Saturday, September 23, 2006

Tactics: Risk

Any successful person has chosen action as against inaction. In any initiative or opportunity pursuit there is an element of risk.

Ther are gamblers who enjoy the gamble and there are 'Broadway Risk' players who know that they will win some and lose some. The important point is to stay in the game.

There are others who try to minimize risk as much as possible because they do not need it since the steady growth of their business will ensure success.

Assessing uncertainties and potential dangers comes under the heading of reasonable expectations. There is a spectrum of risk, and you decide the point at which you become uncomfortable.

Things outside your control can go wrong. Success may then involve extricating yourself from the situation in the best way possible.

Risk and reward may be compared. The downside can be compared to the upside. Such comparisons aid decision-taking.

Both investment and innovation involves risk. Both may be essential. So the emphasis is on risk reduction and reward enhancement.

A sense of adventure may impel successful people to take risks--the risks are then reduced as much as possible.

It seems that sucessful eople like doing things that involve risk but do not like the risk itself--so they seek to reduce this.

Instead of being risk-takers successful people should be considered opportunity-conscious.

Ladies Appreciation Night

Ladies appreciation night at the Glad Tidings cell group.

Delicious dinner provided by Alvin at his home of spaghetti and sauteed mushroom salad.

Friday, September 22, 2006

We All Start Out Incompetent

The situational needs leadership model shows that we all start out incompetent in any new task.

There is no such thing as automatically being competent in an area immediately. Though natural talent may have some effect of adapting, we all start from zero in the beginning.

We can then take comfort from the fact that we are not 'stupid' in what we do. It just means we have to learn.

However, I often notice that people who are promoted seem to be expected to perform competently immediately in their new role. I have noticed several results of this:

1. They can adapt quickly and learn quickly.
2. They fall back to their previous competencies and neglect to learn the new skills.
3. They cover up incompetencies by using a limited vocabulary: "Do it!" or "Do that!" or "I don't care!"

Truth is important here. We must acknowledge that we are incompetent in so many areas. But grace is even more important. That its alright and that we are all limited in our current knowledge, learning, skills and abilities. Faith plays in part in overcoming in incompetencies because it says that we can learn, we can find a way around our problems.

Tactics: Opportunity

No corporation is forced to look for opportunities until it is too late to do so.

With a problem, you look for a solution: with an opportunity, you look for benefits.

The two key things in opportunity assessment are: benefits and feasibility.

There are two sorts of risk in every opportunity: uncertainty about feasibility and uncertainty about benefits.

You can hang back and wait for an opportunity to emerge and then rush in to take advantage of it, but other people will be there too.

The safest sort of opportunity is something already successful that can be copied and made better or cheaper. The market and buying patterns are already in place.

Sometimes an opportunity in the market awaits the development of a concept to turn it into a success.

The simplest form of opportunity is to buy something at less than its value and then to operate or sell it at its true value.

Management and problem-solving are maintenance functions. They are not sufficient in a changing or a competitive world. Conceptual thinking is needed in addition.

There are opportunities that are available to everyone and opportunities that particularly fit your style and resources.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Tactics: Decision Making

There are many different types of thinking: logic, perception (and lateral thinking), and intuition (including aesthetic, complex judgment, and internalized processes).

There is thinking concerned with description, and thinking concerned with action (with getting things done).

Intuition can lead to great successes and it can lead to disasters.

Intuition may represent processes that were once conscious and have now been internalized.

When used for judgment, intuition may be based on experience and aesthetics (for that field) and may provide a complex judgment of many factors, not all of which can be spelled out.

Category thinking can be very valuable. Create your categories and then see if apparent opportunities fit them.

One powerful approach to thinking is to create a map out of information and perceptions and then to find your way about that map.

It can be useful to work with others, but if you are going to be responsible for the idea, then you have to 'design' it.

Different situations require different thinking styles just as in a car you shift gears according to the situation.

Remember that the purpose of thinking is to so arrange the world, in our minds, that our actions and decisions become obvious.

Trust your intuition as you might a friend: on the basis of past experience and a consciousness of human nature.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Toastmasters: 4th Meeting

Attended my 4th toastmaster's meeting yesterday.

Spoke during table topic session on "My Ideal Home"

The speech I would have wanted to speak on after I gave the one off the top of my head would have been that my ideal home is one hewn with righteousness, its pillars with strength, it's walls with peace, the air with the aroma of kindness, it's windows illuminated with the light of love, the air with the aroma of laughter.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A Powerful Force

Believe that you are an active force for good in this world. That you are not a spectator, that you are positioned by God in this world with power and authority, to make his kingdom come, not with weapons of the world but with with firm gentleness, and powerful meekness.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Tactics: Strategy

Do you need a strategy? If you are being successful without one, then perhaps you do not. Otherwise, you certainly do.

A strategy provides you with a reason for taking an initiative, for getting moving, for taking action.

A strategy provides you with a long-term view and hence the ability to take risks or do things which do not make sense in the short term.

A strategy provides you with guidelines for making decisions: does this fit my strategy?

There can be a specific strategy, a game plan of the steps you are going to take in order to succeed. This is like the strategy in a particular game of chess.

There can also be a general strategy which consists of guidelines and principles, and this general strategy can be applied to all situations.

Individual style, personality, and judgement can all act as strategies, but do not rely on them unless they are being successful at the moment.

A strategy is not a detailed plan (which you may need as well) but a broad overview.

From time to time spell out your strategy in a conscious and deliberate manner. Be conscious of the changes and alterations you may want to make.

Strategy is not only the manipulation of resources but also the developments of those resources.

Tactics: Thinking & Doing

There is thinking concerned with description and thinking concerned with action (with getting things done).

Thinking is an operating skill that can be learned; it is not just a matter of intelligence.

A brilliant new idea is not the only--or even the best--route to success.

One of the routes to success is innovation within a field. For deliberate creative effort, try using lateral thinking.

There is the creativity of Innocence and there is the creativity of escape. You can only use the first while you are innocent.

Making an idea work is more difficult and more important htan having the idea in the first place.

The 'logic' of lateral thinking arises form the nature of perception as activity in a self-organizing information universe. Humour is a good parallel.

With provocation there may not be a reason for saying something until after it has been said. The provocation does not fit in with existing perceptions but is used to lead us to new perceptions.

In lateral thinking we use 'movement' rather than judgment. We use movement to move on from a provocation to a new perception or concept.

Shifting perspective and frames of reference can lead to new ideas and insights.

Having to react continually to immediate pressures and problems makes creative thinking difficult (except in solving those problems).

Lateral thinking should be treated as a routine part of our thinking equipment.

Look at any area with a traditional high profit margin and apply the innovative thinking tha has probably been lacking in that area.