It's All About the Data

It's All About the Data
It's All About the Data

Monday, December 30, 2013

All-In Strategies


I have received many nice comments about my blog post about being all-in  - Are you all-in?.  

What is interesting is that I have also heard that it is impossible to be all-in these days.  Some of the obstacles stated are:
  1. Frustration - how do I work with people at my company that are not all-in?
  2. How do I get others to be all-in?
  3. How can I get others to notice that I am now all-in?

FRUSTRATION
Work is full of frustration.  Lack of time, competing priorities, office politics, etc.  Some team members get so frustrated, they just give up.  We all feel frustrated at times.  It may seem that some of your work colleagues do less, talk more, and don't seem to be as invested in success as they should be.  What are some strategies to overcome your frustration?
  • Realize that there are some people who will never be all-in.  Don't invest your time in them.  They are 'energy suckers'. 
  • Consistency - that is the key.  Be consistent in actions and interactions.  You are either all-in or not - there is no 50% all-in.

GETTING OTHERS ALL-IN
Getting other to go 'all-in' is not possible with words, or emails, or meetings.  Your team members must decide for themselves to be all-in.  Show them through your actions, your enthusiasm, and your conviction.  That example, through your actions, is the only way others will see the benefit of being all-in.

HOW TO GET NOTICED
You want management to know you have upped your game.  What do managers want to see:
  • Actions - not Words
  • Interaction/Communication - not 'Yes Man'
  • Enthusiasm - not Passive/Aggressive
  • Proactive - not Reactive
  • Value Add - not Status Quo
  • Work Within System - not going Rogue
  • Think about how Company makes profit - not your Paycheck.

With the new year, start a new dedication to being all-in.  Stay the course, see the prize, and feel the satisfaction of a career well done.

David Haynes, PMP, is Director of Consulting at Ideate, Inc. (www.ideateinc.com).  David's experience is in providing companies with business process analysis and change implementation.  @dhaynestech.


Monday, December 23, 2013

Intersecting Circles - Hedgehog v Fox




There is an old fable about the hedgehog and the fox.  It is a discussion about whether you are a person who needs one defining idea or can chase many ideas at once.  It is from an essay by a Greek poet and then further expressed in an essay by Isaiah Berlin  - (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hedgehog_and_the_Fox).  "The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing."

Which one are you - a hedgehog or a fox?

Is it better to be a Hedgehog or a Fox?

In today's fast-paced business environment, there are many ideas to chase.  In fact, those new technologies and opportunities just keep coming - should they all be considered?

Should you put all your chips on one big idea - risking a better idea you did not explore, ,or put one chip on them all in hopes that one of them 'pay off'. 

I am not suggesting I know the answer, just some strategies:
  • You don't have enough time to chase them all - so prioritize.
  • Constantly evaluate new technologies and see where they might fit.
  • In today's technology landscape  - you better be a bit 'foxy'.


HEDGEHOG CONCEPT


The hedgehog concept is interesting as it describes the intersection between passion (being 'all in'), economic growth (value proposition), and what you are best at (another aspect of being all in). 

The sweet spot is in being a fox about technology and then a real hedgehog about focusing in on your passion.


David Haynes, PMP, is Director of Consulting at Ideate, Inc. (www.ideateinc.com).  David's experience is in providing companies with business process analysis and change implementation.  @dhaynestech.

Monday, December 16, 2013

What I learned from Ayn Rand




In the business world, words such as collaboration, synergy, and crowdsourcing are used to describe the current business philosophy of 'the sum of the parts is greater than the whole'.  This approach promotes a work environment where the team shares ideas and works for a more complete solution.  So how could anyone be against that?

First, I learn new concepts, ideas, and strategies from my workmates, my clients, and from corporate management.  I thank each of them for making me better, stronger, and more agile.

