Posts

The Riskiest Thing We Can Do

From Mitch Joel’s new book CTRL ALT DELETE he uses this quote from Seth Godin. I love it. Being more average isn’t going to get you anywhere. Being like everyone else won’t work. You must be different.

Seth-Godin-Quote-You-don't-win-by-being-more-average-than-other-people-in-your-industry

“You don’t win by being more average than other people in your industry.
You don’t win by being more compliant than your fellow co-workers.
Being more obedient at what you do every day is not going to make you more indispensable.
What makes someone indispensable is that they do something that other people can’t do.
We go to work every day trying to not do that. We go to work trying to be just like everyone else, because that feels safe. In today’s economy, and for the foreseeable future, that’s the riskiest thing we can do.”

For more quotes check out this post here:

17 Lessons (Quotes) on Strategy, Leadership, and Advertising
Best Business & Marketing Quotes of 2012
11 Facts You Need To Know About Your Brain

 

 

 

Do People Write Reviews About Your Business? They Will…

I went on my Kindle the other day to buy the book “Neuromarketing”, I had heard about it in a podcast.  When I searched, I found it, but I also found a similar book.  A similar book with a perfect 5 star rating.

Neuromarketing book search Read more

What is strategy?

“Management plan or method for completing objectives; plan of procedures to be implemented, to do something.” –  Answers.com

“Strategy refers to a plan of action designed to achieve a particular goal.” – Wikipedia

“A mental tapestry of changing intentions for harmonizing and focusing our efforts as a basis for realizing some aim or purpose in an unfolding and often unforeseen world of many bewildering events and many contending interests.” – John Boyd’s

“Strategy is about knowing where your company is today, where you want to take it, and how you are going to get there.” -Peter Drucker

However you define it, all strategy really means is focusing on a certain objective and determining how to achieve it.  Have you ever brainstormed ways of revamping your company or product to ensure a more competitive stance in your market?  Have you ever wondered what may happen if there is a large shift in your industry?

Too many industries are facing large changes in how business is conducted with the majority of organizations ignoring it.  What used to be safe is now risky.  If you’re not exploring where you industry is headed, where your competitors are expanding to and what your customers are talking to each other about, you may be missing the most valuable information about your industry.

The best part about this ever changing business landscape of the future is that the internet, if used effectively, can become your most powerful tool to explore your options.  It is never to late to start learning, you’re already on the right track by reading my blog ;).

The choice is yours, either start learning and exploring or  take the “safe” alternative and do business as usual believing you’re industry is immune to change.

Do You Want To Be Smarter?

I was heading to the mountains this past weekend and I didn’t want to listen to music the entire time so I was going to download some podcasts.  But where do you look for interesting podcasts?  Doing a Google  search, the seventh or eighth down the list caught my eye, none other than Seth Godin recommended a site. If he likes it I’ll probably love it.

When I first went to Radio Lab I didn’t know what to think, but if Seth liked it then I’m sure there’s something here worth listening to.  I downloaded a few FREE podcasts, put them on my iPod and never thought of it until we put it on in the car.  Wow, this was different, not your regular podcast.  They asked weird questions, provided entertaining commentary, and you learned in the short time it took to listen to them.

Listening to educational podcasts can seem quite geeky but I assure you it’s not (I keep telling myself it isn’t).  Try an audio book in the car or for you lovers of education, iTunes offers a free podcast downloading centre called iTunes U.  Here’s a list of the top 100 podcasts from the most prestigious schools in the World.

If you hate reading then listening to books and podcasts is a great option.  In the car makes sense because you were just going to listen to music anyway.  And the last one is at the gym, why not give your mind a workout while giving your body one? Boom.

How Do You Save a Neighborhood?

In Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point, he talks about how New York reduced it’s crime rate by a substantial amount in the 1990’s by implementing some simple yet very powerful tactics.  One of those was to keep the Subways clean.  Based on the concept developed by James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling in a 1982 article titled Broken Windows, by eliminating the small offenses (such as a broken window) it is much more difficult to commit the larger more serious ones.

In January of 2007 Maclean’s magazine wrote an article titled Canada’s Worst Neighborhood which described the North Central Regina neighborhood.  Since then many changes have come about for the better but there is still much work to be done.  Here’s my thought experiment for the day, it’s now your job to let me know if it’s feasible or not.

  1. High school kids are looking for jobs
  2. Neighborhoods need work to be done but the majority of home owners can not afford to pay professionals
  3. Considering the broken window theory, if we made neighborhoods look good they would be less prone to serious crime

If someone started a non-profit organization supported by the city or donations, these low skilled laborers could learn to paint, fix fencing, basic landscaping, simple carpentry, and gardening.  Having these teams of workers going from yard to yard throughout the central area for the two summer months could help immensely in the long run.  Ensuring the work was of a certain standard these mobile work camps would provide jobs, teach teens new skills, and help our communities where they need it most.  The only thing missing is someone to start and run this program.  Thoughts?

University of the Future

In University I took Business, when I began six years ago there were mandatory courses and there are still mandatory courses.  My problem isn’t with having classes mandatory but the fact that the courses I had to take six years ago are still the same courses new students have to take today.  Recently I discovered that the Business faculty does a curriculum review every five years, in a World where information changes daily you’d think the institution that is responsible for our “brilliant” business minds would adapt.  They don’t.

Instead of complaining about how I think the University should be ran, lets start small and brain storm the first five classes any student should have to take.  As of now, in your first year of almost any degree you must take psychology, a math, english, a social science and computer science (give or take a class or two this is what first years are forced to take).  What if those were changed to a different five?  A better, more relevant five?

We go to University to get jobs in the real World, shouldn’t the real World have a say in what we learn?  How about we vote on it, alumni that are prominent leaders in the real world should have a good idea what you need to learn.  How about all the alumni from the past ten years vote, what would they pick?

Obviously this would never happen but what if the University gave up control of just five classes and let a vote take place?  I think it would make the students happy and the future employers as well.  But wait!  The administration and professors are now unhappy.  At the end of the day who is University trying to please?  The administration or the students?

Here’s my list of Classes:

Critical thinking – put into situations where students must find a solution.

Teamwork – “People” skills are valued very highly among employers but we never really focus on it.

Attitude – The most important attribute of any potential employee.

Technology – From the internet to the iphone everything they need to know about the tech world.

Giving back – At the end of most motivational books about how to get the most out of life it almost always comes back to giving back and helping the less fortunate.  If this will end up being one of the most important aspects of our lives why aren’t our “prestigious” Universities teaching more about it?

What do you think?  I know this isn’t the perfect solution but our University system is flawed and I’d like to see a change.

Please leave you comments below.