Monday, April 30, 2012

Changing Directions

Once you have been in business for a few years, it is all too easy to get complacent, especially if everything is just ticking along.  But you know it can change on a dime and it is how you handle those challenges and changes that shape whether you continue to do well or continue at all.

At the recent Oprah session in Toronto, Tony Robins questioned why we don’t talk about failures.  He observed that when asked why people failed, the common complaint is lack of resources – not enough – time, money, energy or technology.  People blame resources as their excuse for failure. But he said “it’s not the lack of resources that cause failure, it’s the lack of resourcefulness that causes failure.”

Now that is food for thought.  In her book The Secret of Successfully Failing, Gina Mollicote Long talks about failure as being just feedback, and an opportunity to learn some valuable lessons so you do it differently next time.  As Thomas Edison once said “I have not failed. I’ve found 10,000 ways that didn’t work.”

So if resourcefulness is the answer, how do you become resourceful?
  1. Reflect.  Take yourself out of the daily routine and reflect on what you are doing, what is not working and revisit your long term vision.
  2. Reconnect.  Ask people about what they think needs to happen. Check in with customers – what do you they need and want, it may well have changed since you started and they will be pleased you asked.   Talk to your team, they may have some great ideas.
  3. Revenue.  Do the math.  Check what is bringing in the most revenue, it may have changed over the years and once-popular programs/services may no longer be as profitable.
  4. Research.  What is your competition doing?  Is there a gap, overlap in what is being offered to clients?
  5. Redefine.  Once you have done the above, you may find that you do have to change and refine your offering. 

  6. Resources.  What resources do you need to make this new/revised offering happen?  Do you do it alone or can you form an alliance or barter with another organization to make it happen effectively.

Gaining clarity on what you do, what you offer and to whom,  can give you a roadmap to stay on the path of success.  Driving the same road over and over, means that you always reach the same destination and if you want to grow, both personally and professionally, you need to change it, because sure as anything, there will be road works and you will have to take a detour anyway.

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