Linee guida per una rapida trasformazione LEAN from HBR.org

30 gennaio 2012 § Lascia un commento

Anche la famosa importante rivista Harvard Business Review, sottolinea come trasformare l’azienda verso un processo LEAN – ci tengo a sottolineare che non si tratta di un passaggio facile e nemmeno immediato (forse per qualche attività), ma indispensabile per crescere e sviluppare il VERO VALORE dell’Azienda

Buona Lettura

One of the most common mistakes that companies make when embarking on a lean program is trying to do too much at once. These “boil-the-ocean” initiatives are long, costly and often end up stalling under the weight of their own ambition.

The fact is, smaller and faster can be better when it comes to lean. One thing we’ve consistently seen in our work with manufacturers is what a huge impact a quick plant “health check” and a few focused changes can have on cost and performance. Companies can see major savings in specific areas in just a few weeks. The key is to pick the right improvement levers by taking the time to quantify the value they could deliver, weigh the trade-offs, and choose only the top three or four priorities to tackle immediately.

Sounds simple, right? The problem is that many companies either don’t take the time or don’t have the analytical skills needed to look cross-functionally, dig deep, find the underlying cost drivers, quantify the improvement opportunities and evaluate the trade-offs. Once they bring these diagnostic skills to the table, they can see the potential big wins.

Clarity on the payoff is a critical first step, but sometimes even when the source of problems and the financial upside of addressing them are clear, no action is taken. There may be too many competing priorities, not enough manpower, limited access to the capital needed to get the ball rolling, or just plain inertia. Other times companies think they’ve already done all they can to reduce waste, cut costs, and improve efficiency, so they don’t bother to look any further. For example, one manufacturer we worked with cut costs so deeply that it assumed its people had to be more productive. But by simply observing the crew and their activities on the production line, we saw just the opposite — too much downtime, wasted effort and inefficient work habits. The company’s lean efforts simply hadn’t gone far enough.

In addition to the above, there are often “hidden” costs that — by definition — aren’t immediately visible, especially in complex global production networks. One company had a continuous improvement program underway and thought it was quite lean. But a cost comparison across its network of plants revealed a multi-million dollar cost gap between the top and bottom performers. By doing a deeper analysis of underlying cost drivers such as scale, efficiency, overhead, and logistics, the company gained new insights into why some plants and geographies performed so much better than others — and what high-impact areas to tackle for greater savings.

Based on our experience, the best opportunities for quick improvements in manufacturing costs and performance typically lie in five key areas:

Equipment — By reducing machine downtime, improving maintenance and boosting overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) and output
Processes — By standardizing work, cutting out low-value steps, optimizing work flow and improving line staffing
Material yield — By reducing loss from scrap and obsolescence
Logistics — By boosting warehouse productivity and minimizing freight costs
Inventory — By right-sizing, rethinking levels of buffer stock, streamlining material flows and improving demand forecasts
Although these categories are quite broad, the key is to focus sharply on a small number of specific levers in a few high-impact areas of the plant. Interestingly, at virtually every company we work with, the biggest opportunities for quick wins are in overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), line staffing, and scrap reduction — probably because these areas are easy to analyze, can be changed without a major capital investment, and almost always have room for improvement no matter how much attention has been paid to them in the past.

Just observing a plant’s operations can deliver “aha” moments that lead to real insight and simple fixes. For instance, at an industrial products manufacturer with a one-operator-per-line set up, we noticed that the line operators were walking around a lot and doing things that seemed to add little value. This excessive movement was a clear red flag. By reorganizing the work flows and slightly modifying the production lines so the work area was more concentrated, the manufacturer was able to assign each operator two lines instead of one —reducing labor costs by about 40 percent.

Another quick, simple fix with a big payoff was at the factory of an automotive company. The tip-off there was seeing parts and materials sitting on the floor, where they often ended up getting damaged by forklifts or workers before they could be used. The manufacturer saved millions of dollars per year simply by designating a section on the shop floor for this inventory, creating racks to move it off of the floor and putting guardrails around it to protect it from damage.

