Things I’ve Learnt This Week – 2nd Sept to 8th Sept 2013
This is the first of a (hopefully) weekly round up of all the insights I’ve had this week.
This week has been a bit exceptional. I have started a new job and my time as a member of the New Entrepreneurs Foundation has begun. The start of a very demanding but hugely enjoyable and informative year I am sure.
- Company culture
- Be lean – start small, grow big
- Motivation – what we’re all ignoring!
- The Premier Inn beats the Comfort Inn hands down!
I couldn’t have started in a more different working environment than I’m used to. Everywhere I’ve worked, from behind a bar to in a manufacturing plant, there’s been a level of suppressive autonomy over you, a distinct hierarchy that moves you like a pushy parent. My new work place is completely different. You have tasks, you have responsibilities and you have goals but you also have the trust and freedom to complete these. More’s the point, believe it or not, it actually works! People get their head down and get on with their work. For certain jobs you’ll always need a regimented structure but when there’s a degree of creativity to the role, freedom is the greatest source of inspiration and motivation.
I’m a big thinker. I naturally dream of the end goal and the big prize. It’s all derived from this will to achieve and to achieve big. My role at my new job is to build a community, not your usual task and it became quite clear that it wasn’t going to be as easy nor as straightforward as I’d envisaged in my naivety. So I sat down and produced a conceptual map based on the motives groups within the market would have in joining the community. I sold myself on it. It was going to be big, bold and cause no end of waves. Showed it to my boss and he very rightly hammered in the idea of lean in a fantastic way that has stuck with me.
Two archers are challenged to a game where they had to hit a moving target, receiving more points the further away they were from the target. The first archer stood as far back as possible, trying to get the most points as possible, but by the time they fired their arrow the target moved they missed. The clever archer stood far enough to keep hitting the target whilst cumulating enough points to make an impact. This archer was able to judge where the target was going to be, so continuously hit the target.
The same premise can be applied to starting a business, or in my current case a project. Always have the end goal, the aspiration in mind, but start small. Read my piece on Givlu as to what can go wrong through trying to achieve everything straight away.
One of the crucial elements to the project I am leading is motivation. What is it that really gets people doing the things they do? This led me to a brilliant TED lecture by Dan Pink that can be viewed here. 18 minutes that changed my views.
This week I’ve lived in hotels. The experience hasn’t actually been that bad, but one thing I’ve definitely learnt is that the Premier Inn absolutely wipes the floor against the Comfort Inn. The staff were incredibly friendly, the room was immaculate and the bed was as comfy as I’d ever feel comfortable in it being without starting to feel a tad pretentious.
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