Power of Color– Know, Understand the Meanings of Color: Color Matters in Business, Branding… But, Cultures See It Different…

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The Power of Color– Color is the most direct and immediate non-verbal communication method of conveying messages and meanings… Often called the ‘silent salesperson’, color will immediately attract the holder’s eye, convey the message of what the business is about, create a brand identity, and most importantly help to make the sale… Much of human reaction to color is subliminal– customers are generally unaware of the persuasive effects of color… According to Meghan Casserly; Google is one of many major corporations researching the power of color in the working world, assessing everything from work spaces to marketing, branding… it’s still early in the research but it has already found a clear link between color and satisfaction with a person’s work area; the simple element of color can boost employee creativity, productivity… At first glance, color says much about a business; it forms the brand identity, and it’s an important factor in influencing customers perceptions about your business. According to Elyria Kemp; typically it takes a customer less than 90 seconds to decide if they want to engage your business, messaging… and more than half of their assessment is based on color alone… many companies are researching their color choices to the tune of millions of dollars…

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Globally, every culture has an association with different colors, and business must know and understand that it’s extremely important to employ the persuasive force of color in their business, marketing efforts… Every color symbolizes some– emotion, action, belief… and it’s important for business to understand and leverage all these associations in order to create a relevant business identity… Understanding the meanings of color in business is essential– the psychology of color effects people’s lives in so many ways, and yet you often don’t realize the impact of color choices in business branding, image, e.g.; website colors, stationery and packaging, office space, branding, in fact, all business activities. Color has a powerful subconscious effect without even saying a word. According to Emil Hagopian; color tends to excite people and makes them feel like they are in a better space– color adds to the total feeling of security, comfort… However, the challenge for business is picking the right color, as well as, understanding the meanings of color…

In the article Power of Color In Doing Business Across Cultures by CompuKol writes: People react to other people emotionally, e.g.; people in networking situations connect with other people on that same emotional level as themselves… And, at a subconscious level, the application of specific colors cause people to react in different ways to business or other people… Color is a form of non-verbal communication and when doing inter-cultural business, you must understand the effect that color has on the interpretation of the messages being transmitted to different cultures… There are two ways in which colors acquire meaning: 1. natural universal association of specific colors. 2. color symbolism based on individual experiences, culture, values… for example, black is typically used for funerals in most western countries, while in China white is the color of mourning… When doing business globally, check the meaning of each color for each country: Color symbolism impacts business and personal brands through your messaging, e.g.; websites graphic design, packaging, branding, corporate identity… The significance of some colors is universal, whereas many colors have meanings that shift in various cultures…

When using the Internet for online advertising, businesses must be very careful about cultural differences in color symbolism, since color is first thing that is seen on a website or banner, even before the person understands the language or what the message says… A mismatch between colors and meanings in website content is counter productive, and potentially ruin the business objectives. The customization of a color pattern for each country is becoming more critical as the population profile of Internet users is shifting rapidly… In increasingly global, competitive, and interconnected market, communication needs to be carefully targeted. Few companies have a brand that is powerful enough to generate the same response worldwide. For most companies, it’s important to understand what the impact of communication and color will be on the targeted group. Therefore, it’s not only important to know and understand the meanings of color in cultures, but also to find the applicable rules for translating them as friendly to the culture… Colors play a very important role when it comes to business networking, and it’s very important to know and understand the effect that colors have on your target audience, and that your colors give the perception of positive messaging… There are many things that go into a successful business and the meaning of color is among one of the most important ones…

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Power of Color: According to research, color communicates more effectively than non-colors, such as; black and white… Here’s what the research says:

  • Color visuals increase willingness to read by up to 80%…
  • Using color can increase motivation and participation by up to 80%…
  • Color enhances learning and improves retention by more than 75%…
  • Color accounts for 60% of the acceptance or rejection of an object and is a critical factor in the success of any visual experience…
  • Using color in advertising outsells black and white by a whopping 88%…

In a customer survey, 3M asked users to share their attitudes and perceptions about color, and the results of their survey is as follows:

  • 50% felt that using color made the presenter appear more professional…
  • 77% agreed that– presentations that use color are able to communicate better than those that use black and white…
  • 72% agreed that– presentations that use color are remembered longer than those that use black and white…

While these statistics are interesting; you need only look to your own experience to make the most compelling case for color: Think about it. Why are the Sunday comics the most savored and fought over? Even if it were cheaper, would you choose to buy a new black and white television? When you’re driving, is it the color ‘red’ or the letters ‘STOP’ that make you put your foot on the brake? You probably even use color ‘highlighters’ to draw attention to important points on printed articles and reports… Each year over 700 million color highlighter pens are sold to focus people’s attention on important information. But, there is a lot more to color than meets the eye, for example: Color communicates and  speaks to people in universal language which sometimes eliminates the need for words altogether. Around the world, color-based signage is used to convey meaning, e.g.; airports, roads, hospitals… Color is a powerful device for illustrating both similarities and differences, e.g.; meteorologists rely on color to communicate dramatic weather… And, if you’ve ever tried to read a weather map that is not in color, then you understand just how much additional meaning and information is carried in those subtle shades of color…

In the article Color and Psychology of Branding by Jill Morton writes: Brands and color are inextricably linked because color offers an instantaneous method for conveying meaning and message without words… ‘Branding’ is a word commonly referred to by advertisers and marketing people, but what does it actually mean? Marketing experts define ‘brand’ as the ‘name, term, sign, symbol, design, or combination of them intended to identify a company’s products or services’… In other words, a brand communicates the ‘idea’ of company or product: Brands communicate meanings with the language of– color, shape, image… Brands and color are inextricably linked, and color offers an instantaneous method for conveying meaning without words. Color is a visual component that people remember most about a brand– followed closely by shapes, symbols, numbers, and finally words… Many of the most recognizable brands in the world rely on color as a key factor in their instant recognition… Research shows that color increases brand recognition by up to 80%… and that 60% of the time people will decide if they are attracted or not to a message– based on color alone!

In the article Using Color Psychology For Effective Business by Fitz Villafuerte writes: Theories in the psychology of color can play an important role in business, marketing… Research shows that colors have the power to alter the physiology and mental states of a person, and marketing managers, brand managers, business managers… use this insight to effectively promote favorable business perceptions and influence in initial customers engagement. Just look around, and you will see evidence of this marketing strategy, for example; fast-food restaurants are usually red and orange, banks and financial firms are often blue, while luxury products are typically packaged in black… But, always remember that colors may have different meanings across various demographics and cultures, so be very mindful about target markets, and understand the meanings of color as related to your specific markets… However in the final analysis, it’s the value, quality, and level of excellence of the deliverable that determines the sustainable of the business… much more important than any brand aesthetics…

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Color is used as a catalyst for affecting human mood and behavior in business and other organizations for centuries. Today, similar principles of the psychology of color are being utilized across the Internet to influence the interaction and emotional of onlookers and customers alike… Numerous studies have attempted to decipher the correlations between colors and human behavior, and while some professionals remain skeptics, many  others  are not… According to Keri; color is a constant, it’s ubiquitous, there is no escaping it… Color is a powerful tool to entice and engage a target audience, and if properly used it can be extremely effective… According to Ann Smarty; color is a crucial element of a brand identity, and website color scheme can influence behavior, e.g.; visitors to a website will leave immediately, or to stay depending on color… People will remember your website or business identity at first glance, if you put a little thought and effort in designing the color component of the business… Remember; color gets people interested in your business; color gets people to remember your business; color is a critical factor in your business branding… Hence, select your business color(s) carefully…

 

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Widening Gap Between Technology Advances and Legal System: Giving Rise to Absurdities–Thorny Legal Issues…

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Gap Between Laws and Technology: Thorny legal issues are emerging between laws and regulations, and technologies that are evolves at breakneck speed… Anyone who owns a smart phone knows that just keeping up with advances in technology is insane. But, What happens when technology moves faster than the law? Case(s) in point; drones, driverless cars, digital media ownership, gene therapy… People are being sued for– posting on social networking sites, privacy, defamation, intellectual property… all virtually unimaginable 25 years ago. According to Milo Yiannopoulos; widening gap between technology advances and the justice system is giving rise to absurdities. What’s at stake? How about: Financial interests of inventors, researchers, users, artists… but, most important, innovation and creativity itself. Now there are only questions; answers will certainly come; but, will they come fast enough to keep pace with technology? According to Henry Perritt, Jr.; laws have always lag technology because the ‘common law’ tradition says that the law and legal system should not predetermine course of technology. 