But sometimes the problems aren’t so obvious. In these cases, a deep analysis often reveals a very counterintuitive solution. For instance, we were looking into a manufacturer’s warehouse operations. The warehouse had slotted its SKUs in a way that seemed to make sense — the high-volume movers were closest to the main doors. Unfortunately, this layout actually resulted in congestion, interference and delays. By creating a “heat map” showing relative areas of activity throughout the warehouse in a typical week, we were able to reorganize the layout and traffic patterns to make better use of the space. These changes shortened movement and transit times by 20 – 25 percent overall.

If new best practices such as these are shared among all of a company’s factories, a multiplier effect often takes hold and costs can drop substantially across the whole production network. The right metrics and incentives can ensure that this sharing happens. Again, small changes and big results.

Done right, a “fast lean” approach can generate major savings and be a catalyst for a larger lean transformation, even funding it. To get started, we would suggest companies keep in mind four simple guidelines:

Prioritize opportunities based on time to results, relative effort and financial impact
Focus scarce resources on top priorities to generate quick wins
Develop a coordinated effort within and across plants to rapidly surface and adopt best practices
Create an environment that rewards speed and an acceptable level of risk taking
If a broader lean program is already underway, this approach can turbo-charge it and increase momentum. There’s nothing more invigorating to an organization than fast, visible performance improvements that people can see and touch — and that hit the bottom line.

Sviluppare LEADER Consapevoli

29 gennaio 2012 § Lascia un commento

Buongiorno a tutti

Sviluppare Leader oggi Leader, è oramai da considerarsi fondamentale, senza di essi le aziende non possono progredire; in questo momento solo chi è in grado di prendere decisioni in breve tempo in maniera consapevole può rimanere in “Vita”, proprio così, rimanere in Vita, non vi sono altre parole per descrivere questo momento complesso dove il negativismo sta colpendo anche chi si trova in una situazione, come dire positiva, ha il timore a muoversi, a fare ogni singolo passo

Di seguito, viene spiegato come e quanto sia importante avere consapevolezza e avere leader

 

Organizations invest billions annually on a success curriculum known as “leadership development,” which ends up leaving so much on the table. Training and development programs almost universally focus factory-like on inputs and outputs — absorb curriculum, check a box; learn a skill, advance a rung; submit to assessment, fix a problem. Likewise, they leave too many people behind with an elite selection process that fast-tracks “hi-pos” and essentially discards the rest. And they leave most people cold with flavor of the month remedies, off sites, immersions, and excursions — which produce little more than a grim legacy of fat binders gathering dust on shelves.

What if, instead of stuffing people with curricula, models, and competencies, we focused on deepening their sense of purpose, expanding their capability to navigate difficulty and complexity, and enriching their emotional resilience? What if, instead of trying to fix people, we assumed that they were already full of potential and created an environment that promoted their long-term well-being?

In other words, what if cultivating a successful inner life was front and center on the leadership agenda?

That was the question Todd Pierce asked himself in 2006 after years of experimenting with the full menu of trainings, meetings, and competency models in his capacity as CIO of biotechnology giant Genentech. He had just scoured the development reports of some 700 individuals in the IT department and found that “not one of them had an ounce of inspiration. I remember sitting there and saying, ‘There’s got to be a another way.'”

At the time, Pierce was benefiting personally from work with a personal coach and had recently woken up to the power of the practice of mindfulness. He called in a kindred soul, Pamela Weiss, a long-time executive coach and meditation teacher, to help design an experiment that would cast out the traditional approach to leadership development to focus instead on helping people grow.

“If you want to transform an organization it’s not about changing systems and processes so much as it’s about changing the hearts and minds of people,” says Weiss. “Mindfulness is one of the all-time most brilliant technologies for helping to alleviate human suffering and for bringing out our extraordinary potential as human beings.”

Pierce and Weiss distilled a set of principles that form the basis of what became the “Personal Excellence Program” (PEP), now heading into its sixth year inside Genentech (Pierce left the company this fall after 11 years to join salesforce.com). Together, these pillars offer up a short course in unleashing human capability, resilience, compassion, and well-being (and they’re unpacked in even more detail in Weiss and Pierce’s entry).

