We have all heard it said that people are the most important asset your business has. In fact, it is said so much that now we have become somewhat numb to it!
Do we really believe this? Are people truly the key to your organization’s success? What about innovation or leadership or cashflow or customers?
According to Tom Peters in The Excellence Dividend there are seven steps to sustaining success. These seven steps start with taking care of your employees. If you can take care of them and treat them with excellence, they will address all the other components of an excellent business!
Have you ever played the game “Would You Rather? It’s a game where you ask the question; “Would you rather do X or Y?” It is usually a younger, more “silly” crowd that plays it . . . like my own kids when they were teenagers. They could entertain themselves for hours with outlandish “would you rather” scenarios!
I recently was at a conference where Andy Moore was speaking and he challenged the crowd with the statement; “we can take a path of preservation or a path of innovation.“ You cannot do both. You must choose one or the other.
This really made me think about business leaders and the seemingly innocuous decisions that we make every day that shapes our destiny and the destiny of our businesses and our employees.
Any business that chooses to take the path of preservation rather than the path of innovation will die. Preservation may seem like the safe path because it is the path of least resistance. It may be the path that is the least painful up front. However, it is the path to irrelevancy and decay.
Preservation = Death
What do you think about when you think of the word preservation? Treated lumber is preserved. Petrified wood is preserved. Fossils are preserved. Mammoths are preserved. Egyptian mummies are preserved. And all these preserved things are dead! The path of preservation inevitably ends in death.
There is no future in the status quo. There is no future in preservation!
Innovation = Hope!
One of the most important things any business leader can do for their business longevity, is to establish the principles by which they and their business will operate.
These principles form the foundation on which trust and relationships are built with all of the stakeholders of the business; shareholders, employees, customers, and suppliers.
Berkshire Hathaway is an example of a highly successful business from pretty much all perspectives. They are a solid company with decades of successful and profitable operations.
In 1983, Warren Buffett established 13 principles that defined how Berkshire Hathaway was to operate. He first published these in what he called Berkshire’s “An Owner’s Manual.” These 13 ideologies are still valid today at Berkshire and followed closely in all the business that they conduct.
Many of these are directly applicable to any business. We can all benefit from reviewing them and perhaps implementing them in our own businesses!
Berkshire’s “An Owners Manual”
I have highlighted seven of the thirteen principles below:
My book review this week is The Idea Book by Fredrik Haren.
Haren has written this book in a format designed to generate ideas. There 60 creativity inspiring sections followed by an activity designed to tap into your creativity. The book has an additional 150 blank pages dispersed strategically throughout the book to be used to record your creative ideas. I have used this book for personal inspiration. I have also used some of the exercises in a team format to get brainstorming sessions kicked off and to get teams thinking outside of their proverbial boxes.
My takeaway from this book is that every person and every team needs some creative thinking exercises from time to time to restart and renew their creative thinking mechanisms. Taking the thinking exercises from this book are a great way to do this!
Note that I have previously reviewed the following books in 2018:
- Tim O’Reilly’s Whats the Future and Why Its Up to Us
- Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art
- Timothy Ferriss’ Tribe of Mentors
- Richard P. Feynman’s Surely You’re Joking Mr. Feynman!
- Bernadette Jiwa’s Hunch
- Scott Galloway’s The Four
- William Mougayar’s The Business Blockchain
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The book review for this week is Hunch by Bernadette Jiwa.
Jiwa explains her thoughts and research behind; ideas, intuition, deep thought, rationality, questions, genius, and many other concepts commonly associated with breakthrough ideas.
In today’s distracted and plugged-in world where we can Google answers for anything, we are at risk of losing our ability for innovative thought. Jiwa does a great job of outlining techniques for reengaging our creativity and intuition and generating the next big thing by leveraging our everyday insights.
My takeaway from this book is Jiwa’s definition of a hunch.