Saturday, 27 August 2011

Seven ways to stimulate creative thinking…

Outside the box
The people who are most successful in business are often the ones who come up with novel products or services, or who find different approaches to solving problems.

As part of my MBA, we had a session on how to come up with new ideas. The list below is what the class came up with, along with a few additional items that my friends and I have since discussed:

Approaches to developing new ideas:

Spend time doing things that are completely outside your normal activities
If you’re a business person, spend time with people who aren’t; if you usually listen to rock music, try classical; if you always take the same path to work, try an alternate route…

Sunday, 21 August 2011

The only way to network successfully…

The only way to network successfully is to build and maintain genuine relationships; and the first step is to consider how you can provide value to the other person!

On the first day of an undergraduate degree students are often told “networking is vital to future success”. It is the same thing on the first day of any corporate graduate program and it’s most definitely, the same thing on the first day of an MBA.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

There are two paths to the top, but which is better?

There are traditionally two paths to the top in business and they each have their strengths and weaknesses. I put together the following chart (click for larger version) from my experience and observations.

Specialist vs. Generalist
I encourage to you assess where you are currently in your career and which path you’d like to take to achieve your goals. For I warn you, while it’s possible to switch from one path to the other, there are many obstacles to overcome!

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Everyone is responsible for success and failure (including you)

Joint responsibilityDiscovering the role you played in any success or failure is fundamental to career development.

Consider the last time something when wrong at work. Did you automatically search for someone else to blame? It may be that you believed that it was entirely someone else’s fault; or perhaps you convinced yourself that was the case in order to avoid any potential fallout.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Action trumps everything - Act. Learn. Repeat.

Action Trumps Everything
I recently read the book Action Trumps Everything, which outlines a proven method that “entrepreneurs use for navigating in an uncertain world”. Putting it simply, the approach is: Act. Learn. Repeat.

To give you a little more detail, the authors state that the only way to navigate in an uncertain world is as follows:
Step 1. Make sure what you are about to do is something you really care about. It’s silly to launch into the unknown if you don’t.
Step 2. Don’t over-think. Don’t imagine what might happen. Get started with what you’ve got in hand and take a small, smart step toward your goal and find out.
Step 3. Evaluate what you learn, and if you like the results take another step.

I have often considered documenting the lessons that I have learned throughout my career and so, in the spirit of Action Trumps Everything, I created this blog. I am going to use it as a way of documenting and sharing the lessons that have made me successful.

Someone once told me that “Experience teaches nothing. Evaluated experience teaches everything”. This blog is my approach to evaluating my experiences; I hope you get as much out of it as I know I will.