I recently finished reading a great book by Seth Godin entitled Poke the Box. I would encourage you to read it as well. It certainly got my thinking going about changes I want to initiate in my own business. The central theme of his book is that we all have opportunities available to us to start new things.
He states, “People have come to the erroneous conclusion that if they’re not willing to start something separate, world-changing, and risky, they have no business starting anything. Somehow, we’ve fooled ourselves into believing that the project must have a name, a building, and a stock ticker symbol to matter.”
Godin continues, “In fact, people within organizations are perfectly situated to start something. A non-senior member of the inbound customer service team can do it. The receptionist can do it. The assistant foreman can do it.” What he is really asking is: Are there tasks or routines in your business today that could be done far better. Let’s ask the people who actually complete these tasks. Is there a better or easier way to get similar results? Do you have any ideas about new tasks we should be completing to make the business more productive, efficient or profitable?
What items are you holding back on in your operation? Do they seem risky? Perhaps. Yet, could they potentially hold the keys to greater profitability? Godin goes on to point out that “Risk, to some, is a bad thing, because risk brings with it the possibility of failure. It might be only a temporary failure, but that doesn’t matter if the very thought of it shuts you down.”
If you think like this, and many of us do, he states “These people have made two mistakes. First, they’ve assumed that risk is a bad thing, and second, they’ve confused risk with flux (flow or change) and conclude that movement is a bad thing as well.” However, I would add that many operations who have “stood still” these past five years have risked getting run over by our industry. Do you have some neighbors who have recently sold their business?
Consider how you might avoid these challenges and move forward with your plan. What do you need to research? With whom do you need to consult? Has anyone ever tried this before? Why not? Are there lessons to learn from their experience? When you are prepared to take this next step toward greater success, this is what Seth Godin refers to as “Poking the Box.”
Hopefully, this concept has provided you with food for thought. What are your top ideas for consideration?
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