“Entrepreneurs ignore the status quo, challenge the rules and change the game. We should know.”
That happened to come across in a full-page ad of Mishcon de Reya’s ad in Financial Times Middle East. It’s captivating, and inviting for an individual with a similar instinct to read more into the ad. It’s a Business Dispute Resolution firm, and talks about many of its products throughout their ad copy.
I would take the words “change the game” and take the concept forward with the idea. What is game changing? Game changing is about seeing the same things differently, and introducing a compelling reason for others to replicate the way he/she sees those things. It’s about innovating to find solutions to problems that most of the people have accepted as ‘part of the game’ and constantly forcing energies to deliver results that never were, and often, never thought to be possible as well.
Game changing is about spirit. It’s about belief in what you do. It’s about unwavering focus on things that are important and achievement through unique approaches. It’s when all others keep thinking how to do it, while you complete an assignment or a project.
To change the game, one has to reach a high level of self-confidence: Supreme self-confidence. This is when the inner game is exactly the same as the outer game. When the inside = outside, when you are not bothered about what others say about you or what others think about you, that’s when you qualify to change the game. So go out there, and make it happen.
Many organizations like to underplay the hidden lingo that is commonly used in the organization, and try to ignore the organizational norms and events that make them unique – just because they’re so different. Is that the right thing to do?
As much as it becomes viral throughout the company, it becomes part of the core of the culture. Companies that understand and appreciate their uniqueness often benefit in two ways. One, they become confident of their own style of doing things and this leads to increased productivity; and two, they tend to attract the right kind of human resource that gels in well with the organization’s culture.
Smart executives understand these advantages, celebrate events and create stories through their actions. Channeling a company’s grapevine through a constructive media reassures the rejuvenated spirit of the company and it good for the company in the long-run.
Stories are created by the way the top cadre treat people and events, by the way they dress, talk, eat and sit, so much so that even the size of executive room and desk size inside the rooms help convey stories.
Are you conveying the stories that you want to, or unintentionally leading all to completely different stories?
When Michael Porter came up with Generic strategies, it was really a change in thinking. It seemed to be a different viewpoint compelling enough to be considered on its merit. The idea that any business can use one or more of the three core generic strategies (cost, differentiation and focus) came up as a revolutionary concept that consultants often focus on even today.
I often find people coming in asking how they can become the lowest cost provider in their domain of operation and seeking tips to achieve that end. I end up asking them about their businesses only to advise them not to invest their energies to becoming even lower cost provider as it’s not about the lowest cost anymore.
People often intuitively find it difficult to understand that low cost is relative and I keep quoting this example:
Suppose you have a German-educated and trained engineer working in an automotive plant who charges you 200 euros per hour and you also have another engineer from some place like Somalia, who is willing to work at 20 euros. Which one of them is the lower-cost provider?
The answer, my friends, is that you can’t ascertain yes. Most of the people get to the decision before analyzing the question, and say the Somalian engineer is the one, however, I have given no suggestion as to the creativity, productivity and skill set of the engineers yet.
Consider this additional information: If the German engineer finished work on 10 cars per hour, and the Somalian engineer needs 3 hours to finish only one car, how would the answer change now?
The German engineer is averaging you 20 euros per car, whereas the Somalian engineer costs you 60 euros per car. The latter ends up being thrice as costly as the former! Eye opening? Yes.
Moreover, we have not even considered yet the learning curve benefits, incremental quality improvements due to expertise, creativity, long-term relationship development factor, etc. that might accrue as a result of the right choice.
Please note that reference made in the above example was just illustrative and does not imply in any way superiority/inferiority of any person, place or education.
So even if you want the lowest cost, think out-of-the-box to figure out if that’s really the lowest cost solution for you.
One very important aspect of entrepreneurship is perseverance; unwavering dedication to the cause is needed because day-in and day-out one gets to meet several different people with varying attitudes towards businesses and their risks & return.
You need to learn and remember very early in the game that despite listening to everyone else, you always need to decide and do what you find satisfying and correct. With this kind of determination, the path would be easier to cross and interesting to go through.