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Traditionally, technology innovation was embraced by early adopters who were followed by the masses… Today, technology innovation is embraced by early adopters who are followed by lawyers… According to Larry Downes; technology innovators must improve by anticipating legal challenges at the heart of their innovations… Most challenges don’t come from the government but from competitors who use the legal system to slow or stop the progress of innovations that they find threatening… Often the tendency for technology innovation to change the rules of industry is invariably faster than the industry wants to change: Laws are one of the principal weapons of resistance… Modern business law is remarkably complex even in just one country, but add globalization and complexity of laws is off the charts… According to  Ray Kurzweil: analysis of the history of technology shows that technology change is exponential, within few decades machine intelligence will surpass human intelligence, technology change is so rapid, profound it represents a rupture in the fabric of human history…

In the article Laws Must Keep-Up With Technology by Milo Yiannopoulos writes: There is a rapidly widening gap between the speed of technology innovation and the laws set-up to govern. Worse there’s an enormous cultural gulf between the general public and judiciary, whose job it is to interpret and apply those laws. Ignorant of the nuances of the Internet and mistrustful of the milieu from which social media types emerge, judges are simply not qualified to determine the appropriateness or effect of a tweet… Increasingly, debate in the public square is being carried out online, on permanent and public social platforms. These platforms are fast-paced, aggressive worlds that encourage rapid-fire debate and quick thinking, and they are adversarial by nature… In other words, these platforms are changing the flavor of public discourse. The widening gap between technology advance, Internet culture and the law has already led to expensive, pointless absurdities being played out in courtrooms…

In the article Laws and Ethics Can’t Keep Pace with Technology by Vivek Wadhwa writes: Laws and ethical practices have evolved over centuries. Today technology is growing on an exponential curve touching practically everyone, everywhere… Changes of magnitude that once took centuries now happen in decades, even years, months… And, we haven’t come to grips with– what is ethical, let alone with– what laws should be, for technologies, such as; social media… Consider for example; smartphones track your movements and habits, Internet searches reveal your thoughts, wearable devices and medical sensors are being connected to smartphones providing  information about a person’s physiology and health in the public domain… Where do you draw the line on– What is legal and ethical? There will be similar debates about– self-driving cars, drones, robots… These too will record everything you do, and will raise new legal and ethical issues. What happens when a self-driving car has a software failure and hits a pedestrian, or a drone’s camera happens to catch someone skinny-dipping in a pool or taking a shower, or a robot kills a human in self-defense? Thomas Jefferson said in 1816; Laws and institutions must go hand in hand with progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions…

The Law (Legal System) and Change in Technology: This article is an adaptation of an article by Scott Brinker. There are two things that are true: 1. Technology is changing very rapidly and these changes seem to be accelerating… 2. Laws and the legal systems are also changing; they are changing– how they think and how they behave… but they are changing very slowly and not keeping pace with technology… Consider the chart (below) with– Y-axis representing  ‘change’, and X-axis representing  ‘time’. As disclaimer: this chart is an intuitive estimate of change and is not a rigorous scientific formulation…

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Technology advances exponentially as shown in the sharply rising ‘blue curve’, which is a generally accepted phenomenon, for example; Moore’s Law is the exponential growth of computing power… Metcalfe’s Law is the exponential value of interconnections on expanding networks… and futurist Ray Kurzweil identified exponential technological progress on many fronts as part of a ‘Law of Accelerating Returns’… Of course, some kinds of technology changes are harder to quantity, for example; how should you measure how fast social media is changing? Very difficult; but it’s reasonable to suggest that the velocity of technology change can be characterized as something faster than– steady or linear growth. Whereas laws, typically, ‘absorb’ change logarithmically– as shown in the chart with the much slower rising ‘red curve’– It takes the legal system much greater time  to understand, deliberate, execute… The legal system and its laws is a highly complex structure with– precedent, process, cultural, institutional resistance…

Hence, one of the great dilemma of the 21st century is the relationship between these two curves… The simple fact is that technology is changing much faster than laws can absorb change. That is crux of technology management: We cannot adopt all technology changes, but we can consciously choose some. Great technology management is choosing which changes to absorb into laws and how the laws will accommodate new technologies. It’s up to lawmakers to pass laws and courts to uphold them. In the absence of new legislation specifically addressing technology advances, courts must decide cases based on laws in place and cases already decided… Before businesses incorporating new technologies they must consider the legal traps that might be involved…

In the article Can Laws Keep-Up With Technology? by Manav Tanneeru writes: Legal experts say that it’s difficult for the law to keep pace with emerging technology, and there are several reasons why laws tends to play catch-up. The first is that it’s typically difficult to predict or anticipate technology innovations… Another reason is that it’s difficult to handle cases that deal with the Internet because it confronts a fundamental schism: Is the Internet a unique, separate space or is it really an extension of real space? That concept might be a little bit abstract, but think of it this way: When a person dies, a house, property or car owned by that person can be passed on, relatively easily, to a family member or an identified heir… But what about online property like account profiles, passwords, digital content? We really haven’t thought about this much because there haven’t been many generations of users with copious digital assets to even trigger the need to think about what happens if they pass away… Another challenge for the law is the way the Internet crosses state and international borders.

For example; let’s say a Facebook user in UK sues another user in Australia for defamatory comments posted on a website. Who has jurisdiction over the case, which country’s laws should be applied: UK, Australia, U. S., where Facebook is based? One last hypothetical: Let’s look at a Facebook or Twitter network of 10 people. Half of them are co-workers; the other half are not. One co-worker is offended by something another co-worker says: Do harassment laws apply? Does the company that employs some of the people have any liability? There’s an increasing breakdown of the traditional social boundaries between workplace, personal, public information… It’s a time of cultural shift and this is going to take a while to stabilize itself and shake out and, apparently, the process has begun…

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In the article Can Law Keep Up with Technology? by Heather Bussing writes: Laws are based on people, places, things… But technology and the Internet aren’t: The Internet is not a place, it’s everywhere and nowhere in particular… Digital information is not a thing: It flows in tiny packets and exists in multiple copies just to be seen and used… And, people are becoming great files of data as companies track everywhere you go online, how long you stay, what you look at and buy, where you go in the world, who your friends are, and how you interact with them… Technology and the ways you use it is changing the role of law and lawyers. Companies and their attorneys need to start thinking about how to make a difference in digital and data driven world. Courts and legislatures are struggling to keep up with the fast pace of technology: New laws and cases are quickly outdated… State legislatures are rushing bills into law to protect employees, job applicants… But, neither Congress nor legislatures are capable of keeping up with how fast technology is moving…

Applying old existing laws to today’s digital landscape can be challenging for the legal system and risky for individuals and businesses… According to Markland Hanle; the legal community is not ready for the issues that emerging technologies bring… Ask most law firms what they know about biotechnology, nanotechnology, Internet, social media… and, in fact, for most technology advances and all you’ll get is a blank stare… Sadly, most law firms are no more familiar with emerging technologies and scientific advances than the juries that they are trying to convince. As technology advance, the education of the legal community must advance as well… Advances in new technology demand new breed of lawyers, judges, juries– people who can understand the complexity of technology, and more important, its impact on business, society… 

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Cowbell– Every Person, Every Business Has at Least One– It’s Your Remarkable, Unique Talent, Skill… Bagpipes Don’t Work.

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Cowbell– every person, every business has at least one– it’s the unique talent people pay to see, or it’s a company’s unique competitive advantage… It’s something that delights people– gives them value, pleasure… and when you discover it and share it, you gain success and happiness for both yourself and others: It’s a win-win… In the book by Brian Carter and Garrison Wynn; they framed the ‘cowbell‘ as a principle: It’s the Cowbell Principle. And they write; the key to happiness and success is knowing who you are and how you can make other people happy… As simple as this Cowbell Principle sounds, few people or businesses harness its full power; many individuals struggle to find their unique strengths and they toil on things that they love, but no one else appreciates or cares about them; these interesting but underwhelming strengths, skills, talent… are called ‘bagpipes’, they are not ‘cowbells’…

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The key for success is to find and ring your true cowbell; develop it, communicate it. it’s your empowerment for a higher level of performance… However, the real challenge is to defy mediocrityif you’re too vanilla (i.e., ordinary), it’s hard to be successful, because you don’t stand out: It’s mediocrity that goes along with low expectations, lack of ambition, lack of motivation, little or zero passion– it’s sleepwalking through life. If you’re good at something or even great at it– tell people, show them, don’t deny it, don’t hide it, don’t be embarrassed about it. Hence, if you have remarkable– gifts, talents, skills, you have cowbells. According to Joel Comm; your greatest fear should not be about surviving, but about– mediocrity, powerlessness; if you are just keeping-up with the crowd, you are actually falling behind– treading water is not swimming, it’s just controlled drowning. So find your cowbell, and forge your desired path; it’s the only way to move forward to get enough opportunities for fame, fortune, and doing the thing you enjoy…

In the article Amazing Business Insights In Cowbell Principle  by Charles Franklin writes: Your cowbell is specific– strength, talent, skill… which sets you apart from all others; it’s something that only you can provide. It’s the ‘remarkable competitive advantage’ that people are willing to pay… This concept is not new, e.g.; the principle behind Seth Godin’s ‘Purple Cow’ and ‘Linchpin’ is about being indispensable and valuable… But the thing that makes ‘The Cowbell Principle’ different is that it requires others in a community or business to be involved; it must be played within an ensemble, because if it does not help others it’s just experiment in psychotic selfishness! A cowbell must add real value to a community or business; it must give you important role to play. The cowbell is rhythmic, it meshes within a community, business… Identifying your cowbell is not an easy task: For something to be a remarkable strength, talent, skill… and hence a cowbell, it must have two characteristic: 1. It must bring you personal happiness, satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment… 2. It must delight your community or business with real and unique value…

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In the article Why Exceptional Leaders Focus on More Cowbell by Paul Rulkens writes: An exceptional leader sees their organization as one big– ‘superhero convention’, where people are stimulated to exchange their talents, and start applying their strengths to the maximum extent possible… And, for those individuals who do not distinguish themselves with some remarkable– strength, talent, skill… they will probably get stuck in a rut… Only the organization and individuals that show courage, and build on unique and remarkable strengths are they able to unleash their full potential… Exceptional leadership is about success, not perfection… Here are a few practical ideas on how exceptional leaders inspire ‘More Cowbell’ in their organization:

  • Get rid of Dysfunctional Performance: Focus on peoples’ strengths and build well-rounded high performance teams that compensate for any individual weaknesses…
  • Reinvent Delegation: Everyone is wired differently and playing to your strengths is often enjoyable and fun. When delegation is applied well, you will be surrounded by people who love to do what you detest doing…
  • Apply Principle of Highest and Best Use of Time:  Throughout an organization the most, highest and best use activities are: Activities that an organization is ‘best’ skilled at… Activities that an organization is ‘most’ passionate about… Activities that an organization can create (massive) ‘highest’ value to others…
  • Lead by Example: Exceptional leaders see themselves as Trim Tabs’: A Trim Tab is a little rudder, which moves a big rudder, which consequently moves a massive oil tanker. It is a metaphor for the ability of leaders to change an entire organization by consistently adjusting and applying necessary corrections…
  • Nurture Superhero Talent: Exceptional leaders inspire others to become aware and accelerate their ‘superhero’ talent. There are three ways to quickly find your own super-talent: 1. It’s used to solve most complex problems… 2. People frequently come to you for help, advice… 3. You are eagerly engaged in learning by– reading, watching, listening, doing…

