Posts Tagged ‘business models’
I listened to Warren Buffet speaking to MBA students a few nights OK. Lest I forget them, here are some of the pearls of wisdom that I jotted down. They work as a healthy reality check.
- Make money out of stability (inactivity). Strip out transactions and movement that just make money for brokers.
- Go away for 20 years. Will the business opportunity still be there?
- What will the industry look like in 10 years time? Who will be making money in ten years time?
- What are the barriers to entry? What is the moat to the castle?
- If you had all the money in the world, how would you break the company?
- Stay in your circle of competence. You may have 6 wonderful businesses. You won’t get rich from your 7th best idea.
- Don’t expect more than one really good idea a year.
- Do what you love.
- Don’t risk what is important for a marginal gain.
- Don’t confuse the terms of a deal with the quality of the business itself. (Find out what is for sale before you look at the price.)
- Identify what is knowable and what is important.
- Use businesses to generate revenue not to generate a quick capital gain.
- Support designs for the world which create 8 billion lives that you wouldn’t mind living if your were born into anyone of them
Fill each other’s cup but not drink from one cup
I am reading Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet. His words on marriage might well be a manifesto for modern day careers and organization.
“Fill each other’s cup but not drink from one cup.”
Careers & work of the future
Switching to contemporary times, if you want to skate to where the puck will be rather than where it is now, find opportunities to work in exchange with others, “to replenish their cup”, rather than subsumine yourself to the goal of a larger institution or one boss or teacher.
Careers & sustainability
But also remember, Khalil Gibran’s words
“When you love you should not say, “God is in my heart,” but rather, “I am in the heart of God.”
In prosaic contemporary terms, think about a wider system that provides enough to drink for everyone. We don’t need to share one cup except when there is only one. When we make many cups and fill each other’s cups, then we we are in a healthy place and we want to strive to make that so.
- Take your cup, allow others to fill it.
- Take your cup, and fill those of others.
- Ponder those who have no cup and no one to fill it.
Using the old wisdom of Khalil Gibran to extend management theory
All this is obvious though not so if you teach management theory. Old management theory charges us with drinking from our line manager’s cup and ultimately from the company’s cup. There are legal reasons (and mainly legal reasons) for this.
We could also train young people to understand the company as a mega-system that must benefit all stakeholders ~ all stakeholders ~ if it is to sustain itself.
We can train young people to understand power, its use and misuse, and how to work thinkingly yet safely with people who deny others their own cup. But never to give up their own cup.
I want to see young people exploring the whole system in their online portfolios. I would like to see youth support systems put youngsters in situations where they must sort out which cup is which, who is filling which cup, and how they can act in small & gentle ways to drink from their own cup, to fill the cups of others, and to influence the wider econ-system. It’s an important skill to learn and many of us lose it along the way.
“In the next five minutes, my intention is to transform your relationship with sound . . .”
So said Julian Treasure at TED. This 5 minute video is worth watching . . . for the sake of your health . . . and as a example of a great elevator speech.
In 5 minutes we find out what Julian Treasure can do for us. Oh how we wish we could sum up what do quite so neatly!
If you are serious about developing your business plan and your pitch, you may find these slides useful from Simon Stockley of Imperial College Business School. I found the slide on the order in which VC’s read business plans particularly useful for understanding what people want to hear when they think about a business.
There is nothing I relish more than a “fast break”. I love the way that we can turn a rebound into a few deft passes and race the opposition to a slam dunk.
Carpe diem ! Sieze the day!
Can you take the Fast Break when it comes?
The conditions are right. The rewards are there.
Are we organized to dispatch our fast break specialist, take that rebound and pass it down the court, with ball and fast break specialist arriving together – right foot down, left down, into the air, done! 2 points?
Are we organized?
Well, there are the permanent spectators in life. There are some who have a go, but don’t really get it.
And there are some who understand the game. They get ready in advance. They practice with others. And when the opportunity breaks, they are running immediately, moving at speed in coordination with their prepared team, and they score. Sweet!
What are you ready for?
1. What is the equivalent of the ball and the equivalent of the basket in your business? 2. What do you win by putting the ball in the basket?
And when you can tell me that, tell me this.
- 3. Who is working with you? 4. And who must you outpace to pull this off?
- 5. What is the signal that sends the fast-break specialist off? 6. Who is taking the ball off the back-board? 7. Who is the play-maker (mid-fielder) in the middle?
- 8. When do you train together? 9. When do you celebrate your wins? 10. How long will you play together?
10 questions . . . oh, but do remember this is a game. When we are straining too hard, to get this done, it is time for a coffee break to think again.