Learning to Maximize Your Business

Learning to Maximize Your Business

At some point in the growth of a business, every entrepreneur realizes that they need to shift their focus and work "on" their business instead of working "in" it. In fact, it has been written about so many times that many entrepreneurs actually believe that this is the one transition they need to plan for in the growth of their company. In reality, the shift from working in your business to working on the business is only one of the shifts that an entrepreneur will need to adjust to (assuming that the business growth continues and they are successful). After this first shift, the next stage will be to work toward maximizing the business which requires a whole new set of skills and priorities. (more…)...
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Build a Strong Foundation for Innovation

Build a Strong Foundation for Innovation

Those of you who know me won't be shocked by the fact that I have a serious passion for innovation. I believe you always need to be constantly pushing your organization (and your life) forward. You need to focus on reinventing what you do and how you do it as often as possible to drive new value for your customers and your organization. To succeed, you need to build a strong foundation for innovation. Companies like GE or IBM who have consistently changed their business sold off core components, reinvented their primary revenue base, and evolved how they execute based on the demands of an evolving market. These are great examples of companies that innovate very well. But their innovative success isn't based solely on a mindset, fancy frameworks, or crazy wild innovators (although that helps). To earn the right to be innovative they first had to be exceptional companies. (more…)...
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Innovate Everything

Innovate Everything

Most often when people hear the word Innovation it springs to mind images of high tech gadgets like the iPhone and iPad. For a smaller group of people it may also trigger images of service innovations like NetFlix or Starbucks. A few really creative folks might even register images of business model innovation like Google Adwords or Zipcar. But how many people think about process innovation, procedure innovation, or project execution innovation. Fancy gadgets and new services and business models get all the press and air time in business journals because their outcomes are sexy and well recognized, but the same approaches used to disrupt markets from a product, service, or business model perspective can also be used to disrupt your own internal processes, procedures, and projects. Think about your own organization's processes and procedures. Unless you work for an incredibly unique company you are likely laden with the legacy of scientific management and control frameworks with 12 templates for every document...
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Appropriate Management Controls for Small Business

Appropriate Management Controls for Small Business

For those that read this blog regularly or who have spoken with me at one of the various networking events that I regularly participate in you know that my passion is in creating growth through value innovation, but I have had a couple of conversations in the past week with colleagues in other businesses about management controls so I thought I'd share my thoughts on specifically management controls and small business. One of my pet peeves (and one of the main reasons I haven't spent a lot of time in larger more bureaucratic organizations) is process for the sake of process, and I truly believe that management controls used poorly constitute exactly this problem.  One of the most innovation stifling innovations is the standard operating procedure, specifically if it implemented before there is a specific need for control or before an organization has grown to a size that would justify requiring that level of control. When speaking with one colleague he demonstrated for...
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