In the article When Dumbest Idea Is Best One by Brian Carter writes: Sometimes the dumb idea is the best one; and you often confuse simplicity with stupidity. It’s easy to think that if something is simple, it must not be the best or most effective: Wrong! Often an idea may seem dumb because you are being dumb… Try something stupid; even though you might be afraid to do something that you think is a good idea but you do not do it, because you think that others might view as stupid? Well think again, sometimes exercising a stupid idea leads you to a better idea. Sometimes the only way to genius is through being stupid. Are stupid ideas a good idea? Maybe: Since when is the first idea the best idea? If the first idea were indeed the best idea, then progress makes no sense. Show willingness to be crazy: some of the greatest innovations where, initially, thought to be crazy… Sometimes it takes a little craziness to disrupt an industries…

The Cowbell Principle is not about following ‘your’ passion and making money; it’s about bringing joy, delight, value… to others and that makes money, which then becomes a true cowbellian experience… Your cowbell is the biggest, most remarkable talent you have, and it must delight other people (or it’s not a cowbell)… remember bagpipes are not cowbells… Ultimately, your success means clearly understanding everything about your cowbell… According to Oscar Wilde; be yourself; everyone else is already taken… Bagpipes many give you joy but not fortune… and there’s another class of obstruction called ‘killer skills’, which are not nearly as awesome as they sound: No, it’s not the 1980s version of the term. These are killers in the sense that they ‘kill your spirit’: Ouch! Killer skills are things you’ve learned to do that make you money, but they’re not a passion; in fact, they’re the opposite of a passion, they are the necessary evils– things you must do to support you, your family, and they are slowly killing you. According to Joseph Campbell; you must be willing to let go of the life you planned so as to have the life that is waiting for you…

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The reality is that there’s ‘not’ very many things that most people, companies can really excel at… So when you identify that remarkable talent, skill, strength… you are doing yourself and every member of (your team)– a disservice if you did not play the hell out of it– your cowbell… even if you risk looking like a fool. According to Brian Carter; the freedom of fear about other people’s opinions gives you the freedom to excel, and the fear of being who you really are creates failure. If you’re not being who you really are, then you won’t achieve what your remarkable talent, skills… are meant to accomplish. Confidence is contagious: To win big you must play big and those who risk the most win the most… Confidence and hope is so very important that you should do whatever you need to do in order to have it, e.g.; some people do religion or spirituality, some people drink green tea, some take antidepressants… It does not matter what it is… The only thing you have to lose from being ‘irrationally optimistic’ is you might be disappointed sometimes. But there is so much to gain; it’s worth it!

According to Bryan Kramer; geniuses often do a type of copying that not everyone else thinks of; they copy a ‘process’ not the substance. Anybody can copy the ‘what’ of something, and you call that intellectual property theft.. Geniuses copy the ‘how’ unless it’s patented… Don’t copy ‘what’ a good idea is; copy the ‘how’ that made the ‘what’, and then make your own good idea… It’s your creativity, your cowbell, that makes it happen and it’s your competitive advantage: It’s when you find different, faster, better ways to do something… it’s how creativity works: Yesterday’s solutions created today’s problems; today’s solutions create tomorrow’s problems; it never ends, and you can’t give-up if you want to stay on top… knowing, understanding, using your cowbell is the key asset you have for getting to the top…

According to Debra Jason; life is short, and people live the life they create. So what better life can you create than one that’s based on you doing something you love, and that other people love too? According to Albert Schweitzer; your success is not the key to happiness, happiness is the key to your success… If you really love what you do you are successful. Moreover, until you experience real joy from your own ‘uniqueness’ you won’t shine and you certainly won’t get to enjoy the awesomeness of a cowbellian life. So your challenge, if you agree to accept it, is to– find, develop, ring your cowbell and experience highest level of joy for yourself, and the greatest level of delight for others…

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Crossing Line Between Desperate, Determine– Universal Law of Need: Failure is Often Due to Leaders’ Desperation…

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If you look, you’ll see it everywhere; If you listen carefully, you’ll hear it; If you log into Facebook, you’ll get an overwhelming dose of it: It’s ‘desperation‘… Thoreau called it ‘quiet’ desperation; ‘quiet’ because it’s insidious… it’s sits there on your inside, and most of the time business and people do a great job of just hiding it, but every now and then it comes creeping out, as a silent– ‘act’, ‘cry’… Desperation is an emotional state in which a business or person feels hopeless, and without any options… Desperation is described by the Universal Law of Need, which simply states that the more you need something, the less likely it’s that you will get it… Then on the positive side, according to BalaInIceland; desperation is a great motivator– it brings a sense of urgency, adrenalin kicks-in, and you really start executing… 

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Then there are the business models of desperation, where in the name of corporate ‘reform’ there are many failed ‘turnarounds’ that are forcibly implemented by leaders who often are on verge of their own demise due to their persistent failure of leadership: Hence, their solution or their secret sauce– is to blame the employees, blame the market, blame the economy, it’s the blame game… tactics of desperation are used as a distraction to hide failure of leadership. Sound familiar? Corporate reforms are often hastily adopted in a moment of a leaders desperation– and rarely, if ever, do desperate acts achieve the desired outcome.According to Kevin J. McCarthy; once the line of desperation is crossed there is a shifts in perception, such that decisions made are largely ineffectual.

In the article Mass of Men (and Women) Lead Lives of Quiet Desperation by admin writes: In the classic book ‘Walden’ by Henry David Thoreau there is this quote: The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation, and go to the grave with the song still in them… it speaks to anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit. The quote is one of the most powerful and telling depictions of desperation, for example: the phrase– ‘The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation…’ says, that most of you go through life wanting more, but accepting less: You accept a life that is lacking passion and you resign yourself to accept the status-quo, and not taking any action to make your life and the lives of those around you better… Also, the second half of the phrase– ‘… and go to the grave with the song still in them’ is the saddest part of the quote, because it says that not only do you know you want more, and you have the inherent abilities to make the necessary changes, but you are simply too tired, drained, discouraged… to do so. The lesson is simple; if you (yes, you) are a ‘quiet’ desperate person with a song inside of you… then, it’s time to get out of the rut and start making changes…

In the article Signs of Desperation by Tom Sant writes: Customers can sense desperation from your body language, your behavior, your voice, your low expectations, your general lack of discernment… Then as your fiscal year draws to an end, you start to feel desperate, if you are not close to hitting quota. And, if self-employed and the money is not coming in, and you encounter a string of rejections from customers, partners… you may be seized by sense of desperation. But recognize that desperation stems from feeling of hopelessness; it makes you want to speed things up… But this is just the time when you need to step back and look at you objectives; what you are doing, how you are doing it, why you are doing it… maintain a positive attitude and stave-off hopelessness, desperation… Here are a few traits of a business in desperation:

  • Tendency to chase after deals that are not going anywhere… you’re willingness to pursue low quality, low probability opportunities…
  • Early price discounting in the hope that cutting the price will be a faster route to closing business… you’re willingness to use high-pressure tactics…
  • Fear of contradicting or challenging the customer, even if they are misinformed or making unrealistic demands…  propensity to try to close too early, before you have established the components of trust– rapport, credibility, sincerity…
  • Violation of the maxims of good communication– exaggerating or distorting the truth, not showing why your message has relevance… you lapse into using jargon and fluff…

In the article Desperation or Determination by LaTonja Smith writes: There is a major distinction between being desperate, and being determined. Desperate, by definition, means to have lost all hope. A person or business that’s in despair will do almost anything, just to get a piece of short-term success. On the other hand, a determined person or business will not settle for anything less than a desired outcome… Determine means to have one’s mind made-up about a direction, decision… So, when you encounter or find yourself in a desperate situation and there are no obvious options: Remember the saying; Desperate times call for desperate measures… then do what you got to do to survive…

Most people or business have been desperate at some point or another, but some found the resolve to move pass the desperation with determination. The circumstance you face today is based on the decisions you made, or did not make, yesterday. No one can undo the past but you can become a better decision maker for your future… So, after you have released your past and made peace with your present, simply play the hand you were dealt and move forward with determination… You can make a difference in your life, your business… but you cannot let your past desperation rob you of hope in the future: You must decide if you are going to live in perpetual state of desperation or in secure place of determination…

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In the article Determination or Desperation? by John Raves writes: One thing that sets successful people apart from others in business is ‘determination’. You might say that they are ‘determined’ to success despite all obstacles… Also, an interesting observation is that ‘desperation’ can sometimes share similar characteristics with ‘determination’, but clearly the results are very different… Desperation will destroy your business; It will create a tone of, well… ‘desperation’. You know that people are desperate when they are losing and out of options (or, they think they are out of options). Desperate people grasp at anything they think might ‘rescue’ them. Desperate people look for rescuers rather than partners. Whereas, Determined people have a very different tone: First and foremost, they take responsibility for themselves and for their business. They make mistakes but when they do, they acknowledge them, learn from them, look for ways to recover from them… Determined people search for options, but they weigh probabilities of success for each course of action… and where they can, they initiate strategic alliances to leverage their strengths and strengths of others.  But, most importantly, they have an attitude of– never give up, never surrender, look for better ways to proceed…

In the article When You are Too Desperate by Rick Abrahamsson writes: When you are too desperate people can tell, you cannot keep it a secret; your actions will definitely betray you. If you are constantly trying to sell things or bombarding people (customers) with ads, B.S… people will catch-on: People are not stupid. You must understand that when people (customers) visit your website, your business… they are trying to serve their own interests. They are always thinking; What’s in it for me? And, if you don’t play by their rules, chances are you will lose them: That’s how business works today… By focusing too much on ‘your’ need to make money, you give off signals that you are desperate. The better you cater to your customers’ needs the greater the chance that you will make money… If you just push people to– click on a link, click on an ad… or doing things that are only intended to make you money; people can tell and it’s a turn-off…