1. Developing people is a process — not an event. “Development is all too often considered a one-time event,” says Weiss. She and Pierce designed PEP as a ten-month-long journey that unfolds in three phases, with big group meetings, regular small group sessions, individual coaching, peer coaching, and structured solo practice.

2. People don’t grow from the neck up. Too much training focuses on the the mind — it’s about transferring content. “We talk about the head, the heart, and the body,” says Weiss. In fact, they do more than talk about it — they enact it every day at the start of every meeting. The “3-center check in” is the gateway drug to mindfulness. As Weiss describes it: “You close your eyes for a moment and you notice, ‘What am I thinking — what’s happening in my head center,’ then you notice, ‘What am I feeling — what’s happening in my heart center.’ then, ‘What am I feeling — what’s happening in my body.’ It’s a way in which people start paying attention and practicing mindfulness without ever practicing meditation.”

3. Put mindfulness at the center (but don’t call it that!). Weiss and her team were careful to keep the language of specific belief systems and religions out of PEP. The program revolves around three phases: reflection on and selection of a specific quality or capacity you want to work on (patience, decisiveness, courage); three months of cultivating the capacity for self-observation; and the hard work of turning insight into deliberate, dedicated, daily practice.

4. It’s hard to grow alone. “People grow best in community,” says Weiss. “People don’t grow as well just reading a book, getting an online training, or just taking in information. There’s an exponential impact in having people grow and learn together.” That’s why the PEP “pod” (small 6-8 person group) is the main vehicle throughout the year.

5. Everybody deserves to grow. Pierce felt strongly that PEP should be available to people across the board — not just the usual “stars” — and that it should be voluntary. “The program is by application and not declaration,” he says.

As PEP heads into its sixth year at Genentech, some 800 people have participated in the program. (Weiss added a graduate curriculum and a student training program to create “PEPtators” as few people want the journey to end.) The impact has been nothing short of transformative for individuals and organization alike. When Pierce took over the IT department in 2002, its employee satisfaction scores were at rock bottom; four years into the program, the department ranked second in the company and is now consistently ranked among the best places to work in IT In the world (even in the wake of Genentech’s 2009 merger with Roche Group — always a turbulent and dispiriting experience).

Pierce attributes that to “the emotional intelligence of people and the capacity to change” developed in PEP. But don’t take his word for it. The data-obsessed Pierce commissioned a third path impact report on PEP. It came in glowing: 10-20% increase in employee satisfaction, 50% increase in employee collaboration, conflict management, and communication; 12% increase in customer satisfaction; and nearly three times the normal business impact.

“Through PEP we have created a smarter, more agile, and more responsive organization,” says Pierce. “The reduction of suffering, the capacity to deal with difficulties, the level of engagement — these things are very powerful and you can’t call a meeting to get them or give people stock options and have them. These are skills and qualities you have to cultivate and practice.”

So how’s this for a new year’s resolution for hard-charging leaders: turn every ringing, pinging, tweeting, and blinking thing off — especially your mind — and just breathe.

Pensiamo ai prossimi 12 mesi nel web

27 gennaio 2012 § Lascia un commento

Iniziamo ad utilizzare i social media in modo corretto, in modo che possano generare valore.
Ad oggi sono pochi coloro che possono dire di utilizzare i social generando valore per la propria impresa.
Di seguito vado ad elencarvi alcuni suggerimenti per procedere nella direzione di generazione di valore

