Wednesday, April 14, 2010

HBR, Don't Let Entrepreneurial Passion Blind You

Passion, commitment, and stamina are prerequisites to getting a venture off the ground, but without objective assessment your venture can fail. Here are three ways to make sure your entrepreneurial passion doesn't impair your judgment:
Beware of praise. Praise is not the same as success. Use the praise you receive to market and get attention for your venture, but don't let it distract you from what you're working toward.
Don't lie to yourself. Self-honesty is a highly underrated skill of entrepreneurs. Stop and ask yourself the tough questions: are these the best investors to have? Do I have the right talent on board?
Know when to give up. The best entrepreneurs know when to press the restart button. Manage risk by failing fast, regrouping, and moving on.
Today's Management Tip was adapted from "The Danger of Entrepreneurial Passion" by Daniel Isenberg.

Monday, April 12, 2010

HBR, Turn a Flaw into a Distinguishing Feature

A hotel with no AC, mosquito-filled rooms, and no room service might appear to be flawed -- unless the hotel is an eco-tourism destination. Then those flaws become part of the "eco" experience. Many successful products and services sacrifice one feature (performance or style) in the name of another (simplicity, affordability, or convenience). Many customers appreciate these trade-offs. Next time you are worried about your product's flaw, think about how that imperfection can be transformed into a distinguishing feature. Find customers who appreciate what they get because of that flaw: low cost, an easy-to-use product, or a unique experience.
Today's Management Tip was adapted from "Featuring the Flaw" by Scott Anthony.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

HBR, 3 Ways to Help Your Company Snap Out of It

Organizations, like people, can get set in their ways. Relying on established ways of working and solving problems not only stifles innovation but can lead to a lack of perspective and moments of delusion. Here are three ways to help your organization snap out of unhelpful patterns:
Challenge rationalizations. Every organization has shared explanations for doing things the way they do. Poke holes in those rationalizations and ask the question: why is this standard practice?
Expose faulty either/or thinking. False dichotomies can set up irrational choices about how to work. Don't let A or B be the only options, propose C or D as a new way of working.
Focus on the long-term. Emphasis on the short term can trap you into current practice. Help your colleagues pull back, see the big picture, and understand not only short-term gains but long-term consequences.
Today's Management Tip was adapted from "Keeping Your Colleagues Honest" by Mary C. Gentile.