Embrace the Power of Punctuation
People need fresh starts, clean slates and new beginnings, according to Ian Chisholm of the Roy Group. His advice? Instead of living our lives like a run-on sentence, full of commas, we need to put down periods and start the next sentence with a capital letter. “The leaders who I see thriving put down these ‘full stops’ often,” he says. “Each year, each quarter, each month, each week is a brand new chapter to be born, brimming with potential.”
“As entrepreneurs,” he adds, “we need to pay extra attention to the kinds of days and the combination of days we are creating for ourselves. If every day can be a work day, then every day will be — and we lose the punctuation. To bring the kind of creativity, focus, vitality and quality that the world needs from us, we have to prepare well, we have to review, we have to rest and then we need to bring it. If you try to bring it all the time, you will bring less and less and less over time.”
What’s Your Killer Idea?
You’ve had the summer to think about it. Now what’s your killer idea? The one that’s going to set the tone for your business as you move forward. If you’re thinking it’s all just business as usual, you might not be seeing the big picture. In this market, nothing is “usual” anymore, and you can bet your competitors are all looking at their next moves. And if you are struggling to be innovative, who says you have to have all the big ideas? Why not tap into the ingenuity of your team?
Still stuck? Try working with one of the many business idea generator methods you can find on the internet, from the Goldrush method (“In a gold rush, sell shovels”) to the Rip, Pivot and Jam (RPJ) method. With RPJ, start by looking at another successful business and copying its business model (rip), then apply it to a new vertical or industry (pivot) and, finally, focus like crazy on getting customers to buy into your idea (jam).
Look Back to Look Forward
At the Roy Group, a new start often means looking back over the last quarter to squeeze it for useful information.
“Success is a great source of information,” says Ian Chisholm, “but instead of just celebrating it, why not take time to break down our successes to identify why it all came together in such a magnificent way?
“The same goes for failure,” he adds. “Break it down. No judgment. No blame. It’s a chance for people to get real with each other about what happened — using the same looks on their faces and tones of voices that we broke down our successes.”
Chisholm says three questions to consider are:
1) What worked well?
2) What was tricky?
3) What might we do differently?
“Seriously,” says Chisholm, “what else is there? When we put ourselves and our teams in the presence of good information, we make great choices in the chapter ahead of us.”
This article is from the August/September 2019 issue of Douglas.