You must understand that if your website or business just reek of trying to make money, you’re only succeeding on one thing: alienating your audience… The way to get away from looking desperate is focus on creating ‘content’, ‘value’ that truly appeals to the audience. Conversion through content and value is all about ‘seduction’. Every word you publish can either push people to eventually buy from you, or fail to do anything… You have to be mindful of how you create your content. You have to ‘seduce’ your audience and get them to feel like they– know your brand, like your brand, trust your brand… You must pack in as much seduction in your content and value, as possible, and there is no such thing as a neutral; either it’s seduction or desperation…

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Don’t confuse desperation with determination. Wishing, hoping for results that you do not have a shot at is– desperation… whereas, determination is about reaching your objective and not giving up until you get there… According to Shawn Karo Sandy; nothing good or important usually comes from desperation. if people know that you are desperate, then they know that they have some leverage and power and terms of the outcome. However, many businesses need a sense of desperation to drive motivation, make things happen… Desperation communicates– a ‘sense of urgency’, and the need for bold, daring action…

But there is a fine line between determination and desperation, for example; after the first rejection, second, third… then at some point determination turns into desperation, and the anxiety eats away at your passion, excitement… So once you reach your limit on determination, you must rethink your actions, and move in a different direction. You must change your mindset and consider a ‘new path’, and stop thinking about failure and start considering what else lies ahead… According to Fran Tarkenton; once you feel discomfort use it as a spur to move ahead faster; you must always strive to be better, to do better, find ways to improve… and that ‘sense of desperation’ can drive you to new heights…

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Rise of Globaphobia– Decay of Globalization to De-Globalization: World Intent on Re-Segregating Itself…

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The word globaphobia means the irrational fear of economic globalization, which seems to haunt the popular psyche in most industrial countries… According to Reginald Dale; it’s a horrible mongrel of a word but it serves a useful purpose… It suggests that opposition to globalization is often based on emotion and wrong intuitive assumptions, rather than on reasoned analysis… According to Lael Brainard; globalization is not a choice; it’s a force, driven by logic of the market and technological advance. It’s not a product but a process and it’s transforming the way people work and live, and the very map of the world. You cannot stop it but you can– shape it, manage it, derive many benefits from it…

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It’s hard to think of any aspect of modern life that globalization does not influence or touch in some way. The rising tide of globalization plays a growing role in– business, culture, environment, human migration patterns, international development, politics and science and technology… But not is all well with globalization, according to Fabrizio Minei; in recent years, the amount of money flowing across borders has drastically decreased… this represents a drastic shift away from international commerce… local markets are now more dependent on domestic consumption for growth and this trend could mark the end of modern globalization… But historically globalization is not new, during several decades there have been periods of shifts in global interdependence from globalization to de-globalization…

De-globalization is the process of diminishing interdependence and integration between nations. It’s widely used to describe the periods of history when economic trade and investment between countries decline… This decline occurs when individual national economies become less integrated with the rest of the world economies in spite of the deepening scope of economic globalization… Periods of de-globalization are seen as interesting comparators to other periods when globalization is the norm for many nations, such as, during years– 1850–1914 and 1950–2007… However, even periods of stagnant international interaction are often seen as periods of de-globalization. The ‘KOF Index of Globalization’ shows a clear break of economic globalization in 2009… Even during the burst of the ‘dot com’ bubble and the events of 9/11 merely slowed down the pace of globalization, but there was no appreciable de-globalization effect. Whereas, the latest economic financial crisis created severe global impact, and a setback for globalization.

The KOF Index of Globalization 2014: The Index measures the three main dimensions of globalization: economic, social, political… In addition, it calculates an overall index of globalization and sub-indices referring to parameters such as: actual economic flows, economic restrictions, data on information flow, data on personal contact, and data on cultural proximity… It records these changes in globalization for a number of countries over a period of time. The current 2014 KOF Index of Globalization involves 23 variables and covers up to 207 countries over the period 1970 to 2011. The KOF Index measures globalization on a scale from 1 to 100. The values of underlying variables are divided into percentiles, and extreme peaks are smoothed, resulting in lower fluctuation over time. The recent rankings show– Belgium and Ireland leading the pact, followed by Netherlands, Austria, Singapore, with Sweden 6th, Denmark 7th, Hungary 8th, Portugal 9th… and the biggest jump among the most global countries was Switzerland, which dropped two places to rank 10, and gaining two places, the U.S., the world’s biggest economy ranked 32nd. The fact that the U.S. economy is not particularly open to rest of the world stands in the way of a higher ranking. China, the second-biggest economy dropped three places to rank 72.

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In the article Is It the End of Globalization? by David Francis writes: In the three decades before the 2008 financial crisis individual national economies became increasingly global but, in recent years, amounts of money flowing across borders has drastically decreased. According to McKinsey Report, the trend represents a drastic shift away from international commerce with local markets more dependent on domestic consumption for growth, and it suggests that this could mark the end of modern globalization… The McKinsey Global Institute Report; measures how much money was removed from the global financial system in the wake of the financial crisis and the worldwide economic slowdown… The results are staggering; in 2007, $11.8 trillion in capital in form of investments, loans moved internationally… But in 2012, only $5 trillion crossed international boundaries, which is back to the level it was in 2000.

McKinsey hedges the report by saying that some of the capital removed from the system was part of a necessary global correction. But it also warns that global growth would be extremely difficult without more money in the system. For three decades, capital markets and banking systems rapidly expanded, diversified, but now that process called ‘financial deepening’ has largely grounded to a halt. Although global financial assets have surpassed the pre-crisis totals, growth has hit a plateau. According to McKinsey; the global economy is at a crossroads: One path leads to regulatory integration on a global scale, creating national economies with extremely close ties. The second path leads to a world where national economies are more isolated and rely on domestic consumption for growth: It remains to be seen which way we’re headed…

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In the article Have we reached the end of globalization? by globalpublicsquarestaff write: Globalization impacts every single thing around us. So here’s the big question: Have we reached the end of globalization? For much of the last thirty years there has been a steady trend in commerce; global trade has expanded at about twice the pace of the global economy, for example, between 1988 and 2007, global trade grew on average by 6.2% a year according to the World Trade Organization. During the same period, the world’s GDP was growing at nearly half that pace: 3.7%… But a strange thing has taken place in the last few years. Growth in global trade has dropped dramatically, to even less than GDP growth. The change leaves one wondering: Has the transfer of goods around the world reached a pinnacle? Has the world exhausted the drive for ever-more-globalization?

The world has undergone historic developments in the last few decades: Internet, China’s opening up, rise of emerging markets, fast and cheap travel… all of these trends led to a massive acceleration in global trade. But have those trends peaked? Are people getting more interested in local products compared to global brands? According to Joshua Cooper Ramo; localism is on the rise– local banking, local manufacturing, local sourcing for food and restaurants… Is this simply a pause or could it be more than that? According to Global Trade Alert, we are in the midst of a great rise in protectionism, for example; in the 12 months preceding May 2013, governments around the world imposed three times as many protectionist measures than moves to open up. Anti-trade policies are at their highest point since the 2008 financial crisis. According to the Petersen Institute; the rise of these measures cost global trade 93 billion dollars in 2010… Globalization and trade have produced huge benefits for people, especially the poor, who have been able to make their way out of poverty in a faster growing, more connected global economy. But globalization won’t continue by accident or stealth– politicians must help make it happen…

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In the article The End of Globalism by John Ralston Saul writes: Grand economic theories rarely last more than few decades. Some, if they are particularly in tune with technological or political events, may make it to half a century… Thousands of people have done well out of their belief in globalization, and their professional survival is dependent on our continued shared devotion to the cause. However we have scarcely noticed this collapse, because globalization has been asserted by its believers to be inevitable– an all-powerful god; a holy trinity of burgeoning markets, sleepless technology, borderless managers… Opposition or criticism are treated as little more than romantic paganism… Inevitability is the traditional final justification for failing ideologies. Less traditional– and a sign of inherent weakness– is the extent to which globalization was conceived as old-fashioned religiosity. Perhaps the economists and other believers who launched globalization were instinctively concerned that people would notice this new theories was oddly similar to the trade theories of the mid-19th Century, or the unregulated market models that had been discredited in 1929… So do they threat these intervening 40 years as an accidental interval, and began again where their predecessors left off…

Is globalization truly come to the end? It’s debatable, but globalization does provides both opportunity and challenge, for example; financial system globalization is inevitable to avoid… more nations will choose to gain common development opportunity through global– partnership, sponsorship, joint-ventures…  According to Hussein Shobokshi; the main idea behind globalization is the entire world would benefit from a closer exchange of ideas, technology, experience… But, many nations’ reaction to the financial crisis was that they turned inwards, erecting barriers and imposing restrictions in order to ‘protect’ national economies. Furthermore, countries gave priority to national industries. As a result of this, the idea of globalization being a uniting and unifying force that does away with borders has proven false…

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According to Mark Leonard; there is a global trend of competing mini-lateral friendship organizations, for example; on one hand, there is the ‘world without the West’, which encompasses the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China), and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and a host of sub-regional bodies… On other hand, the West is creating new groupings outside the universal institutions, such as; Trans-Pacific Partnership in Asia, Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership… But, the interdependence that formed the foundation for major economic growth has now become a threat…

Most major countries are not willing to lose out on the great benefits of a global economy, but all these countries are also thinking about how to protect themselves from its risks… Hence there is movement that undermining globalization in the form of de-globalization, for example; China is moving toward domestic consumption… U.S. is moving toward energy independence… Russia is trying to build a Eurasian Union… And even Germany is trying to change the EU so that its fellow member states are bound into German-style policies. Since the Cold War interdependence has been a force for ending conflict, but now it’s creating it. After 25 years of being bound together ever more tightly, the world seems intent on re-segregating itself…

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Power of Inclusion– Don Quixote of Organizations: Inclusion is Not Panacea, But Not to Embrace It– is Delusional…

