Thoughts & Considerations

Begin from the End

“on reaching the end, be without sorrow”

Inscribed at Delphi

The next quarter, the next sales report, the next meeting, the next tweet.  Where is your focus? 

We are a culture of shortening attention spans, distracted focus and current trends.  Then we are stunned when we don’t build anything that lasts.  Curious. 

How far out are you planning?  6 months, 3 years.  I suggest you consider planning for a lifetime (your lifetime, your organization’s lifetime, your customer’s lifetime).  How do you want this all to end?  Are you building an empire to survive you?  Are you building a resource to sell in a few years?  Are you building yourself a job to take you comfortably into retirement?  Start with the end, then you can work your way back and see if it’s possible for your current organization to deliver the future you are seeking.  If not, change your desires or change your organization.


“The Price of Greatness is Responsibility”

Winston Churchill

The success or failure of any organization lies in the hands of the leaders of that organization.  With the exception of the very largest businesses, the strengths and weaknesses of past leadership teams can be tracked through each organization’s infrastructure as clearly as muddy paws on a white carpet.  Before you dictate significant changes in your organizational structure, start by understanding, on a personal level, where the roadblocks and speed ramps for growth are within yourself.  Then expand that exploration to the organizational structure as a whole. 

Being responsible for the change within an organization carries the heavy weight of accountability, but also the liberation of choice and the ability to make a positive impact.  If you haven’t been able to make the impact you desire, look to your choices and see if you’re being truly accountable to yourself and your organization.  Only then look outside. 


“In the age of television, image becomes more important than substance”

S.I. Hayakawa

But what about the age of screens, immediacy and elevated, exponential change? 

In the world of buzz, influencers, trending, never has it been easier for consumers to get the word out if they like or dislike a product, experience, brand, or individual.  The old rule of thumb was that if someone liked your product or service they would be inclined to share that information if someone asked.  Perhaps they would even tell a person or two on their own.  As digital emerged and took prominence, they might even post a review online.  As the culture has shifted, that response is more and more likely.  Only it’s not one person (or two or three) but many.

Where the equation hasn’t shifted is on the other side of the spectrum.  If someone hated your services, product, experience they would tell everyone they came across, anyone who asked, and they would definitely post a review online.  That is still going to happen.  There is even a type of person now who simply bashes everything they experience as a not so subtle type of blackmail.  (If you don’t give me my way I’ll review you online.)  So not cool.  The real challenge is that we all have access to the whole world, not just our immediate peer groups.  So the “everyone” involved is massive.   

So what do you do with this?  Is it a no win situation?  No, what you can do is focus on nailing the substance before you promote the image.  Never has the role of “under promise, over deliver” been clearer.  Ultimately, in this new world, if you buy on image (alone), you are likely to suffer on substance.  Make the substance your priority and your investment on image (yes you’ll still have to make one) has a chance to pay off long-term.