Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Billy’s Thirteenth Law: Sometimes thinking is more important than doing!

Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.
Henry Ford

Think for a moment about the ways in which you spend your working day.  We spend time on routine tasks, managing people, addressing the needs of your clients and, to be honest, wasted on things like writing blogs.  The reality is that we often react to situations, or we follow tried and true methods.  We know from psychology that in times of stress, we revert to habit.
The problem with these behaviours is they are the same… and the same actions lead to the same results.  Ben Franklin said, "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."  In today’s world, with rapidly changing market conditions, we need new approaches.
Our tendency is to ‘do something’.  In our society, especially in the commercial world, we value action.  We love terms such as ‘go getter’ and ‘self-starter’.  Rarely, if ever, have I heard the word, ‘thinker’ considered a superlative in a business context.  We consider thinking a more academic pursuit…not worthy of the real world.  As executives, we need to take time to think!
When was the last time you thought about your own business?   Take some time to think…even to dream about what you do, how you accomplish it and even for whom you are doing it.  Think of how your situation has changed in the past few years, and how it continues to change.  Engage in some extreme thinking.  I first discovered this term in a book by Faith Popcorn.  She suggests looking for a trend, and take it to the extreme.  For example, if there is a trend towards vegetarianism, ask the question, “What would my business look like if everybody was a vegetarian?” If you are in the restaurant business…then this could have profound consequences.   Then bring it back to reality and ask yourself, what I should do given this trend. 
Thinking is tough.  The best way to begin is to continually ask two questions…they are the two golden questions of entrepreneurship and they are:
What if?

So here is this week’s challenge.  Ask yourself either a Why or what if question as it pertains to your business.  Remember, take time to think!

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