Saturday, December 5, 2009

PRAGMATIC INSIGHTS FROM THE EXPERTS

"Life is largely a process of adaptation to the circumstances in which we exist. A perennial give and take has been going on
between living matter and its inanimate surroundings, between one living being and another, ever since the dawn of life in the prehistoric oceans. The secret of health and happiness lies in successful adjustment to the ever-changing conditions on this globe; the penalties for failure in this great process of adaptation are disease and unhappiness."

~ Hans Selye, the father of stress research, who wrote in his seminal work, 'The Stress of Life', in 1956;

ENTERTAINING A THOUGHT... OR TWO OPPOSED THOUGHTS

I have stumbled upon the following illumination while surfing the net:

"When you do philosophy, you’ve got to have two different mindsets in your toolbox because true philosophers have to bring both out at different times...

Curious Mindset

This is the mindset you must have when you begin thinking about a topic area. It’s the open, trusting, mindset where you don’t judge ideas, but you explore and consider them...


... the curious mindset is about entertaining an idea...

Critical Mindset

This is the mindset you have when you are analyze and deciding where you fall on an issue or topic. This is where you poke and prode an idea, looking at the assumptions behind it, the implications of it, and the logic that holds it together...


... As you strengthen both these mindsets, you’ll become a stronger philosopher - one who is able to accept somewhat strange conclusions if they come from sound reasoning, and is able to tear apart our most basic beliefs about the world and show them to be false..."

I reckon, embracing the curious and critical mindsets appropriately, one can now readily & truly appreciate the lessons from these two great quotes:

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”

~ Aristotle;

“The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function.”

~ F Scott Fitzgerald;

[Source: 'The Success-Driven Philosophy' weblog]

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"But risks must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, is nothing. He may avoid suffering and sorrow, but he
cannot learn, feel, change, grow or live. Chained by his servitude he is a slave who has forfeited all freedom. Only a person who risks is free."


~ William Arthur Ward, (1921-1994); one of America's most quoted writers of inspirational maxims;

[Source: 'Favourite Mountaineering Quotes', Sierra Nevada Mountain News, Reports & Information]

Friday, December 4, 2009

10 MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES TO PREVAIL IN THE RECESSION & THRIVE IN THE AFTERMATH

A quick one:

1) Reset your priorities,

2) Protect your people because they are a vital asset to your business,

3) Relationships are changing, so take charge of the change,

4) Take a fresh look at your business model - it might need to adapt to seize fresh opportunities,

5) Manage for Value,

6) Your customers have new problems so create new solutions to help them,

7) Don't panic & cut prices; have some courage,

8) Increase your operational discipline & get healthier faster,

9) Take a deeper look at all the risks your company faces,

10) Spend time on growing yourself.


[Source: 'The Upside of the Downturn: Ten Management Strategies to Prevail in the Recession & Thrive in the Aftermath', by Fortune Magazine's senior editor at large, Geoff Colvin. I have yet to read the book, but I thought that the key ideas in headline format as presented by the author are apparently grounded solidly.]

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)


"You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again... so why bother in the first place?
Just this: what is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one see no longer, but one has seen. There is an art to conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can still at least know."

~ Rene Daumel, Mont Analogue;

TOOLS & STRATEGIES FOR BECOMING A STRATEGIC LEADER

While surfing the net, I have found a new book, entitled 'The Strategic Leader: New Tactics for a Globalizing World', by Dr John Pilipia of Florida Atlantic University.

What has attracted me is the fact that the book is framed around six key habits gleaned from leaders who have successfully answered the following questions:

- Do I need to think differently?
- What is the environment telling me?
- Where are we going and where do we need to go?
- How do I position myself and/or my organization, team and individuals to take advantage of opportunities presented by the environment?
- How do I multiply myself though other people?
- How do I find and turn talent into performance?
- How do I ignite the soul of followers to achieve greatness beyond what anyone imagined possible?
- How do I know if we are succeeding?
- How do we continually adapt to change and maintain profitability and our competitive advantage?


& also, the author's 'turn the wheel' metholodogy of using the following six key habits, actions & tactics in acquiring a strategic leadership mindset, aided by two original self assessment tools: The Strategic Thinking Questionnaire (STQ) & the Strategic Leadership Questionnaire (SLQ):

- artistry;
- agility;
- anticipating the future;
- articulating strategic intent;
- aligning resources;
- assuring results;

I have ordered a paperback copy from the publisher.

Please stay tuned for my book review. Readers can check out some excerpts from the book at Google.

Readers can also visit the authors' weblog at this link.

TODAY'S Q2P (QUESTIONS TO PONDER)

When faced with a new task, ponder over these questions as part of thinking strategically:

1) what am I actually expected to do here?

2) how does this task resemble or differ from others I have dealt with before?

3) what different ways are there of interpreting this task?

4) what is the significance of the particular aspects of this task?

5) what do I actually know?

