May 30, 2014

DISRUPTIVE INNOVATION


"The greatest conqueror is he who overcomes the enemy without a blow."

Chinese proverb

There are numerous examples of this in business.

Apple's iTunes and various iDevices disrupting music playback equipment manufacturers and the music industry in general.

Vonage and similar companies offering Wi-Fi telephone services, disrupting traditional landline telephone service.

And maybe even Space X disrupting government space exploration.

What enemy will your company overcome without a blow?



May 29, 2014

SOONER OR LATER YOU HAVE TO PERFORM


"In times of storm, the shallowness of the root structure is revealed."

Unknown Source

Anyone can perform when unchallenged.

The trick is to do so when most others can't.

May 28, 2014

CAN'T LIVE WITHOUT YOU?


"There is no indispensable man."

Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945) Thirty-second President of the USA.

Or woman for that matter should you think otherwise.

And, man or woman, you become even more dispensable the more you think you are indispensable.

May 27, 2014

UNDERSTANDING DIGNITY


"Our dignity is not in what we do, but what we understand."

George Santayana (1863-1952) American philosopher/poet

There is a very important, very subtle distinction between these two.

Think about how much you do versus how much you understand. 

If you are like most there is quite a bit more of the former, much less of the latter.

Ideally they would be equal.

May 26, 2014

PAY ATTENTION; THEY HAVE A LOT TO TEACH, YOU HAVE A LOT TO LEARN


"Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but religiously follows the new."

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) American naturalist, poet/philosopher

In every aspect of life, including business.

If you are just beginning your career, do yourself a favor and pay attention to those further along in theirs.

You might be surprised concerning how much they can teach you.

May 23, 2014

A PLAN TO GO OUT OF BUSINESS


"Laws and institutions, like clocks, must occasionally be cleaned, wound up, and set to true time."

Henry Ward Beecher (1813-1887) American politician

So very true, and as much so in your business strategy and plan.

If you don't review and revise it every quarter you soon will have no business to plan for.

May 22, 2014

THAT'S HOME??


"Where thou art, that is home."

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886) American poet

Those who agree with this will have an easier time building a career than will those who believe otherwise.

I was always of the mind that it was more important to find a job where I wanted to live than it was to live where I found a job.

Jobs come and go; how bad would it be to be without one in a place you wouldn't otherwise choose to be?

May 21, 2014

I HOPE THIS PLEASES YOU


"Please all, and you will please none."

Aesop (620 BC-560 BC) Greek fabulist

And since it is rarely, if ever, possible to please all, even the effort will often please none.

Just attempt to do what is right and leave concern for who that pleases to others.

May 20, 2014

THE PERILS OF INCOMPLETE INTELLIGENCE


"Better to be ignorant of a matter than half know it."

Publilius Syrus (1st Century BC) Roman writer and poet

I respectfully suggest an edit.

Better to be ignorant of a matter than half know it, taking action as though you knew it all.

I've been guilty of this, what about you?

May 19, 2014

I'D BE PATIENT BUT I DON'T HAVE THE TIME


"All human errors are impatience, a premature breaking off of methodical procedure. An apparent fencing-in of what is apparently at issue."

Franz Kafka (1883-1924) Czech writer

There's a fine line between patience and missed opportunity caused by inaction.

But how many of your mistakes were the result of acting too late as opposed to too soon?

May 16, 2014

HAVE I MADE MYSELF CLEAR?


"Two nations divided only by a common language."

Unknown

Calling the author of this quote "unknown" may surprise many of you, in that it is most often attributed to Winston Churchill. But as well to George Bernard Shaw and Oscar Wilde just to name two others.

Whoever it was it makes the point that two nations, and I think people as well, can use the same language without understanding each other.

Think about this the next time you find yourself saying, "S(he) just doesn't get it."

You might not either.

May 13, 2014

COMPANY CODE OF CONDUCT STATEMENTS NOTWITHSTANDING . . .


"The pit of a theatre is the one place where the tears of virtuous and wicked men alike are mingled."

Denis Diderot (1713-1784) French philosopher

But not the only place.

This is potentially just as true in business.

Probably more so.


May 12, 2014

NOT ALL OR NONE OF YOU WILL COMPLETELY OR NOT ALL AGREE WITH THIS, ALWAYS OR NEVER


"Some theories are good for nothing except to be argued about."

Georg C. Lichtenberg (1742-1799) German scientist/satirist/anglophile

"Even for practical purposes theory generally turns out the most important thing in the end."

Oliver Wendell Holmes (1809-1894) American author/poet

If you've followed BW for any time at all you might have noticed seemingly contradictory quotes, possibly including these two.

However look carefully and you often see the "back doors" authors leave themselves so as not to appear too all inclusive.

For example, Lichtenberg qualified what would appear to be a condemnation of theory by saying only "some" are good for nothing. And Holmes softened his adding "generally." 

Little in life is "always" or "never", and for those things that are, not "everyone" or "no one" will feel that way, regardless.

You are right to question absolutes.

May 09, 2014

WE CAN ALL IMPROVE


"To be happy is to be able to become aware of oneself without fright."

Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) German philosopher

That is the goal.

You might not like what you first find, but you can change.

Go ahead; what you are isn't what you have to be.

May 08, 2014

REALITY OR PERCEPTION OF REALITY?


"It all depends on how we look at things, and not how they are in themselves."

Carl Gustav Jung (1875-1961) Swiss psychologist/psychiatrist

This raises an interesting question, one obviously not limited to business.

Is "reality", whatever that is, more important than perception of reality?

There is only one reality but many perceptions of what it is.

I'll go with perception.

I am far more effective as a marketer when I address consumer perception of reality than I will ever be attempting to change what they perceive to be true.

What do you think?

May 07, 2014

ABOUT THOSE PRIORITIES


"We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman/scientist/philosopher

In addition to you there are three constituencies you need concern yourself with in business.
  1. Your customer
  2. Your competition
  3. Your co-workers
If you find you spend more time, or worse, much more time, dealing with number 3 than numbers 2 and certainly 1, you won't for long.

Your company will fail, you along with it.
 

May 06, 2014

ANSWERING TO OURSELVES


"Life's tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late."

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman/scientist/philosopher

For all of us, the latter.

For many, not enough of and sometimes never the former.

Of them I wonder, at the end, do they ever wonder, "What have I done?"

May 05, 2014

IT MAKES ME ANGRY I DIDN'T LEARN THIS SOONER!


"If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow."

Chinese proverb

In some cases way, way more than a hundred days.

Irrational anger, even rational anger allowed to go too far, can affect you for years to come.

Possibly the rest of your life.

May 02, 2014

BUMMER! GOT TO GO.


"A tear dries quickly when it is shed for troubles of others."

Marcus Tulius Cicero (106-43 BC) Writer/politician/roman orator

Be honest, you occasionally look for pity don't you?

I have; it's part of being human.

But you don't get much for being pitied, certainly not for long.

Ask for and get help when you need it but lead your life from a position of self-reliant strength.

Better to be admired for having done so than pitied for not.

May 01, 2014