They're busy for sure but they're not going very far.
If you add these 4-5 ideas on to your plate, what are you trying to dislodge?
Focus is the key in the long game. The emperor has no clothes on.
Back to Blog
Last year, I discussed that Mission is not Enough. Being an on-purpose organization alone without exhibiting sufficient value for society through their target partners is a major degeneracy.
Few organizations behave differently in purpose sector and do not exhibit these following traits or tell these drama:
1) Self-privileged- We do good in the world, therefore you should....... us.
2) Poor us, we do God's work-We don't have money for investing with our talent, systems, and operational excellence. We don't have overhead, therefore, you should trust us to be excellent in delivery. Non-sequitur..
3) It's enough to do good- We don't need to innovate. Our mission speaks for our existence and that's enough for you to give as grants, donations, etc. Mission is not enough. Being good seldom works.
4) There's too much need out there, we are overstretched, please stop demanding more!- We don't need to do better than what we do currently.
These are lame excuses for organizations whose relevance has become antedated without them knowing.
Look yourself in the mirror, if these are the same words you are operating with in late 2020 as an executive, get out of the way or get your acts together.
Nobody will ever laud that your organization existed, they only care if you have performed well beyond society's expectations.
Back to Blog
This week has been hectic with moving houses.
We have the Internet Guy and the Propane Guy come yesterday to install our Internet and our heating supply, respectively. Both of these outfits are local and are a phone call away.
They both arrived as promised and installed their systems without any hassle.
If small businesses operate like this, there's always business even in the context of a crisis, where people had to pay for basic services anyway regardless of whether the economy or the pandemic is surging or not.
The bottom line for marketing effectively and delivering well is responsiveness.
If you go dead by the middle of the phone call or tell a client all kinds of excuses why your team member is saying something contrary to what you are doing, then, it's no secret that you're not getting your acts together.
Local doesn't mean mediocre. You can be the best outfits and you can quickly respond with more capacity to your clients' needs if you know how to configure their services accordingly, you walk the talk, and be professional.
Another local outfit of carpet cleaner came in a few weeks ago and did an excellent job! He went beyond his job to get some of the nasty paints on the rug with all the tools that he had.
A little extra effort can go along. It builds goodwill with clients and help them know that you care enough more than getting the job done and getting paid for it.
It could be another moving day where things fall apart before you even start getting comfortable in the new place. Yesterday went extremely well!
Local businesses, don't underestimate your power. Be a source of reliable, quality, and responsive service.
Demonstrate that you care!
Back to Blog
People nowadays, tend to equate game changer with change maker.
These two have very different connotations.
Would you want to be a game changer? or a change maker?
Game changing is about changing the direction of the game (or game itself), reframing the scope and parameters of the engagement, and ensuring that you come out with a winner's advantage. This can be a short-term project or a long-term horizon perspective. Consistent game changers are Apple, Amazon, Fedex, to name a few.
Whereas, being a change maker reminds me of the long-term work that needs to happen to get our audacious goals for ourselves, our communities, our enterprises succeed.
You can position yourself as both.
This world calls for game changers with the short-term stakes on the pie, and change markers with the eye for long-term sustainable progress.
But, if you have to choose, choose game changing, because the ambiguous future looks to bold and audacious leaders who are willing to stretch the imagination of society, so that we can all come out thriving, not just surviving.
Game changing doesn't require a lot of brain power, or talent, or more connections. It doesn't require you shift lanes or careers or jobs. It doesn't require lots of capital infusion.
They can see the writing on the wall when others are busy mounting on their saddles again. It's called prescience, reinvention, mining opportunities, and #beyondresilience attitude.
Drop me a line to learn more about these new concepts.
Back to Blog
Yesterday, my car got stuck in a muddy part of our acreage. With all the wheels spinning deep into the mud, I had no choice but to leave it to the expert. I called for help.
I wonder how this situation is transported in many scenarios in our lives and careers.
How many times we refuse to call for help when we should and not 'game' or 'risk' deepening our being stuck in the mire?
Most of the time:
We thought we can do it. DIY is always the first choice, anyway. Good for learning and making sure you get what you want. Safety, time lags, and wasted monies are consequences for poor planning and execution.
We thought we don't need to bother anyone. On the contrary, before we get more into debt or trouble, we should call them now and not tomorrow.
We can survive and overcome. When was the last time, you flunk the interview/exam or going into a meeting completely unprepared and acting tentative? There are clear consequences for misfires and trials. Learn from the experts, become an expert, or completely walk away, because it's not your strong suit.
The expert drove the car down in a slope and shared some kind words of instruction. He said, "Some people drive purposefully in a mud, but with not with you."
We need experts and friendly allies to help us, remind us of the things we easily forget, and steer us in the right direction.
But it all starts with asking for help.
Back to Blog
Talent is so over-rated.
Leaders and managers continue to tout that they want to hire the best, brightest, and the most promising of all candidates.
The best seldom accomplishes more than what they think they can. They have limited versions of themselves that fit their current frame of 'success' and 'achievement' which could be limiting their chances of becoming better than they really are.
Whereas those that are average are always in the look-out to prove themselves and surprise themselves that they can do way better, with the right attitude and process.
Grit trumps genius, talent or high IQ (Duckworth: 2016). This is well-documented with the inner city students research that came back that persistence enables them to survive and thrive despite hardships or obstacles.
In these last three months, I persisted in the absence of positive news. It seemed that it's becoming a futile effort and I have to be preparing for the inevitable. The Plan B and C aren't better than the first option. It would mean more work and more expense on my part. I'm not even prepared to go that route.
Yesterday, a breakthrough came through. I'm happy I persisted. One colleague said, "Good for you, you have the time and talent."
On both those counts, I don't have enough. But I have grit and it's helping me reach my goals.
What are you trying to accomplish? Are you the near the end of your rope?
Hang in there, it's not the time to throw in the towel yet.
Persist and win.
Give up and lose.
Back to Blog
The vista post-pandemic will be entirely different, if not ambiguous, to say the least.
The things that we previously say 'no' to, becomes 'yes, we can try.'
The things that are off-limits or too-distant, become possible.
Barriers are starting to fall, to make room for adaptation.
Doors are beginning to open up, when previously shut on your face.
Since the crisis, I have been speaking with or training people from distant lands such as Nigeria, Uzbekistan, Hongkong, and recently Bangladesh. I am honored to be learning alongside them in this time.
People are missing the in-person connections because presence is WHAT MAKES US HUMANS!
We long for the day that we can travel again or visit folks or hold parties and weddings the way we do.
But the future will be totally different, we might as well accept that fact and make room in our minds for the inevitable modifications.
Yes, we can adapt to changes, without being fearful, forced into it, or depressed.
We welcome the ambiguity and we mine it the opportunities presented by the crisis.
We will wake up everyday ready to be surprised!