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Often in business you hear the word ‘inclusion’ used in context of creating opportunities for all who desire to participate. When many people think of inclusion they focus on the organizational culture, behaviors, and practices that allow everyone to feel included in the quest to create success… Moreover, when an organization embraces the development of an inclusive culture where everyone is valued, then the practical consequence is that the business is better positioned for long-term sustainability… and an organization is much more likely to retain and attract top talent… But, What does inclusion look like? Inclusion is sharing ideas from all perspectives, it’s people working together despite differences to create success for common cause, its creation of culture where differences of thought and opinions are embraced with enthusiasm and celebrated…

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Then, What does inclusion ‘not’ look like? Inclusion is not about creating the ‘delusion’ that everyone will always get along, it’s not about pretending to agree for the sake of avoiding conflict, it’s not about ignoring the cultural, gender… differences that may exist… From mankind’s earliest days, human beings have a fundamental need to belong, so it’s important to create an inclusive environment where everyone feels valued and respected, with equal access to same levels of opportunity. That’s because individuals who feel part of a group tend to perform better and collaborate more. According to Miller and Katz; inclusion is a sense of belonging, feeling respected, valued for who you are; feeling a level of supportive energy and commitment from others, so you can be the best you can be... Research has shown that inclusion results in– reduced turnover, greater altruism, more team engagement, plus you are more likely to share information, and participate in decision-making… According to Christine M. Riordan; when teams are all-inclusive they tend to work more collaboratively, and that makes good things happen– more ideas, improved morale, better outcomes…

In the book, Inclusion: The New Competitive Business Advantage by Shirley Engelmeier writes: Inclusion is a call to action within the workforce and that means actively involving every employee’s– ideas, knowledge, perspective, experiences, approach, and style to maximize business performance– It matters; because there are certain realities of global business that make inclusion an important competitive advantage… Organizations needs to be prepared to engage the global community on their terms, which means expanding your organization’s knowledge base with employees who understand the different cultures, behaviors, preferences… also, domestic demographics are rapidly changing with far greater diversity in the population...

Hence, organizations must embrace and create authentic inclusive initiatives that provide for fair and uninhibited opportunities for all employees, such that; they all can contribute, achieve… to best of their abilities… Remember, an inclusive organizations cultivates ‘differences’, and these differences are x-factors that produce higher productivity, greater employee retention, more innovation. According to Martin Ruef, in study of 766 graduates from Stanford Business School analyzed the social and business relations, found– that the entrepreneurs with the most diverse friendships scored three times higher on the metric of innovation, proving that pooling, inclusion, together with diverse ideas drives; more, better, best innovation…

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In the article Creating Inclusive Corporate Culture by Lindsay Walker writes: Diversity allows companies to better understand the needs of its customers, helping design and create products to suit a variety of different preferences… To properly manage diversity, companies need to focus on creating an ‘inclusive’ cultures. An inclusive culture takes time but once achieved it helps companies manage future conflict in response to changes in the workplace… Inclusion is where organizations can quiet cultural discord… A successfully inclusive company institutes an inclusion initiative to remove the shortfalls of conscious or subconscious bias to make a company a better meritocracy.  Inclusion allows companies to attract a wider range of qualified employees, thus through their influence attract a wide range of customers… increasingly employees’ are making employment decisions based on an organization’s culture, reputation, and level of inclusiveness in decision-making.

The article ‘The Ethics of Inclusion: Three Common Delusions’ sheds light on the real challenge of inclusion, and states– to find ‘common cause’ for work is very important, and this cannot be done effectively if employees isolate themselves from each another based on differences such as; race, culture, nationality, gender, ability, personality… Inclusion does not mean that an employee has to like everyone they work with, but they must still respect the opinions of fellow employees… Developing an ‘inclusive’ culture requires effort from every member within an organization… Most important, ‘inclusion’ must be high priority for an organization (not just tag-line), it must have  with a specific statement defining its policy, goal as it relates to ‘inclusion’… these should be displayed prominently in documents, websites…

In the article Why Employee Inclusion May Matter More Than Employee Performance by Peter Crosby writes: Most leaders like to think of their organization as an ‘inclusive’ family of friendly, welcoming folks who smile all the time, hold hands, whistle happily, and work together like a well-oiled machine… However, this inclusion delusion is far from the truth in most organizations. In the real world, many organizations typically splinter into smaller groups who purposely excluding others who are not exactly like them, and they inevitably devolve into a wall of exclusionWalls of exclusion are bad for business because they are the human version of system silos, and often these little fiefdoms are created by ambitious, bias, self-centered people seeking to increase their own control, authority… These ‘walls of exclusion’ prevent the seamless transfer of information, which is necessary for workers to achieve their very best… and worse yet these walls can fester into major issues for an organization… According to Marie Mitchell; excluded workers sometimes begin behaving unethically, unproductive in a misguided attempt to ingratiate themselves… Exclusion is a cancer, and it has a huge negative effect on an organization…

In the article The Ethics of Inclusion: Three Common Delusions by John O’Brien, Marsha Forest, Jack Pearpoint, Shafik Asante, Judith Snow write: Here are three common delusions about inclusion:

  • Delusion 1: Inclusion means that everybody must love everybody else or ‘We must all be one big happy family’ (OBHF)…The ‘one big happy family’ (OBHF) delusion is the exact opposite of inclusion. The real challenge of ‘inclusion’ is to find common cause for important work that cannot be done effectively if you isolate yourselves from one another along the many differences of race, culture, nationality, gender, class, ability, personality… that truly do divide…
  • Delusion 2: Inclusion means everyone must always be happy and satisfied or ‘inclusion cures all ills’… The delusion that Inclusion equals happiness leads to its opposite: a pseudo-community in which people who are disagreeable or suffering have no place unless the group has the magic to cure them… This delusion creates disappointment that ‘inclusion’ is not the panacea…
  • Delusion 3: Inclusion is the same as friendship or– We are really all the same…  The question at the root of ‘inclusion’ is not– Can’t we be friends? but– Can we all just learn to get along– to live with one another? We can’t get along if we simply avoid others who are different and include only those with who you feel comfortable and similar… The delusion of sameness leads away from the values of inclusion.

Companies must put in place key initiatives to meet the changing workforce: First, it must create a culture of inclusion that is implemented enterprise-wide, which means that every voice is an important voice and must be respected… a workplace is melting pot of cultures, and organizations must acknowledge the uniqueness of its employees… Second, it must celebrate the best ideas from where-ever, who-ever they may originate in the organization… praise the ideas that came from the ‘ranks’ just as much as those that come from the ‘rafters’… According to Deborah Chambers Chima;  it’s leadership’s responsibility to create a culture where different thoughts from different employees openly shared and opportunities are provided for all people to contribute and achieve to the best of their ability… Great leaders understand that organizations must embrace– all people, all places, all ways, and all the things that makes people different…

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According to T. Hudson Jordan; organizations must have both diversity and inclusion to be successful… Many organizations lack a complete understanding of the full potential of a diverse and inclusive workforce as a business imperative. While many organizations appreciate inclusion, very few actually embraced inclusion as an important business priority for the organization… Inclusion is a competitive imperative; it enhances an organization’s ability to achieve superior business results…

We live in a world that emphasizes– realistic expectations, clear success; and according to James March; Don Quixote had neither… But through failure after failure he persisted in his vision and his commitment; he persisted because he knew who he was. Don Quixote is heroic figure for many people nowadays; he was a dreamer who fought against great odds, he remained faithful to his noble goals… Don Quixote had courage to see things as they should be, and who believed that nothing is impossible…

 

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Maelstrom of Change in Business– Manage The Unmanageable, Manage The Unknowable, Manage The Chaos…

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Today’s business world is a maelstrom of changing markets, technologies, customers,  products… that are whirling so fast that they create an illusive and uncertain mind-set for managing a business… Chief executives of many companies are quietly lamenting that their business model don’t work anymore… According to Bill Ford; the business model that sustained us for decades is no longer sufficient to sustain the business now… The biggest challenge has less to do with corporate strategy or management structures than with the nature of people and their instinctive reactions to change… The companies that have found ways to survive, thrive in the chaos of business hold valuable lessons, e.g.; paradoxically, many businesses are meeting chaos with chaos, i.e., loosening controls, sometimes radically, reorganization, restructuring… And yet, even these efforts are losing their effectiveness over time. Today’s fast-moving reality is forcing a rethink of just how long companies can and should survive, and when they do survive– what business model will sustain their survivability… managing amid chaos is the central problem for many companies; it’s a predicament that arises from very nature of today’s digital economy… And some experts believe the solution requires a rethinking, retraining of leadership’s very mindset and assumptions…

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According to Geoffrey Colvin; the digital revolution makes business more chaotic by its shifting of information and power to customers, and it’s changing the way business is producing product in every industry, new or old, for example; today’s cars are essentially computers on wheels. Some credit cards have chips in them. Some greeting cards have chips in them. Some children toys have chips in them… Now, what did the makers of any of these ‘things’ know about computer chips? Probably very little; yet these and many other industries are being transformed by technology… Hence, real challenge for many modern day business– in the maelstrom, chaos of disruptive technology– is leadership’s ability to manage uncertainty, manage the unknowable, manage the unpredictable. According to David Nadler; the concept of the corporation was to create a structure and rules to resist forces buffeting the enterprise… This concept worked fine in an era when great companies would last 30 years or so, but now in the digital era; what used to be an asset for a business is now a liability.

In the article Survive in the Business World is Crazier and Riskier Than Ever by Geoffrey Colvin writes: Businesses are not designed as being– structures or machines or collections of assets… A business is groups of people working together for a common outcome… But in the digital era while business is changing at the speed of light, these groups of people are not changing at the same rate of speed, and haven’t changed much in 10,000 years… Hence, the most intractable business problem is getting these groups of people to think and behave in new and very different ways, which is consistent with the rapidly changing technologies of business… In many situations it’s identifying the right business model or structure that works for both people and the rapidly changing business environment; often its managing the unmanageable, managing in chaos… Some of the reasons are familiar, e.g.; most change creates winners and losers in an organization and the caveman part of people’s brain is still wired to defend against loss, so people almost always tended to resist change.

