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Posts Tagged ‘business strategy’

One Reason You Shouldn’t Worry About Getting Venture Capital

August 11, 2015 Comments off

Dileep Rao posted an interesting article entitled: Why 99.95% Of Entrepreneurs Should Stop Wasting Time Seeking Venture Capital. It was posted in Forbes Entrepreneur Blog.

Venture-Capital

It is an interesting analysis stating that odds are likely you will grow your business without Venture Capital.  It simply reinforces the notion that working on your business to build and please customers might do you better than chasing the odds of gaining traction with a VC, at least in the early stages of your company.  Still, the VC community, as Rao contends, is a formidable PR machine and the populace (i.e. press) seems to look their direction for validation and guidance.  Is this the right place to look?  If it is not, where should entrepreneurs (and policy makers) seek a “gold standard” to pursue?

3 Reasons to Write it Down Before Action

March 18, 2013 Comments off

pencilLast week was full of surprises.  Teams converged to address a very sticky, emotional and difficult issue.  No surprise, it also involved money, faulty decisions and blame all around. But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

Due to the complexity of the issues involved, I decided to try to create a factual summary of the past and what led up to the present situation. I presented the timeline to all parties to help us all recast the sequence of events. By trying to remove emotion and script only facts along a timeline, we realized, like a lot of difficult decisions, many people and situations conspired consciously or unconsciously to bring us to where we were.  Reducing the facts to a timeline and having everyone agree on what happened quickly allowed us to move forward with the present challenge.  So, write it down, use the facts and you can gain:

1. Clarity

2. Perspective and

3. Build a reasonable plan going forward

The exercise allowed me to also see there was error with “my team” and “their team” – and once we took responsibility, it opened the door to collectively take responsibility and work together on solving what got us there.  We focused on the problem, not the people.  Try it sometime.

Fix That E Mail Address – Before It’s Too Late

February 27, 2013 Comments off

atsignCredibility, consistency and striving for the correct first impressions.  Then, there’s the little detail about your e mail address.  In the land of godaddy instant websites and e mail combined the ability to link your gmail address to virtually any server; why aren’t we doing that?  Meaning to establish, as start-ups we have at least gone through the motions of creating a small web presence and a decent, credible address name.  Then again, there’s the best and worst, as presented by Fast Company – would you have your taxes done by someone with an e mail address taxplaya at hotmail dot com?  Enjoy.

Inclusive Management, Messaging and Trust

February 8, 2013 Comments off

slide-39-638I recently found a great report – a global study called the Edelman Trust Barometer.  There’s a lot to learn from this report, but the key take aways for me are the following:

  1. A trusting culture requires a dynamic, not “top down” management – here they call it Inclusive Management – and it just doesn’t mean getting people’s opinions.
  2. “Credentialed Experts” are far and away more trusted than CEO’s as communicators.
  3. People (customers and employees) need to hear a message 3 to 5 times from various sources to change behavior or influence their opinion.
  4. CEO’s and Government Officials – Hit the bottom for worldwide trustworthiness in delivering a message

There’s much more to this report and a lot of learning.  Perhaps its time to have your “expert” on staff start delivering your message 3 to 5 times across multiple communication channels to ensure you have a trustworthy image that you can live up to.  In our world of increased transparency, you may not have any option but to have integrity.

2013 Habits – Do With Discipline

January 12, 2013 Comments off

megaphoneRecently, I was working with a start-up on developing a reporting template to update their investors and Board to ensure their stakeholders were well informed.  It is so important to ensure the communication channel is open to any stakeholder in your business.  It is surprising how many businesses start with the greatest of intentions, have a great opening salvo of communication and then drift off into only communicating when you have to – Annual Meetings, needing money, etc.

It is almost as if business leaders think their stakeholders absorb their business activity by osmosis.  Then, when they do need something, they are frustrated to learn their audience is far from ready to take action because they are struggling to absorb what has happened since the last update.

Stakeholder communication is critical, but not required – until you need something.  Think about making it a habit to communicate and solicit feedback on your progress, on a regular basis.  I guarantee it will help when you need help.

Be Thankful for your 2012/2013 Challenges!

November 20, 2012 Comments off

Lift-off of the Dnepr launch vehicle

It’s Thanksgiving week.  In addition to faith, friends, family, and health, I am grateful I started this blog habit.  I have been introduced to a variety of interesting people and I am thankful for my regular readers and creative exchanges that have resulted.

Today, Dr. Michael Joyner posted his case for optimism about the future.  In it he lists the following challenges from 1968/1969 that, at the time we thought were “unsolvable”

  • The Berlin Wall.
  • The Soviet Union invaded Czechoslovakia to suppress a movement calling for minimal levels of free expression.
  • George Wallace, an avowed racist, ran for President and got 13.5% percent of the vote.
  • Career choices available to women were extremely limited, and opportunities for women and girls to participate in things like competitive sports were minimal.
  • Rivers like the Cuyahoga near Cleveland were so polluted they sometimes caught on fire.
  • China and India were economic basket cases.
  • North Vietnam invaded South Vietnam during Tet.
  • Places like Tucson (where I grew up) were surrounded by intercontinental ballistic missile silos.  Air raid sirens were tested at regular intervals in case we needed to be warned of an impending nuclear attack.
  • The Red Sox had still not won the World Series after trading Babe Ruth to the Yankees in 1918 – the so-called Curse of the Bambino.

So, as we look at next year in building our strategic plans or think about the world our children will live in the future, we might want to put our challenges in perspective of human progress.  It might be time to express gratitude and next week, let’s find something big to solve!

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Doing What You Should Do, Not What You Can Do

July 2, 2012 Comments off

We humans are amazing creatures, and also subject to repetitive habit.   Some of those habits are great, and some, well, aren’t really advancing you or your company.  Change is hard and doing what you are comfortable doing, every day, gives us at least a little sense of accomplishment.  And, as long as what your are comfortable doing, is what advances the company. Great.

Unfortunately, a lot of those activities aren’t advancing the company.  Analyze your day today, or better yet, have someone else observe your days activities.  List what you did and compare it to what you should be doing to keep customers, get more customers, advance your innovation.  It’s hard, but worthwhile work analyzing this and acting on the “should do’s” for doing the greater good for ourselves and our company.

Speaking of “shoulds” – Happy Independence Day!  Let’s not forget our leaders who took the chance to do what should be done to make our country great.

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