My concern is that the following team traits can happen:
  • In some work environments there can be givers and takers.  Givers grow with new information, stretch to be better, and share that new knowledge with others.  Takers sit back and let others do the heavy lifting while learning to mimic what others have learned.
  • Also, some are doers and some are revisers.  Doers risk the pioneering process (stretching for new ideas and strategies), while revisers can sit back and say "well the new solution is not quite good enough".
  • Givers and Doers are 'all in'.  See my blog - http://connectingthedata.blogspot.com/2013/10/are-you-all-in-or-just-surviving.html about being 'all in'.

WHAT I LEARNED FROM AYN RAND
An interesting movie to watch is the final courtroom scene in "The Fountainhead".  Ayn Rand (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayn_Rand), author of the "The Fountainhead" and "Atlas Shrugged" believed that  success should be evaluated on what a person creates, not what is stolen from others.  See Howard Roark's speech at http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xtymi7_the-fountainhead-1949-gary-cooper-famous-courtroom-speech_shortfilms.

So, what is my point ? 
  1. If you learned something new, give credit where credit is due.
  2. If you have found value in a company, its products, and its people - demonstrate that value through loyalty to that company/product/team.
  3. There is nothing free in this world.  So if knowledge is passed to you, expect to pay for learning that new information.

It was suggested to me recently that in the new millennium, all information will be free to all without additional payment, in fact, intellectual property should be shared freely, so 'the whole' will benefit.  I reject this notion.  What is the motivation for new intellectual property, if there is no monetary gain?

Be a Doer and a Giver.  Support with your pocketbook those companies who provide you with new information and new ideas.


David Haynes, PMP, is Director of Consulting at Ideate, Inc. (www.ideateinc.com).  David's experience is in providing companies with business process analysis and change implementation.  @dhaynestech.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Monetization - Why is it important to YOU !


I spent a lot of time recently trying to explain monetization to colleagues. 

The term "monetization" may also be used informally to refer to … charging fees for something that used to be free, or attempting to make money on goods or services that were previously unprofitable or had been considered to have the potential to earn profits. (Wikipedia)

Monetization is the ability to make money on an idea, concept, product, or service.  Money, meaning profit, and not simply revenue (at least in my definition).  Why is this important to you, and your company?

  • Free does not achieve the goal of profit.  Unless your free product or service leads to other profit revenue (called 'give to get'), then giving something for free actually moves you away from your goals of profitability.  Moving forward, the customer will expect that level of product or service for free (or even the expectation that you pay them!).
  • Monetization shows that your product has value.  If your product or service is free, then it has NO VALUE.
    • Example:  Bottled Water.  If we get the bottled water for free, we never seem to finish the bottle.  If we pay $4 for that same water, we make sure we finish the bottle.  Same water, different value.
  • Technology (cool products) does not, by itself, create value. Solving problems brings value and therefore creates monetization.
  • You must have a value proposition to 'monetize' your work - see my blog post http://connectingthedata.blogspot.com/2013/08/value-proposition-why-you-need-one.html

TURNING FREE INTO PROFIT
How do you take something from free to monetized:
  • Don't ever make something free.  That is an oversimplification of the issue - but clearly get your 'give to get' in alignment.  This is especially true of services.
    • Make sure the give is defined.
    • Make especially sure when you will receive your get.  Often the when is undefined and therefore the 'when' never happens, all the while the other side has gotten the 'get'.
  • You must ask your customers what opportunities they are trying to leverage, and align your product or services to those customer opportunities.
  • ADD VALUE.  Value is not the special way you do your service, your new user interface, or some obscure packaging feature.  It is the problems your customer is having, and your ability to solve that problem, creates value.

DATA + MAKING MONEY
So there is a lot of talk about that all data, information should be free to all.  Stay tuned later for another blog, but needless to say - data is free, but not manipulating the data to get the useful/relevant information you need.  Therefore, the monetization is the manipulation (organization, synthesis, and usefulness).

Think about how to monetize your service, your product, and most especially how you will 'monetize' yourself each day.  What is your personal value proposition?


David Haynes, PMP, is Director of Consulting at Ideate, Inc. (www.ideateinc.com).  David's experience is in providing companies with business process analysis and change implementation.  @dhaynestech.