According to Peter Drucker; the key management challenge of 21st Century is ‘abandon it yesterday’… By yesterday Drucker meant whatever it is in the business that ‘no longer works’, then change it… but, abandoning yesterday is excruciatingly difficult for many businesses because yesterday was often– safe, knowable, comfortable… But, it’s time for businesses to face reality; in a world where technology, competition, business models are in a constant state of flux, it’s highly unlikely, if not foolish to think, that many businesses will be able to keep-up or even survive as they might have in bygone decades… Perhaps, in this digital age, some business will conduct themselves in the manner of Hollywood’s movie making business model, i.e., bringing together the right mix of people, hired for a few months or few years, and until the project is completed, then move on… However, sustainability is the key and in this revolutionary business age, it’s crazy to think that even more radical business models will not develop… Hence, the challenge for management and all stakeholders is to find the courage to embrace uncertainty, and think about how to manage the unmanageable…

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In the book The Strategy Paradox by Michael E. Raynor writes: A compelling vision, bold leadership, decisive action… these are the key attributes that are owned by the leaders of successful businesses, but unfortunately these same attributes owned by the leaders of failed businesses, too… In fact, most leaders seeking to maximize their chances for glory are often unwittingly setting themselves up for ruin. The sad truth is that most companies have left their futures almost entirely to chance, and don’t even realize it. The reason? Leaders feel they must make choices with far-reaching consequences today, but must of them base their choices on assumptions about a future they cannot predict. It’s this collision between commitment and uncertainty that creates– a strategy paradox… This paradox sets up a ubiquitous but little understood trade-off, i.e.;– most leaders base their strategies on assumptions about an unknown future, and the more the ambitious leaders, either; hope their guesses are right or that they can somehow adapt to the turbulence that will confront them, then the more they are in jeopardy… In fact, most leaders who try to predict the unpredictable or know the unknowable or guess the unguessable, only a small number of these ambitious leaders prosper, while many more find themselves at helms of sinking ships…

Hence, since many leaders are well aware of this dilemma even if only intuitively, and most will shy away from the bold commitments that success demands and many choose instead a timid, unremarkable strategy… and thus they are sacrificing the trade-off between any chance at success, against a better chance at mere survival. Hence, in this turbulent digital age there exists a desperate need for leaders who can manage in the unknowable, manage the unmanageable… in essence these are leaders who have the vision and skills to commit specific resources in today’s world that will service customers, markets… that will emerge in a distant and inherently unpredictable future… These are leaders who have the ability to take bold actions while maintaining strategic flexibility… According to Peter L. Bernstein; many leaders admit that they do not know what the future holds, but many of them go on acting as though they did, and that can be dangerous when taken to the extreme… According to William Hunter; not many executives or board members look forward to the annual corporate clairvoyant ritual known as strategic planning; in no small part because of the unspoken recognition that ‘their’ crystal ball vision of the future has no greater fidelity than the competition’s glass sphere...

In the article Behavior is the Unknowable by Joseph Dager writes: People’s behavior is the key unknowable, and it’s the variable that most determines sustainability of a business model… According to Thomas Koulopoulos; businesses are at the beginning of a new era that focuses on the innovation of what I like to call– behavioral business models. These models go beyond asking how you can make what you make better, cheaper, or asking how you can do what you do faster. These models are about asking ‘why’ you do what you do, to begin with The question ‘why’ is almost always tied to the question of how markets ‘behave’, for example: When Apple created iTunes it did not just create a faster, cheaper, better digital format for music, it altered very nature of the relationship between music and people… eBay did not just create a platform for auctions, it changed the way people look at the experience of shopping and how many communities plays a role in the experience… Google did not invent Internet search, but Google changed the way people interact with the Internet and how people’s behaviors are tracked and analyzed, allowing advertisers to find and pay for buyers in a way that was inconceivable before… All of these are examples of innovations in ‘behavior’ that led to entirely new business models. Yet most business continue to be obsessed with just technology innovation… To paraphrase James Carville: It’s not technology, it’s– behavior, stupid…

Leaders should not abandon their concern for the long-term, but they must recognize its uncertainty… they must understand that the mental model of ‘control’ is out of touch with the nature of the new era of change… Trying to control the outcome of situations that are out of their control carries with it the certainty of ultimate failure… According to Ralph D. Stacey; when the business leaders who still embrace the conventional wisdom of the traditional long-term strategic planning begin to understand that its only value is as a talisman against the anxiety of uncertainty… in traditional sense, the misguided comfort of long-term strategic planning and the notion that it bring stability is fantasy that is not particularly desirable… and, as odd as it may sound instability, which is at the ‘edge of chaos’ can, in fact, be the enabler of great creative innovation… According Alfred W. Hübler, Glenn C. Foster, Kirstin C. Phelps; ‘chaos’ means that a strategy have gone wildly astray and it’s often associated with very real and tangible issues, e.g.; missed, ineffective leadership, disruptive technology, competitiveness…

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But managing ‘chaos’ is essential, particularly when it becomes clear that the goals of a strategy are unachievable, and therefore the outcomes become– random, unpredictable, often undesirable… According to Geoffrey Colvin; some business believe that a radically changed world requires a radically restructured business… hence, some companies take extreme steps in order to ‘meet chaos with chaos’, e.g.; some organizations can become completely virtually, which means– no job titles, they trade CEO role every six months or so, workers set their own hours and choose their managers by vote… some organizations find this approach a little too extreme, but the concept of decentralization and anti-control ethos seem to characterize a growing number of successful businesses… Managing the unmanageable, managing chaos– is the hardest thing a leader must do, and vast majority of leaders would prefer not to deal with it, if given a choice… But, great leaders accept the challenge with a positive mind-set; they know the inevitability of uncertainty, they stay calm, they don’t think in terms of ‘winning’, and they work hard to optimize the business sustainability… 

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Chasing Your ‘Tail’ in Business– Anatomy of the Long Tail Business Model: Taste for Obscurity or Overwhelm with Choice.

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The ‘tail’ matters– the ‘long tail’ business model which is about finding hidden customer demands that are obscure in the far reaches of the Internet. Some of the most successful Internet companies leverage long tails as an important part of their business strategy.   The long tail concept has gained popularity for describing an Internet online retail strategy for selling small quantities of a relatively large number of unique or lesser known items… as opposed to selling a small number of highly popular items in very large quantities– in traditional terms it’s a ‘niche’ business model…

The long tail is the colloquial name for a long-known feature in statistical distributions theory that says– a ‘long tail’ of some distributions of numbers is the end portion of the distribution having a large number of occurrences far from the ‘head’ or central part of the distribution. The feature is also known as heavy tailspower-law tails, Pareto tails… The concept of the long tail was popularized by Chris Anderson in his book; The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More. According to Anderson; when consumers are offered infinite choice, the true shape of the demand curve is revealed. And demand is less ‘hit or blockbuster’-centric than you might think. People gravitate towards niches because it satisfies their narrow interests better than generalized offerings… 

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The Internet companies that are often associated with the use of the long tail concept in their business strategy are, e.g.; eBay (auctions), Google (web search), Amazon (retail), Netflix(movies), Apple (music)… According to Eric Schmidt;  the surprising thing about the long tail is just how long the tail actually is, and how many businesses have not been served by traditional business models… But, how real is the long tail and how relevant is it to your business? The long tail phenomenon is real as evidenced by success of major companies, and the Internet is the enabler, which allows online retailers to stock virtually a limitless number of ‘things’ or ‘niche’ products– such that the number of available ‘niche’ products outnumber the ‘hit’ products by many orders of magnitude. Those millions of niches are the long tail, and they are largely neglected by most businesses. The shift from ‘hit’ to ‘niche’ is a rich seam of opportunity that should be engaged by many more companies…

In the article The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More by Chris Anderson writes: The long tail is a powerful force in the economy: it’s the rise of the niche. As the cost of reaching consumers drops dramatically, markets are shifting from a one-size-fits-all model of mass appeal to one of unlimited variety for unique tastes. From supermarket shelves to advertising agencies, the ability to offer vast choice is changing everything, and causing business to rethink where the markets lie, and how to get to them. Unlimited selection is revealing the truths about what consumers want, and how they want to get it… However, this is not just a virtue of online marketplaces; it’s an example of an entirely new economic model for business, one that is just beginning to show its power. After a century of obsessing over the few products at the ‘head’ of the demand curve, the new economics of distribution allow business to turn focus to the many more products in the ‘tail’, which collectively can create a new market as big as the one you already know… The long tail is really about ‘economics of abundance’. New efficiency in business is essentially resetting the definition of what’s commercially viable across the board. If the 20th century was about ‘hits’, the 21st will be equally about ‘niches’.

In the article The Wrong Tail by Tim Wu writes: The long tail theory is so catchy it can overgrow its useful boundaries. In most entertainment industries (e.g.., films, music, books… ) a few ‘hits’ make most of the money and then the demand drops off quickly… Demand, however, doesn’t drop to zero. The products in the long tail are less popular in a ‘mass’ sense, but still popular in a ‘niche’ sense. What that means is that some businesses can make money not just on big ‘hits’, but also by the long tail… However, this insight for many can only go so far, but like many business concepts commits the sin of overreaching. At times, the long tail becomes the proverbial ‘hammer’ looking for nails to pound…

The long tail as a business model is effective when; 1) the price of carrying additional inventory approaches zero. 2) the consumer has strong and heterogeneous preferences. When these two conditions are satisfied, a company can radically enlarge its inventory and make money raking in the ‘niche’ demands. This is the lifeblood of a handful of products and companies, e.g.; Apple’s iTunes, Netflix, Google… among others, all are basically in the business of aggregating content, e.g.; it doesn’t cost much to add another song to iTunes– having 10,000 songs available costs about the same as having 1 million… But it’s important to remember that many industries don’t rely on the weird economics of information products… The long tail isn’t useful as a ‘theory of everything’…

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In the article The Long Tail by Yaro Starak writes: The long tail is the transition from a ‘hit’-focused marketplace to a millions of niches marketplace. While the majority of profits previously were made by selling a handful of products (the hits) to a lot of people, now millions of products are being sold to smaller number of people based on ‘niches’.  It’s ‘niche’ marketing in it’s purest form– a general economic transition brought about by an opening up distribution channels and creating a near-frictionless and abundant source of product variety… The long tail exists because in certain industries supply and demand have come to a point where supply is no longer limited by how much shelf space there is, or how much it costs to manufacture, transport, store, deliver… a product.