While everyone else is busy thinking about or already breaking their New Year resolutions, it’s time for us to take a moment to rethink what it is we can really do better now and over the next 12 months.
I’m sure you heard it everywhere last year. Experts found the highest blog mountains and social network skyscrapers to Tweet in concert, “You need a Facebook brand page! Why are you not on Twitter yet? Have you checked-in on Foursquare? Hurry up and get set up on Google+. If you don’t get on social media, you’re going to go out of business!”
And, here you are…still in business, I presume. But like any keen business leader or entrepreneur, you’re avidly thinking about your next move and your social media strategies for 2012.
You already know that running the show in a mode of “business as usual” is not only limiting, it’s terribly complacent. But if you are to change, you need to better understand exactly how technology is influencing the behavior of your customers and why.
The truth is that you can create your company brand pages on every social network you can imagine and you won’t succeed unless you know whom you’re trying to reach and where, what it is they expect and value, and how these channels represent a meaningful opportunity for you and your consumers to connect.
You first must answer what’s in it for them and what’s in it for you.
Defining your Social Media Strategy Social networks, smartphones, tablets, review sites, gamification, geo-location, et al. are producing a new breed of consumer, and businesses are largely missing them altogether. In fact, the emergence of this more “connected consumer” is forcing the end of business as usual.
At the same time, the decision patterns of these connected consumers has ushered in an era of risk where any business, large and small, is vulnerable to digital Darwinism — the evolution of consumer behavior when society and technology evolve faster than the ability to adapt.

Ten Social Media Tips
In 2012, consider yourself a digital anthropologist or sociologist as you immerse yourself in a day in the life of your connected consumer and seek to close the chasm between you and them.
There are many professional social media analysts, researchers and strategists who can help you find the answers you seek.
Starting now and forever, technology and empathy are now part of your business strategy. To what extent disruptive technology impacts your markets will depend on your industry and the rate of adoption within it.

Priority areas for your social media strategy should include an understanding of the following:
1. Social Networks from Facebook to Twitter to Google+ and how they’re connecting to influencers and businesses
2. Geo-location check-in services such as Foursquare and Facebook location updates to share locations and earn rewards or opportunities for discounts.
3. Crowd-sourced discounts and deals including Groupon and LivingSocial and what’s valued and why.
4. Social commerce services like Shopkick and Armadealo and how they create personalized experiences that are worth sharing.
5. Referral based solutions like Yelp, Service Magic, and Angie’s List to make informed decisions and how shared experiences can improve your business, products, and services.
6. Gamification platforms such as Badgeville and Fangager, and why rewarding engagement improves commerce and loyalty.
7. How your consumers using mobile devices today and what apps they’re installing. Also, how they’re comparing options, reviewing experiences and making decisions while mobile?
8. The online presence your business produces across a variety of platforms such as tablets, smartphones, laptops and desktops. You must realize how consumers are experiencing the online presences you create and whether or not they deliver a holistic and optimized experience for each platform.
9. The consumer clickpath based on the platform consumers are using. Are you steering experiences based on the expectations of your customers? And are you taking into consideration the device or network where the clickpath begins and ends? Are you integrating Facebook F-commerce and m-commerce into the journey?
10. The expectations of connected consumers, what they value in each channel and platform, where they engage and how your business can improve experiences and make them worthy of sharing.
This is your year…
2012 is the year for you to grow your small business while earning relevance among a growing class of connected consumers.
Regardless of technology, the future of business isn’t created, it’s co-created. To succeed, it takes a culture of customer centricity and the ability to recognize new opportunities and adapt based on what they present.
In the words of Charles Darwin, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”

Come iniziare bene le giornate

25 gennaio 2012 § Lascia un commento

Iniziamo bene le nostre giornate, ecco come fare, nulla,di nuovo, ma dobbiamo abituarci ad essere costanti nelle azioni che fanno bene a noi stessi e di riflesso anche alle persone intorno a noi

Do you want to get more done, reach more of your goals, and make a bigger difference?

If so, the morning is when that can all begin!

However you came to read these words, I’m confident you are interested in greater productivity, achievement and success. Perhaps you want that for yourself, or perhaps you want that because you lead others and you owe it to both yourself and them. Either way, this article will help you when you take action on what follows.

Before We Start

Before I share the ten ideas, a couple of caveats.

1. There is likely nothing on this list you haven’t heard before. That doesn’t make the list less valuable. In fact, it proves these ideas work if you use them!
2. You can’t do them all. I’ll say more on that at the end of the list, but don’t read thinking “I can’t do all of these,” because that would be missing the point of doing something.

