Monday, 21 January 2013

THE ROAD TO INNOVATION: There's no way better than the patience way

Its Monday morning. Your alarm goes off. You wake up, for the 3rd time. This is after you've been snoozing since 5am, your normal time to wake up. Its only in snoozing mode where we can convert 5 minutes into 55 minutes in a "blink" of an eye. "Oh my!" You think to yourself. You only have less than 30minutes to get to the Bus Stop that's located 10 minutes away from your yard. Your internal 'Time-keeper' confirms at the speed of light that you have exactly 20minutes to finish up what normaly takes you 60 minutes. "Damn it!" You think - while you jump out of bed as though you had just sat on a needle. You spend the next 10 seconds making up your mind as to whether you should dive into a cold water bath ... Or to even bath at all. Its mid-winter. So you dismiss the cold-water bath suggestion immediately. Now there's the challenge of, "do I take my regular warm bath or ...?" If yes, this means you have to rush to the kitchen to warm up the water with the electric water Urn for at least 20minutes since your geyser broke, a week ago. "Nope, I'll go for a kettle," you decide - as you reach for it thinking that you'll just take care of your face and abdomen.
[FAST FOWARD]. Its exactly 20 minutes later. You are dressing up. You were "kicked upstairs" (promoted to a Supervisory position), barely a month ago, at a Call Center firm. You must get there first, to open up. Twenty five minutes later, you rush out of the house (yes, fully dressed). You jog your way to the Bus Stop and you are lucky enough to spot the bus negotiating its way through the rush hour traffic. Its 6:30am. You are now comfortably inside, sitting down and panting heavily due to excessive running. You've calmed down now ... Until reality hits you ... THE KEYS TO THE BUILDING! You forgot them at home. By that time, the bus is on the highway. "Dammmmn!" You shout, throwing a mini tantrum.
Now back to reality. The scenario above, is a great metaphorical depiction of the reality behind rush. More often than not, we are more susceptible to forget, miss or skip an important part of any process if we are under the influence of hastyness.
There is no way better than the patience way. What is true for the aforementioned, is even truer for the creative and innovative process. No matter how quick an idea lands in your mind or brainstorming session at the boardroom table; patience, or the speed at which that idea is developed, will seperate a well-thought-through solution from a "fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants" kind of idea.
Contrary to conventional wisdom, and its accomplice, time. Patience does not mean, "be slow, ignore the pressure, just take your time, you're the one in charge." NO! Patience can be the ability to forgive yourself for not getting things right the very first time. Patience, in the creative context, is the ability to allow time to add that touch of maturity in your idea the same way a bottle of quality wine becomes even more pricier after a lapse of time. The Patience Way works hand in hand with thorough preparation. If it were possible to philosophically and perhaps prophetically analyze failed business ideas, one would probably be able to record findings of premature production. Some ideas that hit the air with hype and die down as quick as a plane with dysfunctional propellas - do so because of lack of growth either on the idea itself or the idea holder needed some growing up to do.
Of course, "getting a solution or an idea," so eloquently said some gentleman, "should be like sitting on a needle. It should make you jump and do something about it." As clear as that sounds, it shouldn't be a "thumbs up" for rush jobs. I am not advocating slackyness. But I am simply trying to uphold excellence. Excellence is a work of serious art hence the reason creative artists never finish their work even upon submission. If one ought to artically maneuver one's way around solutions, then the ability to patiently join dots has to be employed. One must allow process to finish its course.
However, our response time will, in most instances, be critical - just like the scenario of the gentleman who woke up late. How do we solve his problem? We have to make sure he wakes up in time. But how then do we deal with situations in our lives that require a faster response time



From a medical angle. Physicians are constantly faced with the challenge of saving lives under pressure - where a person is pulled out of a severe accident and rushed to the hospital by paramedics and every act has to be practiced at the speed of light to save the life.

Question: According to the widespread belief of the word patience: "take your time" kind of perspective. Will the physicians save the day? Yes? No? Maybe? I don't think they would! Under such conditions, every second of delay is a setback to the patient's life. And more often than not, a great deal of sense of urgency is vital. But this, then, opens up another important argument. The term is Responsibilty. We, linguistics, define responsibilty as an act of "responding with ability."
Patience, in tight angles, workwise, requires skill, or the ability to respond with foreknowledge and the technical know-how. When a terrible car accident survivor is rushed into the hospital with speed, only qualified, experienced, level-headed, good and reputable physicians are called in to be responsible for the patient's life.

In the world of deadlines, there will be more instances where each and every ounce of a second will matter. Suppose a construction project is running behind by a dangerous amount of time. We know the procedure. The client will call and want to find out how far is the building process not because he is impatient but time, in the world of construction, is money. Plant-Hire firms will lease out a machine to a construction company for 2 weeks irrespective of how they will decide to use it. But common sense even in that space will advice that able workers only, ought to be entrusted with the machine so as to speed up the process with great precision and ability.
So yes, innovation, in many respects, cannot be short circuited by us mere mortals. However, skill, and familiarity with issue at hand, will most definitely come in very handy in situations where there is no ample time.
Review some of your personal life's failures and analyze whether or not you were well equiped for the event or assignment. Yet again, review some of your most tressured successes, and find out why you flowed regardless of the amount of time that was allocated by the challenge.