The product is now ‘virtually’ abundant and produced at such a low-cost that business no longer have to place emphasis on the big hits, the huge ‘mass’ market blockbusters, as the main source of profits. It becomes possible to make good margins from products that in the past were not profitable because not enough people would buy them, the niche was just too small to cater to and the cost of production, delivery out-weighed the potential revenues… it is important to explain that long tail markets are only emerging because of the Internet… and it’s important to realize how much of an impact this is going to have on the future of online commerce…

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In the article The Long Tail– Curled by Grant Wickes writes: The Internet has changed the way you do business, and the idea of a long tail is exciting because it brings hope for more opportunities, and it engenders greater confidence for sustainability… But when it comes to competition and survival, you can come to just one conclusion: the more things change, the more they stay the same… Business people always see their offerings as changing the world, and while the initial hype may create a lot of buzz, eventually it regresses to just another widget– there are in the ‘mean’. Hence, there is no such thing as– ‘this time, it’s different’– things don’t last forever, e.g.; advances in technology, competition, change in customers behavior… eventually, ‘change’ wins out over time… Business models like the long tail, which focus on the fringes of markets, of course, can help make business more sustainable and it goes a long way to improve efficiency, drive sales… But while the long tail helps explain the phenomenon of an early mover opportunity, it fails to consider the long-term competitive dynamics of markets, i.e.; the tail will eventually ‘curl’ and the opportunity will consolidate into just a few major market players (even for a niche), then your strategy most be nimble enough to make proper adjustmentsYesit’s fun to think about this ‘tail’ thing, but remember that the tail will ‘curl’, it won’t stay ‘long’ forever, be prepared to bring on the next new ‘thing’…

The long tail is a useful concept and many business people often talk about it, but very few actually implement the strategy in their business… According to Serguei Netessine and Tom F Tan; the presence of the long tail effect might be less universal than one may be led to believe… The long tail effect may be present in some cases, but few businesses operate in a pure digital distribution system. Instead, they must weigh supply chain costs of physical products against the potential gain of capturing single customers of obscure offerings. Businesses must also consider the time it takes for consumers to locate off-beat items they may want…

The Internet is capable of matching consumers with ‘things’ that are exactly what they want. This level of satisfaction (and abundance) has never been seen before, and as more businesses leverage the Internet to serve niche markets, it will become more difficult for business to be successful as a market ‘generalist’… And that leads to the question; Is the core principle of the 80/20 Rule or Pareto Principle still relevant in the world of digital commerce? Many experts say– Yes: The 80/20-like relationships are still very relevant, but in ever smaller (micro-economic) events within ever smaller niches… Even within the long tail there are market leaders, followers such that basic law of Pareto Principle still apply.

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According to Anita Elberse; consumption of long tail offerings is more prevalent among people who tend to stick to a particular genre… No matter how you slice and dice the customer base; the long tail theory increasingly influences business models, especially in sectors, such as– media, entertainment… It’s undeniable that online commerce has significantly broadened customers’ access to products of all varieties, including the most obscure. However, some research suggests that it would be imprudent for businesses to up-end traditional market practices and just focus on the demand of obscure products… The data show that in most cases it’s very difficult for most businesses to profit when their only focus is on the ‘tail’…

Long tail business models, which sells small quantities of many items are the antithesis of blockbuster business models, which sell large quantities of a few items… A long tail model is a classic disruptive innovation– catering to people who over-shot their existing offerings with an inexpensive and highly accessible service that excels on a totally distinct set of performance criteria… According to Stephen Wunker; the long tail business model is compelling territory for disruptive innovation, but like any other business model it has a life cycle, and if the business is not fleet-footed and watchful, the disruptor can become the disruptee…

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The ‘Perfection’ Trap– Perfectionist Vs. Sweat the Small Stuff Vs. Don’t Get Lost In Detail: It’s All About Exceptionalism…

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There are three major issues that derail most companies: First– waiting for a blinding flash of inspiration– some cosmic new concept that will turbo-charge the business… Second– quest for perfectionism that turns into an obsession – so much so that the perfectionist becomes neurotic over gaining ‘perfection’ and refuses to accept anything less than perfect… Third– lack of focus, getting lost in detail, and never finding the right solution… and even if it is found, it’s probably too late since someone else beat them to it… So, What’s the lesson in all of this? Despite all the challenges– sustaining a business is not a mysterious process, but you can very easily ‘get stuck in detail’ midway through the process and loose– focus, direction, intensity… and not achieve your goal. Remember, there is no cosmic secret, no magic wand, no perfect solution… and more over, none are required… The companies that truly excel are those that create exceptionalism

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According to Aaron Levie; phrases like ‘this is good enough’ or ‘customers won’t notice’ should be stamped out of a management team’s vocabulary… because ultimately your product or service is consumed at the granular level… Whether it’s clicking on a link, signing up for a product, playing with a dial, conversing with an attendant… these are the interfaces from which customers experience your brand. No customer cares that you have the best logistics and supply chain in the world if the final manifestation of your product is flawed… And with Internet amplifying how people share their love or hate for your brand, increasing global competition, contracting wallets… the quality of these interactions are more important than ever before… Hence, increasingly the ‘small things’ do matter and they have a disproportionate impact on the customer experience, and also become the competitive differentiation… Often the best customer experiences don’t come with a larger price tag at all, just a greater level of attention to the details… The combination of ‘insane’ attention to detail and ‘neurotic’ level of focus on the customer experience is what sets apart the ‘great’ from the ‘good’ companies

However, according to Vivian Giang; often being a detail nitpicker is more curse than blessing when it comes to running a business… There’s nothing wrong with setting a high bar, but sometimes it can do more harm than good and that is when you become too obsessed with perfection, you can end-up placing value on the wrong things, which become counter-productive… When you find yourself obsessing over details that don’t necessarily affect competitiveness, then it’s time to ask yourself: What do you really gain from being a perfectionist? According to Yaro Starak; if you are a ‘control freak’ and ‘perfectionist’ then ‘throw away your perfectionist hat’ and become less of a perfectionist and just get stuff done…

In the article Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect by Celestine Chua writes: Most people are perfectionist in their own right, and a dedication towards that perfection undoubtedly helps you to achieve great results. Yet, there is a hidden flip side to being perfectionists that you may not be aware of… For sure, being perfectionists and having a keen eye for details that help you achieve some level of excellent, however as ironic as it might sound perfectionism at its extreme, prevents you from being your best. However, the problem isn’t perfectionism; well not the normal form of anyway. Perfectionism helps you to continuously aim for higher standards and become better, and that’s a good thing… But, the problem is when the quest for perfectionism turns into an ‘obsession’so much that the perfectionist becomes ‘neurotic’ in a quest to gain ‘perfection’ and refuses to accept anything less than perfect and such a perfectionist can be known as a ‘mal-adaptive’ perfectionist The answer is not to stop being perfectionist; it’s to be more conscious of your perfectionist tendencies and manage them accordingly, become a more healthy perfectionists who is truly achieving excellence, and not a perfectionist who is sabotaging the business that they are trying to improve…

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In the article Balance Fearlessness With Attention to Detail by Penelope Trunk writes: I saw a bumper sticker that said; What would you do if failure were not an option? Then, when I went through my own list of what I would do, I realized that if I stopped worrying about failure I would be able to do a lot more. So I started focusing on just ‘getting stuff done’, instead of ‘getting it done perfectly’; then many unnecessary details just fell by the wayside… I also noticed that once I stopped worrying about doing something perfectly, I didn’t have nearly as much reason for procrastination. It’s easy to start something if you tell yourself that getting it done 70% perfect (as opposed to 100%) is okay. Believe it or not, in most cases, 70% perfect is okay for what you do… Getting rid of perfectionism and procrastination can serve you well… With this mind-set you can explore all sorts of ways to find success… You can flourish in business by being flexible, adaptive, and not getting stuck in a lot of unnecessary details — you can jump fearlessly from project to project and advance your experience… So, if you are obsessive with perfectionism, take a break from getting lost in the detail and get stuff done…

In the article Create Something Exceptional, Sweat the Small Stuff  by Aaron Levie writes: Many companies have given up on caring about ‘excellence’… According to Steve Jobs; some people are not used to an environment where excellence is expected… It should be everyone’s responsibility to push for higher standards and a greater level of excellence… But many leading organizations are built by exploiting the ‘fringes of excellence'; fringe in quality, fringe in performance, fringe in innovation, fringe in cost… But to create things that are exceptional– ‘sweat the small stuff’, meaning to be uncompromising about the quality of a product and the delivery of the best possible customer experience. It means making trade-offs of time, effort, cost… for the efficacy of the final output. It means the implementation of business systems that ensure the highest level of excellence at all times, in any circumstance. It means delaying product releases, extending work hours, losing a little extra profit margin to– make things just right…

It also means asking the tough questions, e.g.: What solution is best for the customer? And even this question does not go nearly far enough, and instead ask: What solution will blow the customers’ minds? Then repeat the question, again: Can you do better? Just keep on asking, until the point of migraine-induced annoyance, then see how much things change… Create a business culture that continually– challenge your level of excellence,  repeatedly, every step of the way… also, if quality standards are not met– implement a ‘you-won’t-ship’ line in the sand, which cannot be subverted for any reason… If you are not paranoid about perfection, you are probably not aiming expectations high enough. Sadly for customers, the vast majority of companies will never put this level of focus on their products, services, interactions… By building this mind-set in the business culture and making sure it’s a collective and distributed effort throughout the organization, it’s a winning way to ensure a truly exceptional customer experience  