Making the Time

None of these would have to be done in the morning though, from Ben Franklin to the present day, it has been proven that getting up earlier is a great way to accelerate your success (and “find” intentional time to do important things for you).

My intention with this list is to give you a list of things that you could do in 30 minutes or less each day. Trying to find 30 minutes in an already-packed-like-sardines-in-a-can day might seem daunting. That is one reason why I suggest creating a new morning habit.

Making a decision to change your morning routine and getting up 30 minutes earlier than usual is the first part of this habit. I am a morning person, and you may not think you are, and that’s ok. I’m not suggesting when you get up; just that you get up 30 minutes earlier than you have in the past!

Ok, now, on with the list!

The Ten Habits

The list is in no particular order. My point isn’t to prescribe one, rather to present them all. Any one of these actions, made into habit, can change your life for the better (and perhaps much sooner than you think).

Read powerful material. This could be spiritual or uplifting, it could be edifying to a goal or objective. I don’t mean the newspaper, your blog reader feed, or a celebrity magazine. Read intentionally, to put powerful and valuable ideas into your head at the start of your day.

Exercise. Exercise is good for your health and it releases powerful chemistry in your body for greater energy and productivity as well. If you are a lunchtime or after work exerciser, that is fine; just pick a different habit on this list!

Write Notes. Get out your pen and paper and write notes to people. It could be a thank you note to a client, colleague, or team member. It could be sharing a resource, article, or idea. It could be a letter to a family member. It could be appreciation or a note to let people know they are remarkable. All day, you will be on your computer. This habit is about personal, intentional, and handwritten communication and connection.

Review Your Goals. If you have goals (if you don’t, make that the first new habit —to write them), reviewing them daily is powerful. Look over your daily, weekly, short and long term goals. Review your bucket list ,or lifetime, goals. This can be a simple reading of the list and then allowing yourself time to soak them into your subconscious. While or after you read them, think about why these goals are important to you, too.

Plan Your Day. While a great point can be made for doing this in the evening for the next day, starting each day with a clear picture of what you want and need to accomplish is important. This short time will help you keep the important items on your mind and help you from falling completely into reactive mode all day long.

Meditate or Pray. Quiet your mind. Follow a process that you already know, or learn one. Especially if you are moving quickly past this one to find “something better,” for you this might be the most valuable one of all.

Think! Closely related to meditating or praying this is quieting your mind to specifically work on a challenge, a problem, or decision. This one might also be less of a singular habit, but one that is done in tandem with many of the others on this list.

Work on a Goal. What if you invested 30 minutes each day to progress you towards one of your goals? Do you think you would achieve more of your goals? Duh.

Reflect on Yesterday. One of the best ways to improve and get better is to make sure you are learning from your experiences. Making time to consciously ask yourself what you have learned, what you want to repeat, and what you want to change is a powerful productivity habit.

Journal. This one truly is a combination habit; it can be coupled with almost any other one on this list (yes, you can even journal about your exercise, keeping track of what you did each day, for example). When you write your thoughts you make them clearer. When you write you become more focused, learn more, and improve your results.

Final Thoughts

Pick one, two at the most. You may like all of these ideas. That’s fine, but you have to pick. Perhaps you will try two each day (some can be done in less than 30 minutes), or perhaps you will do one during the week and another on the weekends.

Find what works best for you.

And start today (or tomorrow morning, at the latest).

Cina Vantaggio di flessibilità non solo di costo

25 gennaio 2012 § Lascia un commento

Chi parla di un solo vantaggio di costo per la China, forse non ha ben chiara la visione di quanto realmente accade, e questo si lega in maniera importante alle temute e tanto discusse liberalizzazioni.

La flessibilità, la disponibilità, la prontezza di risposta al mercato sono elementi fondamentali e oramai imprescindibili per un azienda che vuole ritenersi competitiva, il solo costo non è sempre sufficiente.

Di seguito un articolo del New York Times, che ci aiuta a capire, cosa sono in grado di fare i Cinesi per lavorare.

Prima di leggere vi faccio alcune domande:

– In Italia siamo essere tutti sufficientemente flessibili?

