April 29, 2011

Until Done, "It" Isn't "Great"

"Genius begins great works; labor alone finishes them."

Joesph Joubert
18th century French moralist

Are you the "boss"?

How much of whatever your company does, is done by you?

April 28, 2011

A Macro Business Plan?

"The good life is one inspired by life and guided by knowledge."

 Bertrand Russell
20th century British philosopher

And, I think, a fitting description of what a "good" business should be as well.

April 27, 2011

It's Up To You

"In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future."

Eric Hoffer
20th century American author/philosopher

To all to whom change is the devil incarnate, the solution.

The fact that things change is a given, what you do about it is not.

What will you do?

April 26, 2011

In Due Time

"I am too Occidental for a long vigil.  I could work at a problem for years, but to wait 24 hours--that is another matter."

Time Traveler
"The Time Machine" by H.G. Wells

I'm not sure this condition is limited to Occidentals, but whatever the case, I understand the implications of patience, or lack thereof.

How about you, are you patient? 

I (patiently) await your answer.

April 22, 2011

Wealth: A Zero Sum Game?

"Of the wealth of the world, each has as much as they take."

Italian proverb

Notice "take" not "make".

Do you agree?

April 20, 2011

How Open A Mind?

"I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief."

Gerry Spence
20th century American trial lawyer

It does not surprise me that a trial lawyer would say this, otherwise, how would one ever get a jury to reverse thinking on an accused, initially presumed by many to be guilty?

However, when it comes to business matters, which is preferable?

April 19, 2011

The Same Only Different

"If you would marry suitably, marry your equal."

1st century BC Roman poet

Good advice in business mergers as well as in marriage?

I would say so.

But understand that equality is different than "same".  

In both marriage and business mergers, equality in differences is a good and preferable thing.

April 18, 2011

Joyless Passion

"The worst sin - perhaps the only sin passion can commit - is to be joyless."

Dorothy L. Sayers
20th century English author

Ever notice how many company vision statements include things like, "We are passionate about what the company does"? 

How many of those who do then appeared to you to actually be passionate?

Joyless passion?

Don't say it if you can't be it.

April 15, 2011

How Hard Can It Be?

"The soft stuff is always harder than the hard stuff."

Roger Enrico
Chairman, Dreamworks

If this doesn't make sense, assume Mr. Enrico is talking about what appears to be hard or soft as opposed to what actually is.

We do tend to underestimate that which later proves to be more difficult than we had assumed it would be.

April 14, 2011

Don't Confuse Them

"Cleverness is not wisdom."

4th century BC Greek playwright

And assuming otherwise is a common mistake made by many of us who consider ourselves clever.

What about you?

April 13, 2011

Time's Up!

"Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else."

Peter Drucker
20th century American business consultant, author, educator

As a board member of a mid sized company, I was asked to attend a management meeting the other day to discuss their approach to time management.

It seems they feel they have a problem managing their time.

The meeting lasted 2 hours.

Does anyone else see a problem with this?

April 12, 2011

Into Each Life A Little Rain Must Fall Is A Good Thing

". . . a little tumult now and then is an agreeable quickener of sensation . . ."

Lord Byron
Late 18th century, early 19th century British poet

If everything in your business life today was as it was yesterday, why would you ever expect it to be different tomorrow?

April 11, 2011

Is Enough Ever Enough?

"As long as I have a want, I have a reason for living.  Satisfaction is death."

George Bernard Shaw
Late 19th century, early 20th century Irish writer

Does this apply to business?

Is a company that is not continually striving to achieve (want) something destined to die?

What is the relationship, if any, between satisfaction and complacency?

And does what a company want make any difference or is it enough to simply continually try to achieve new things?

April 08, 2011

Who's (Is Anyone) In Charge Here?

"Life can only be understood backwards but it must be lived forwards."

Soren Kierkegaard
19th century Danish philosopher/writer

I am a planning consultant, writing a book on how to better manage change in our personal and professional lives.

Planning and managing, two words that to me suggest attempts to control.

Kierkegaard's quote seems to imply we can only experience life, not control it.

True?  If so in business too?

What do you think?

April 07, 2011

The Watermelon Test

"When one has tasted it he knows what the angels eat."

Mark Twain
19th century American humorist/author

Mr. Twain was referring to watermelon.

Wouldn't it be great in business if it were as easy to recognize things such as integrity, truth, lies, and potential risk and reward?

April 06, 2011

It's Never Too Late To Change

"For tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today."

African proverb

Well said Africa; an excellent argument for change management.

How about you; how much preparation are you doing today for tomorrow?

April 05, 2011

What Have You Done?

"Genius does what it must, and talent does what it can."

Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton
19th century English politician

Suggesting that we call those who do extraordinary things, genius, regardless of what an intelligence test might say about them.

Actually, a pretty good definition I think.

April 04, 2011

Those People

"Prejudices are what fools use for reason."

18th century French writer/philosopher

If you lead others, can you always tell when an argument is prejudicial versus factual?

April 01, 2011

Ethics, $, Both?

"Truth is not only violated by falsehood; it may be equally outraged by silence."

Henri Fredric Amiel
19th century Swiss philosopher

It is difficult to speak out against something you know to be wrong when your job is on the line.

How do you balance your personal need for ethics with your concern for economic security?