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Self-Realisation

Better and cheaper

That’s a pretty powerful combination. Some customers gravitate toward the option that offers ease, quality and convenience, while others prefer low price. If you can do both…

One way we’ve seen that done is with scale. Many people prefer the big box store to the local merchant. Not only is it often cheaper, but the selection might be dramatically better, the parking might be easier and in some rare cases, the service is better as well. How is this possible? Because volume pays off in almost every way that matters to the customer.

Another way is with proprietary insight. If a company has a production process, a patent or some other barrier, they can often deliver something faster and cheaper… a barrier that a competitor without that shortcut can’t overcome.

A third way is with herculean effort. When the people who work on the team simply care more. Caring is work, and caring is in short supply. An organization staffed with smart people who care can often run circles around a lazier competitor.

Most of the time, though, you’re probably unable to rely on one of these approaches. If that’s the case, the next best option is to choose. To actually be better (regardless of price) or to actually be cheaper. But pretending that you have both doesn’t work very well.

It costs a lot but it’s worth more than it costs.

Reblogged from: here

Self-Realisation

Cross the bridge and join the dragons

53 years ago, early in her career, Joni Mitchell recorded this song.

It’s not something most people will want to listen to often. Shortly after that, she became the one and only Joni Mitchell. But first, she had dues to pay.

That’s the work of practice and discernment and skill. You’re not born with genius, it’s a skill.

You might have to sing more than one song like this before you end up with the art that resonates with your audience.

Reblogged from: here

Uncategorized

“That’s not what I meant”

Disagreements among people who mean well usually begin with that emotion.

You meant to say something or agree to something, but the “other side” didn’t hear it that way.

That’s enough for a customer to walk away forever. That’s enough for a lawsuit. Because denying the experience of the other person doesn’t open the door for re-connection.

Forward motion is possible if we can extend the sentence to, “That’s not what I meant, but that must be what you heard, how do we fix this? Will you help me make things right again?”

If we can agree on intent, it’s a lot easier to figure out how to move forward.

Reblogged from: here

Self-Realisation

The Successful Scientist

The scientific method is the most powerful invention humans have ever created. It’s not just for people in white coats and in labs. The scientific method has changed what we wear, what we eat, the health of our families, the way we earn a living–the world as we know it is a result of a simple process of hypothesis, testing and explanation.

Unfortunately, school and other systems in our world focus on just one or two of the elements necessary to do it well.

  1. Know the rules, maxims and outcomes that came before. Do the reading, score well on the test.
  2. Understand the thinking behind these rules, so you can dive deeper and either change the rules or expand on them.
  3. Do tests that others haven’t thought of or that people don’t think will work. Intentionally create falsifiable hypotheses, knowing that you might be wrong, and then go test them.
  4. Publish your results so that others can examine your work and improve it. Show your work. Invite correction and improvement.
  5. Explain what you did clearly so that it becomes part of the canon, so it can be used by others, until it’s replaced by something even more useful.

There are very few contentious arguments in our world today that couldn’t be more quickly resolved if all involved were willing to act in good faith and work their way through the steps together.

Because if you seek to lead or to change minds, if you’re working for better, then you’re a scientist.

Reblogged from: Here

Self-Realisation

A/B/C and the problem with skipping a step

Striving to be asleep is a difficult leap. On the other hand, committing to lying still is do-able. Lying still makes it more likely you’ll get to the next step.

Hoping to grow your business by word of mouth by willing your customers to talk about you isn’t nearly as productive as making something worth talking about.

Skipping a step is frustrating and usually futile.

Reblogged from: here

Uncategorized

The magic of the countdown

Thea von Harbou invented the countdown. 10, 9, 8…

It works.

It focuses the attention of everyone involved and ensures that we’re truly alert for what’s going to happen next.

It helps that the numbers go down, not up (because up might never end). And it helps that as we get closer to lift-off, tension goes up, not down.

But what really matters is this: There’s a commitment.

When we get to zero, we’re actually going to do this.

The commitment has to happen before the countdown can.

Reblogged from: here

Self-Realisation

The simple cure for writer’s block

Write.

People with writer’s block don’t have a problem typing. They have a problem living with bad writing, imperfect writing, writing that might expose something that they fear.

The best way to address this isn’t to wait to be perfect. Because if you wait, you’ll never get there.

The best way to deal with it is to write and to realize that your bad writing isn’t fatal.

Like all skills, we improve with practice and with feedback.

Reblogged from: here

Uncategorized

Stolen Ideas

Is there a difference between someone stealing a potato from your farm and someone stealing your idea?

Well, if everyone in town comes and takes a potato, your farm is bust.

But if everyone in town comes and takes your idea, you’re more known, trusted and effective than you used to be.

During Google’s beginnings, their business and tech plan was available to anyone who stopped by Stanford and bothered to read it. Every popular podcast based on an original idea gave away that original idea the moment the first episode of the podcast was available–long before the podcast itself became popular.

When I was a book packager, we ended up publishing about 120 books and pitching another 1,000 that were never published. In all of that time, I can only remember one of our ideas (it was a big one) being stolen from us and published without our participation. That code of ethics created a feeling of intellectual safety. But, at the same time, it was our successful books that were copied the most–and that copying was not just a symptom but often a cause of their success.

The internet is a copying machine. Ideas morph and change and spin as they move from one end to the other. Ripping ideas off wholesale and violating intellectual property rights is nothing to be proud of–each of us can do better than that. But holding ideas too tightly in fear of the ripples and echoes they’re going to cause is the real problem.

Being original is an opportunity to advance the conversation. Building something of utility with persistence and grace is truly generous, though, and it’s not related to whether or not anyone has ever heard your idea before.

Reblogged from: here

Self-Realisation

Our top story

When you talk about your last job, your last vacation, the things that happened when you were 12…

What do you lead with?

Do you lead with, “I broke my ankle that summer and rarely got out” or is it, “I stuck with my reading regimen and read all of Shakespeare.”

Because both are true.

The top story is the one that informs our narrative, and our narrative changes our future.

Reblogged from: here