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Sunday, 26 October 2014

Ghosts,Ghouls and Business Planning...

...is the Ouija Board a valid Management Tool...?

According to Tony Robbins we each have six basic Human Needs;
1. Certainty - predictability of the future
2. Uncertainty - need for variety
3. Significance - ego and respect from others
4. Love - both giving and receiving
5. Growth - personal development
6. Contribution - making a difference
In business we tend to want clarity and high degrees of certainty - and there is a "proven" technique that can be employed to enable us to achieve higher levels of certainty...
Business owners and Entrepreneurs all over the world are using different techniques in the pursuit of certainty and predictability; including...
  • Hoping...
  • Worrying...
  • Visualisation...
  • Incantations...
  • Best Guessing...
  • Copying Others...
  • Crossing Fingers...
Do any of these strategies work...?
Probably not..
So this Halloween, I thought I'd introduce you to the world of the Occult and technique that is both dangerous and effective...
Welcome to the Ouija Board Technique of Business Strategy...
The name Ouija comes from joining the French and German words for Yes - Oui and Ja...
On Feb 10th 1891, a US Patent was issued to a Mr James Bond that confirmed and protected the Ouija name and the basic design of the actual board itself. The product was sold extensively as a novelty board game from 1901 to the 1960's.
The principle of the "talking board" is that messages and instructions can be derived by the movement of a cup that is touched by all the participants in the game, whilst asking the "spirits" for advice and guidance...
As the cup magically moves towards individual letters or symbols a message is described which gives people insights from the other side...
It is interesting to note that a lot of Religious Groups came out in protest at the use of a Ouija Board as a method of communication with spirits. In 2001, along with several copies of the Harry Potter series of books, Ouija Boards were burned as symbols of Witchcraft.
So should you run out and bring your Ouija Board to your next meeting - brings a whole new twist to the term "Board" meeting - and sit round chanting and connecting with spirits from the "other side" in pursuit of strategic insights and certainty..?
Well, if you are used to adopting any of the techniques listed above on a regular basis, then the answer is clearly YES...
If you use Hope and Best Guessing as a Strategy then the Ouija Board technique will be a valuable addition to your management armoury...
If, however, you prefer to plan your business on solid information, proven tactics and informed evidence - then the answer is NO...
Business almost by definition is uncertain; we cannot predict the future with any real degree of certainty - in fact the further ahead we look, the less certainty we are able to predict...
As you can see on this "Certainty Curve" predictability drops dramatically as we proceed into the future; unfortunately it picks up at the very end, death is almost guaranteed...
So if the only thing we can predict with absolute certainty about our future is that it will end - we need to give ourselves a competitive advantage in the meantime that will enable us to raise our levels of certainty over and above our competitors, and achieve a better result...
The Answer to this conundrum...?
Simple - SYSTEMS...
Edwards Deming famously stated that "if you can't describe what you are doing as a system, then you don't know what you are doing..."
Understanding Cause and Effect with regards to your Marketing, Sales and Customer Service tactics your financial, fiscal and cash flow performance will give you the ability to predict with higher levels of certainty what the future holds.
Once we have the levers of power under our control, and we understand how to positively influence then such that the outcomes can be manipulated in our favour, we have higher levels of certainty and performance.
We can never be 100% certain about what the future holds, but compared to Hope and Best Guessing, Systems represent our best opportunity for consistent success...

Or you could of course simply get the Ouija out at your next Board Meeting...

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