We constantly owe it to ourselves to promote a thinking that encourages patience, preparation and ability in order for us to creatively sail over the challenges of our times. An understanding of believing that we are all creatively gifted in different domains, will spur us further and make us more effective in the 21st Century.


Simphiwe Makapela
In the pell-mell pace of modern living, patience is one “product” running out stock by the day. Employers, business associates, investors, clients and friends alike, will, without a grain doubt fall in love with a “Make-it-happen” kind of individual regardless of neither skin color nor age.

The question then naturally arises: How do we become this person – the “Make-it-happen” person? Of course, the answer to that might probably not lie along the lines of personality, or contain particles of a generous amount intelligence – or at the very least, have anything to do with powerful connections. The crux of this indisputable matter is that it all boils down to this seven-letter word called RESULTS.

Talking about results!

Perhaps the most important law of effectiveness in any level is Action Orientation. That when it comes to goal setting, the best way to set your goals is to define them by the number of implementable activities you’ll have to engage in so as to get to your “promised land.” By activities, I’m obviously talking about the “transport” you’ll have to board to get to the land of your intended results. From waking up an hour earlier, to the number of phone calls and follow-ups to be made, and back to the number of CVs and proposals to be sent. And yes, including the amount of money to be spent. All of the aforementioned are the proverbial building blocks to the establishment of results.

                                             TANGIBLES vs INTANGIBLES


I have always expressed effectiveness as follows: Tangible Actions equate with tangible results. Intangible Actions = intangible results.

In the world of intangibles, to speak about intangible actions would be to refer to the Planning of events, projects, the thinking, and perhaps the calculation of risks. Parallel to that, would most definitely be Intangible results (the best layout of the plan, the most convenient, and cost effective strategy – or the most fulfilling answer to the path you ought to take).
On the tangible side of things, one would have to side with me on the fact that the physical involvement to any plan or goal setting holds some power to reap tangible results. The very chair you’re ensconced on at this very moment, the computer screen you’re reading this very article – and how do I forget that smartphone in your pocket. All that, had to go through Intangible Actions (planning, thinking, researching) and Tangible Actions (the dirty work) before you could ultimately call them products. How about that carefully.

Thursday, 17 January 2013

TIME vs PAY Theory

Simphiwe Makapela
It is believed that Bill Gates, on average, earns $250 per second. In a day, my calculator confirms that he will have earned just a hair over $20million. Hypothetically; suppose he drops a thousand dollars – he can be excused for not picking it up due to the fact that, of the 4 estimated seconds he’ll use to pick it up, he will have already earned it back. Such – is the reality of the world’s most famous nerd. He’s business reality is established around TIME and MONEY. And so is everyone’s.

In plain, cut and dry terms – we all, in one fashion or another, do earn the same amount of income but time separates us from getting hold of certain luxuries in life. Assuming that you earn $5000 per week; in a month’s time you will have earned yourself $20 000. Twenty thousand dollars? That’s how much Bill Gates earns in 80 seconds. To match his $20m worth, your reality would advice that you save 100% of your $20 000 monthly income for the next 1000 months. EIGHTY THREE YEARS I beg your pardon.

Far be it from me to dispute that you and I have the “smarts”, pluck, and shrewd business acumen to reach and exceed a $20m mark. The crux of the matter here is not to be relegated to our capabilities only but more importantly, the amount of time it will take to reach that income mark. And that is the essence of business competition in the 21st Century.

Suppose X Manufacturers are your most troublesome competitor by virtue of selling the same product your firm sells. Say it takes you 20 days to break-even, and it takes them an effortless 10 days. What are the facts? The facts are: they are ahead of you not only by sales but by time and space – covering much, at a short space of time. Anything they sell after day 10 is a process of moving out of survival mode to expansion phase. While they have the right to talk about tapping into other markets … common sense suggests that your “organizational conversation” for the time being, ought to be on issues around survival, breaking-even.
Businesses are successful for a simple reason that they have found an enlightened way of creating a product that shrinks time intervals between earnings. That is perhaps one of the many reasons words such as strategy, innovation, marketing or positioning have come to the fore of modern day practices. Strategists don’t strategize for strategies’ sake. Innovators ought not to innovate for the sake of innovating. Likewise with marketers: their role is not to position a product for marketing’s sake. All of the aforementioned terms have become the most used terms in today’s economy simply because apart from them making people sound smart at the harsh reality of uttering them, they are a clear indication that it is obviously through the more of their practical use that the issue of more earnings outweighs the issue of time hence the writing on the proverbial wall in every corner proves that individuals more than ever before, are now flocking toward entrepreneurship and its all for the sake of not letting time dictate when, and how much they should earn.
This then, in conclusion, presupposes a shift in mentality from “what I do” to “how I do it.” All this – I have written for the simple purpose of laying down the age-old immutable business fact: TIME is MONEY. And if one is not tactical enough with these two commodities, one sets oneself to losing both.