November 6, 2008

What Would Business Robot Do?

Good Morning All!

As most of you know, every once in awhile I come across a post on someone else’s site that I find interested enough or inspiring enough to recommend here.

While cruising the net early this morning (very early this morning as a matter of fact) I came across this awesome post by Michael Neill.

I thought it was an inspirational and creative way to look at your current situation differently.


“Leaders are people who can discern the inevitable and act accordingly.”
-Donald Trump

Emma was struggling to keep her home-based business alive after about a year of very hard work and very limited profits. When she hired me to help her turn things around (or help her make peace with letting the business go), the first thing I did was introduce her to a thinking tool I use with many of my clients:

Imagine a robot who has been programmed with all the best business skills and business wisdom, but has no emotional circuitry whatsoever. No matter what is going on in your business, “Business Robot” will always make the decisions and take the actions that are most likely to lead to success both short and long-term.
Now imagine that Business Robot has been hired to run your company or takeover your job for awhile - what would Business Robot do?

When I asked Emma, her first response was “he’d quit!” (Not sure why most people seem to make Business Robot a “boy-bot”, but they do!) After further questioning, she realized that in fact, the business was mostly on track - what had been troubling her was the pressure she’d been putting on herself to “make” it succeed more quickly.

A series of insights followed, including:

*Business Robot would institute a strict ABC priority policy and stick with
it, not letting himself get caught up in other people’s sense of urgency

*Business Robot would work less hours, recognizing the value of focusing on work when at work and renewing energy and resources outside of working hours

*Business Robot would go through and do an 80/20 evaluation of which clients were bringing in the most money for the least effort and vice-versa – and then would use that information as a basis for prioritizing certain clients and “firing” others
Perhaps the biggest breakthrough she got from the exploration was when she realized that far from working harder or longer, Business Robot would hire an assistant to take care of the majority of the tasks she herself found so tiresome, leaving her free and energized to do the work that she loved and excelled at.
Today’s Experiment:
1. Imagine that Business Robot has been brought in to run your company, take over your job, or manage your career - what would Business Robot do in the first week? What goals or targets would he set for the next month? Next quarter? Next year?

2. What longer-term vision would Business Robot create for you business or career?

3. Think of the biggest problem or sticking point you are facing in your
work right now - what would Business Robot do in that situation?

The key to making this “thought-experiment” work for you is to realize that as Aristotle said, “a virtue is the mean between two vices”. Your goal is not to become more robotic - just to bring the wisdom of a mentally disciplined approach into balance with the wisdom of your very human heart.

Have fun, learn heaps, and happy exploring!

With love,

I highly recommend visiting Michael’s Blog at GeniusCatalyst It is filled with many other inspiring posts.