In the article Perfectionism Is The Enemy Of Everything by Amanda Neville writes: For many perfectionism has its benefits, especially in work where it motivates over-achievers to pursue high standards, new visions. Perfectionists are driven to improve, innovate… and typically they are disciplined and detail-oriented, which are critical in professions where there is little margin for error… Culturally, business leaders prize perfectionism, e.g.; Steve Jobs and Martha Stewart are frequently credited with insisting that their teams strive for perfection… But, you don’t usually talk about the impact of the perfectionist on the workers who must engage with– the control freaks and the collateral damage of their creativity… The problem arises when the perfectionist take things too far: They define impossible expectations or standards and then devalue workers that cannot meet them. It’s a toxic loop– rigidity is difficult for most workers and insistence on perfect solution, which does not make space for– the important but messy business of collaboration

How do you know if you are a perfectionist and whether it’s helping or hindering your business? According to Don Hamacheck; there are two forms of perfectionism: normal and neurotic… the ‘normal’ perfectionist strives to achieve greatness but does not obsess about it or let it negatively affect the business… The ‘neurotic’ perfectionist, on the other hand, is miserable and often feels fear, shame, worthlessness… because they are linked to impossible goals… According to LaRae Quy; the most successful business leaders are those that can think fast on their feet, adapt to fast-moving situations, and remain nimble and flexible… which is in direct conflict with the mind-set of a perfectionist…

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Most business schools and jobs don’t teach– the importance to ‘sweat the small stuff’… In fact, you are mostly told the opposite– don’t be a micro-manager, don’t be penny wise, pound foolish, don’t miss the forest for the trees… The implied wisdom is that– abstract, conceptual thinking always prevails over narrow determination and single-mindedness. Yet, when you look at the– great inventions, great companies, great innovators… their success always comes down to tireless concern over every detail However, whether you call it– ‘sweat the small stuff’ or ‘perfectionist’ or ‘don’t get lost in detail’… it all really does not matter because in the final analyses you must deliver– the right stuff, the right time, the right places, the right value… and provide exceptional customer experience in order to have a growing and sustainable business

Perfectionism is common today simply because the narrative that you learned from an early age, namely; if you work hard enough you can achieve whatever you want, and the push to be ‘perfection’ is important to achieve your goals… but, what was never said in this narrative was that your quest for perfection can also quash your dreams– it depends on the level of perfection that you seek; is it obsessive or adaptive? According to Stephen A. Diamond; perfectionism has taken a bum rap; but were it not for perfectionism you  would be in short supply of all those myriad human activities you deem– extraordinary, excellent, outstanding, exceptional… however, it seems that perfectionism and its virtues have come to be devalued, vilified… Once upon a time perfectionism was perceived not as neurosis, but as a sign of– commitment, caring, high standards… Hence, business leaders need to  regain the passion for business excellence and effectively manage the critical balance of– perfection, focus, small stuff, good enough… in their quest to deliver the ultimate customer experience– it’s all about creating exceptionalism in your business

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Think Intervention– The Force Behind Real Change That Creates Must-Have Outcomes: It’s a Matter of Sustainability…

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Intervention is a planned programmatic activity aimed at bringing change to all or part of an organization… change that is deliberate and focused to improve business growth, relevance, sustainability… In the current business environment, interventions are often needed to facilitate a draconian change for an organization to more effectively compete in challenging global and highly competitive markets… business challenges come in many forms, including; disruptive technology, global competitor, emerging-shrinking-expanding markets… Interventions are implementation of change in an organization designed to create must-have outcomes, and produce a positive impact on the sustainability of an organization…

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Interventions are unique for every organization or business: An intervention strategy that delivers results for one business may not necessarily deliver the same or similar results for another, even within the same company, market, industry– the copy-cat approach seldom yield positive results… Business growth and sustainability hinges on continuous– intervention and innovation… and an organizational strategy that uses a combination of intervention and innovation is ahead of the game… Normally there are a several types of interventions for any one situation, and the trick is to find the intervention that best suits the specific issue, culture, available resources… According to Jack Welch; a good business leader creates a  vision, articulate it, passionately own it, and relentlessly drive it to completion… but with a little intervention along the way…

In the article Interventions for Change in Organization by Abhishek Kumar Sadhu writes: Interventions are techniques and methods designed to advance an organization from– ‘here’ to ‘there’ or ‘from where it is’ to ‘where it want to be’… interventions are aimed at improving individual and team activities… so as to better accomplish targets and goals in accordance with the organization’s envisaged vision and strategy… The most important group interventions are team-building activities or team-conflict issues, the goal of which is the improvement and increase effectiveness of the team or team members within the organization. The interventions focus on group dynamics– both intra-and inter- groups; for example; often two or more independently working groups have to coordinate tasks to achieve the required organizational goals, and often this interaction can give rise to many serious disagreement, tension… which then can affect the organization’s overall morale, productivity…  Often some form of intervention is used to resolve or manage or mitigate various types of intra- and inter- working group or team issues of conflict, disagreement, contention… before they inflict major damage on the organization… Some intervention techniques include:

  • Manage and increase the interaction and communication among the groups (i.e., increased interaction under favorable conditions enhances positive feelings and sentiments)…
  • Identify a super ordinate goal (i.e., a goal that both groups desire to achieve but that neither can achieve without mutual support)…
  • Rotate the members of each group, interchange group leaderships, institute various forms of training, collaboration, counseling…

In the article What Are Business Intervention Strategies? by Jacquelyn Jeanty writes: An intervention strategy involves the  understanding of the different approaches that can be use to effect change within an organization’s structure, process, culture… Intervention can take place either on the organization’s overall structure or within its specific parts groups, individuals… it all depends on the desired outcome. Circumstances that may warrant an intervention strategy include; adapting to globalization, reorganization, workplace diversity, technology disruption, issues of competitiveness… An intervention strategy is a way to work towards a desired outcome, or to deal with unforeseen situations that can threaten the stability of the organization… Often a desired outcome requires changes at some level or intensity for an organization to grow, develop, sustain itself. Also, issues involving– people, morale, high turnover, diversity, workplace issues… can also warrant the use of an intervention strategy as a means for improving productivity, work relations…

Certain intervention approaches may target an organization’s overall structure or focus on the various processes or functions, for example; An intervention can introduce processes designed to change how the entire organization or team or group… operates, either on a global scale or within specific areas. As some departments, groups, teams… may rely on one another to accomplish goals, an intervention in one area may have unexpected consequences in other areas, and impact how they might or might not work together. Also, interventions can affect the basic management reporting structure and revamp an overall approach to the management process, procedure… Often an intervention can affect changes at a cultural level in terms of how staff view their roles, responsibilities, and their interaction with management, and each other… Intervention is important process for making major changes to the outcomes of an organization, but they can also cause major disruptions, new conflicts, threaten stability… if not managed properly.

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In the article Interventions: Managing Systematic Change in Organizations by Armando Justo writes: An intervention aimed at improving performance may involve developing a completely different workplace environment, for example; one that respect– diversity, shared power, collaboration, open discussions… Such strategic interventions must be initiated and managed by the organization’s leadership with the appropriate employees and others stakeholders fully involved, committed to the process. Most important, for an intervention to be successful its ‘leader’ must be a change agent– a person with vision, who can deal with uncertainty, who understands risk, who is committed to an improved organizational outcome… According to M. Kormanik; there are various classifications for an interventions, example: One classification is– large-scale interventions; this typically involve an entire group of stakeholders, working toward the definition of a future state… These interventions start from top leaderships of the organization and they– define, analyze, plan, manage implementation, execution of the intervention for the desired outcomes. Large scale interventions are highly structured, carefully planned and usually involves the entire organization in some capacity…

Another classification is– strategic interventions; this typically involves a strategy of transformation that links the organization to a larger objective in order to keep pace with changing conditions… Strategic intervention facilitates a better understanding of the organization’s current state as it relates to its larger objective, which allows it to better define and target strategies for competing, collaborating with other organizations… Still yet another classification is– management and leadership interventions; it’s aim is to improve performance, effectiveness of the organization’s ‘leadership and management’.  The use of this intervention is wide-spread and most organizations have some programs in place to– identify, measure, improve the quality of leadership. The basis for many of these programs, include; Defining appropriate leadership profiles that best respond to current, future organizational needs; Identifying process, procedures that ensure leadership accountability; Creating a cultural environment that mandates continuous innovation and intervention…

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Change by intervention involves moving from one competitive or structured condition to another… organizations must change at record pace to keep up with highly competitive and disruptive environments that demand more value, performance… One important point to bear in mind is that the effects of different forms of interventions to initiate change are never neutral; it always creates winners and losers. Intervention does not always work in ways intended, or in ways business theories predicts it should. Part of the risk of intervention is the ‘law of unintended consequences’, which often comes into play– unforeseen effects can have a serious negative impact an organization as a results of a particular intervention strategy: People and business rarely behave precisely in ways expected. In judging the effects of intervention strategy, consider the following factors:

  • Efficiency: Does this intervention lead to better use of people, resources…
  • Effectiveness: Does this intervention lead to desired outcome– increased value, cost effectiveness…
  • Equity: Does this intervention affect one group or function more than another, and unfairly create negativism in the organization…
  • Sustainability: Does this intervention impact, threaten, or in any affect other opportunities, or limit future organizational options, alternatives…

Leaders must have specific skills to affect a positive intervention on an organization, which means to– define the initiative, understand the risks and consequences, get the participation and commitment of all the relevant stakeholders, and fully integrate the initiative across the entire organization… However, unfortunately many leaders are not skilled to affect a strategic intervention… Many are fine just ‘doing the job’, rather than providing the vision and passion to drive an innovative strategic intervention… According to French & Bell Jr; intervention is a set of structured activities in which the organization or targeted groups or individuals are engaged in a task or sequence of tasks where outcomes are related directly or indirectly to some level of managed improvement… Interventions constitute specific actions whose outcomes make things happen ‘differently’ within the organization…

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