Growing Your Canary

Growing your business is easier said than done. You need tools. A few core operating tenants are necessary that will “add the yeast” to keep the business growing.

Kurt Gödel was an Austrian American mathematician and philosopher who is famous for saying “To understand the system you are in you have to get outside it.” Isn’t that the truth!

This brings me to my first tip: A Canary in your coal mine.

We need someone in our business that is immune from our way of doing business, a neophyte, a person who doesn’t have the curse of knowledge. You know, the techno-speak, industry lingo and way of doing business that has become the norm. Half of the time our customers and clients don’t know what we are saying or for that fact doing.

You may be protecting your brand or your way of doing business. You may have old, tired processes or procedures that make no sense. Someone, preferably inside or could be an outside consultant or key advisor needs to sound the horn of reason. To ask the question, why are we doing this or that? The voice that says “I don’t understand your marketing, new product, etc.” an individual who is always looking from the outside, in.

Lifelong Learning. The days of obtaining a formal education and expecting it to carry through a 40 year career are long gone. Just consider the medical profession. Fully one half of new knowledge about the body is discovered every five years. If your business is high tech or in information technology, continuous learning is a given.

Your business can adopt a mentoring program, embrace informal or formal on the job training. Behavioral psychologists have discovered it is better to throw new employees into the deep end of the pool to help them to adapt quickly to their new job. Gone are the days of long training cycles. The pace and change of technology far outpace most formal training programs. Adult education is one of the fastest growing industries in the 21st century.

Finally, Negativity. It is always with us. If it bleeds, it leads. It has been reported that fully 90% of news articles, stories and editorials are negatively based. Look at the English language. Over 60% of all the words for emotion are negative emotions. We are wired to fear what we don’t know, don’t see and don’t hear.

Consider this small change to your daily meetings taking place in your business. Open every meeting by asking each person “what they are currently excited about.” Close every meeting with “what did you get out of today’s meeting.” The Strategic Coach® Program introduced us to this very simple, very effective way of placing us and our staff in a positive frame of mind.


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