– Perchè fa tanta paura la liberalizzazione soprattutto a tutti gli Italiani?

Buona lettura

An article in the New York Times explains the reason why manufacturing the iPhone in United States will likely never happen 1:

Apple executives say that going overseas, at this point, is their only option. One former executive described how the company relied upon a Chinese factory to revamp iPhone manufacturing just weeks before the device was due on shelves. Apple had redesigned the iPhone’s screen at the last minute, forcing an assembly line overhaul. New screens began arriving at the plant near midnight.

A foreman immediately roused 8,000 workers inside the company’s dormitories, according to the executive. Each employee was given a biscuit and a cup of tea, guided to a workstation and within half an hour started a 12-hour shift fitting glass screens into beveled frames. Within 96 hours, the plant was producing over 10,000 iPhones a day.

“The speed and flexibility is breathtaking,” the executive said. “There’s no American plant that can match that.”

The article goes on and explains that it is flexibility and NOT cost that makes China so competitive. With added commentary that the Middle Income in America will continued to get squeezed and eventually disappear, the article is overall very unoptomistic on the prospects of America being able to compete with China. Indeed, the article claims that flexibility of that type is unheard of and virtually impossible in America.

I don’t know about you, but I’m glad that this type of Taylorism and inhumane treatment of people is not allowed via government legislation. True, whenever the government steps in, lead time increases and costs also increase, but sometimes the price for liberty requires added precautions and boundaries that keep people from treating others inhumanely. Freedom has bounds.

In general, there are two things wrong with the New York Times article:

It is celebrating slavery. By claiming that flexibility will, in its current state and in the end, beat out America, the article is inadvertently celebrating slavery. If the price of flexibility for a company like Apple means that people work 14 hours and $17 a day and are woken up in the middle of the night and given a biscuit and tea to then work some more because of a last minute design change from Apple, then China wins on flexibility.
Their definition of “flexibility” fails to acknowledge the power of Lean Manufacturing for last minute changes the article describes. In fact, lean manufacturing – properly applied and executed – shines in situations where there are last minute changes, provided the operation had Heijunka in place and was already operating on a single piece flow philosophy. But that approach doesn’t require people waking up in the middle of the night and slavery-like conditions. It requires a well-formed and designed operation built on the tenets of lean manufacturing.
Despite Apple’s Code of Conduct for suppliers, last minute design changes like the article describes will continue to “train” suppliers to treat their people badly. Indeed, Apple will continue to be demanding on the one hand, but making it almost impossible for suppliers to comply to its demands on the other.

WTCO presenta WTRADING

23 gennaio 2012 § Lascia un commento

WTCO introduce nuove attività

WTRADING nasce dall’esperienza Internazionale dello staff WTCO nella ricerca di fornitori e clienti per conto dei nostri Clienti.

Questa esperienza ci ha permesso di consolidare una struttura dedita alla ricerca, al contatto e alla trattativa per conto dei nostri Clienti di quanto da loro richiesto senza che li stessi possano comparire.

Analizzare la concorrenza ed entrarVi in contatto in maniera diretta, acquistare attrezzature e macchinari senza comparire direttamente

In aggiunta il nostro lavoro, Vi permetterà di avere una chiara visione di quanto ricercato in quanto a corredo dell’attività andremo ad effettuare tutte quelle valutazioni volte a verificare che il rapporto Prezzo/Qualità rispetti le condizioni di Mercato

Di seguito l’elenco delle attività correlate:

  • Preventivazione ed Acquisto Attrezzature
  • Preventivazione ed Acquisto Automobili e Automezzi aziendali
  • Acquisizioni Aziendali (in questa area forniamo anche servizi correlati)
  • Acquisizione di Immobili
  • Vendita di Aziende
  • Vendita di attrezzature
  • Vendita Pubblicità

il Nostro motto è Vendere e creare nuove opportunità commerciali

 

 

Il mondo sta cambiando

18 gennaio 2012 § Lascia un commento

Vorrei segnalarvi questo articolo che anticipa, un articolo in arrivo riguardo il pessismo costante del momento vs ottimismo

L’articolo tratto dal HBR.org pone una visione positiva di quello che possiamo fare, e mi trova perfettamente d’accordo, pensare positivo, credere in quello che si fa mantenendo i piedi saldi a terra vi permette di fare grandi cose

Ecco a voi i trucco per fare bene nel 2012

Now is the time to change the world. The past decade has been one of remarkable transformation and seemingly endless crisis. We’ve seen hundreds of millions rise from poverty to the ranks of the middle class, but we face persistent and difficult problems like disease, economic recession, and financial turmoil. Correspondingly, we need leaders who are willing to address those challenges.

They exist. The Passion & Purpose MBA survey found that, among graduate business students at least, two of the top three reasons for choosing a workplace were “intellectual challenge” and “opportunity to impact the world,” and nearly 85% of those surveyed thought “business people are well-qualified to solve the most pressing problems in the world.”

But what would it take for us, as individuals, to be world changers? That’s the central question in John Byrne’s new book, World Changers.* In it, Byrne recounts discussions with 25 entrepreneurs who have changed the world — people like Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, and Richard Branson. Byrne focuses on allowing those people to tell their stories, but in reading them, I found several valuable lessons for world changers in the making.

1. Start with purpose: Perhaps the greatest common denominator amongst great world changers is the centrality of purpose in their organizations. Google’s mission is to “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Whole Foods’ motto is “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet.” And Facebook’s mission is “to give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.” This purpose is what serves as a compass for the company and its employees. Finding and articulating your purpose are critical to launching a world-changing enterprise.

2. You’re not too old: Too often, we view entrepreneurship as a young person’s game or something for which you must be uniquely suited. Rather, entrepreneurship is about having an idea and the courage to pursue it — no matter your age. Did you know that when Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank started Home Depot, they were 34 and 48 years old, respectively? Further, neither was an entrepreneur: Marcus was a former pharmacist, and both had just been fired from their jobs at Handy Dan Improvement Centers.

3. Seek advice: It’s difficult to start and grow a company in isolation, and mentorship and peer counseling are critical to maintaining your focus and direction. Find those who have been through your experience before and seek their guidance on the situation. Even great entrepreneurs like Howard Schultz seek advice when confronted with difficult situations. Schultz reassumed his leadership post at Starbucks, at least partially, as a result of a bicycle ride with Michael Dell. Schultz and Dell ran into each other vacationing in Hawaii, and during a three-hour ride along the Kona coast, Dell advised Schultz on how to handle Wall Street and the company if he resumed leadership at then struggling Starbucks.

4. Be the expert: Many MBAs, in particular, are tempted to launch businesses they know little about because they seem to have big “upside” — but to change the world it pays to be an expert. Find something you love, become an expert, and see what it would take to innovate in the space. Larry Page and Sergey Brin succeeded at Google at least partially because they were experts on search. To quote Page: “[W]e really benefited from being real experts…we understood all aspects of search. We talked to all the search companies. We really knew a lot about what was going on.” They didn’t know exactly how to bring their product to market or build a world-class organization, but they knew more about how to comb the web for useful information than anyone on the planet.

5. Start small: World-changing businesses are rarely world-changing from day one. Sometimes they’re not even fully formed concepts. Many groundbreaking entrepreneurs simply start with a small idea and grow with it as the idea evolves. If you’re waiting to launch your business because you can’t see the path to changing the world, you may be missing an opportunity to learn through experimentation. One of the most shocking lessons of World Changers was how few of these entrepreneurs started “big” or even with “big things” in mind. Oprah Winfrey launched her career as a TV reporter in Nashville and worked as a reporter of local talk show host until entertainment lawyer Jeff Jacobs encouraged her to create her own show and company. Richard Branson sold records out of the trunk of his car, and Michael Dell got into business for himself, upgrading personal computers from his college dorm room.

It’s a new year with new opportunities. Learning these five lessons is the first step to making an impact. How will you change the world?

Dove sono?

Stai visualizzando gli archivi per gennaio, 2012 su Wtco.

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