6) what are the facts as distinct from the opinions?

7) what information would I need to have in order to deal with this task?

CONGRATULATIONS, PAK KRIS!


Congratulations & Best Wishes to my former boss, Kris Wiluan, during the last leg of my eventful journey through the corporate world during the very early nineties, for being awarded Ernst & Young 2009 Indonesian's Entrepreneur of the Year.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"There are only two possible ways for creative tension to resolve itself: pull current reality toward the vision or pull the vision toward reality. Which occurs will depend on whether we hold steady to the vision."
~ Peter Senge, 'The Fifth Discipline';

PRAGMATIC INSIGHTS FROM THE EXPERTS

"... Rowe & Kahn, who popularized the term "successful aging," placed cognitive functioning front & center in the equation for achieving a fulfilled & satisfying later life. Being able to use your mind & keeping it active will help you feel more mentally competent & so contribute to your overall well-being. You can't use your mind to maximum advantage if you are convinced that it is decaying because once you believe it is gone, it will be gone."

~ Dr Susan Whitbourne, writing in her weblog, 'Fulfillment at Any Age: How to remain Productive & Healthy into your Later Years';

TODAY'S Q2P (QUESTIONS TO PONDER)

What will give me competitive advantage as a strategic leader in my sphere of activity?

How do I develop the requisite skills in order to gain & sustain competitive advantage in whatever I do?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"'If it ain't broke, don't fix it' is the slogan of the complacent, the arrogance, or the scared. It's an excuse for inaction, a call to no-arms."

~ Colin Powell, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1989-1993);

A POEM ENTITLED 'WISDOM' by Barnabe Googe

What is this thing we WISDOM call?
An act it is, no thing at all:
To choose to do that which will bring
The happiest of everything
To everyone is WISDOM’s aim;
That we do not, is our shame.


~ extracted from the transcript of an address at the University Unitarian Universalist Society in Orlando, Florida on April 2 2006, by Copthorne Macdonald of 'The Wisdom Page';

DRAWING LESSONS FROM THE PAST: WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?

I love spending time working out in the gym during the mornings. As I do my exercise routines, I often use the quiet time to think & reflect.

So, I now have a new & interesting idea to share with readers.

I reckon, based on my own self-directed learning pursuits over the years, in order to plan effectively forward, one must first understand one's position as to where one has already been, as well as appreciate one's current position in the scheme of things.

For me, the primary objective is to draw valuable lessons from the past - hindsights, as some people prefer to call them.

Of course, I do realise that the past doesn't equal to or guarantee the future, but my point in the retrospection exercise is finding out more about what had worked in the past & what didn't work, & more importantly, how can we draw useful hind-sights from our own past learning experiences, coupled with in-sights of our present, to prepare for the future.

In other words, to ultimately generate fore-sights to deal with future challenges & problems.

Personally, I believe in "everything is connected to everything else". Nothing in the world actually happens in isolation. I also believe in synchronicity.

More explicitly, at least from my own personal perspective, past history can be an interesting platform for intellectual deliberation of one's personal strategic planning endeavour.

Going back to the early nineties, when I was contemplating to quit the corporate world, where I had spent almost a quarter of a century, & to design the second half of my life, I had embarked on my retrospection exercise with the aid of two powerful self-evaluation tools.

I can't recall exactly from whom I had learned the tools, but I believe it was the brilliant work of Anthony Robbins, which I must admit I had studied at great length during that crucial period, among other "mid-life transition" stuff from Richard Leider, Frederic Hudson, & Richard Bolles.

In sharing with readers, I will outline the first one of the tools in this blogpost, & the second one in a subsequent blogpost.

Take a very large sheet of blank paper, In my case, I recall, I had use a flip-chart paper.

Draw a matrix grid as follows.

Working across the page, horizontally from the top, draw ten (10) vertical columns & mark out, say, ten years into the past, e.g. '2009', '2008', '2007', '2006, 2005' & so on. That's how I had started when I did mine, & later on I had expanded it to cover my earlier 25 years on two separate sheets.

Now, working vertically downward from the left edge of the page, draw twelve (12) horizontal columns across the page, denoting the monthly periods from 'January' to 'December'.

The completed matrix grid will look exactly like a very large spread-sheet, with "cells" for you to fill in.

Start from the current year, say, '2009', & ponder about your personal as well as professional achievements, e.g. "got married to a rich & beautiful lady", "vacation in the Sahara Desert", "secured a salary increment of S$1,000", "got a promotion to GM", etc.

As you recall, & using a black colour marker, jot down each of the positive events into the "cell", corresponding to the period of occurrence.

When you have completed for the year 2009, pause for a moment, & this time, ponder about your personal as well as professional setbacks, disappointments & obstacles you have overcome, e.g. "my laptop was stolen", "got into a big row with my mother-in-law", "lost a S$1 million contract", etc.

As you recall, & using this time a red colour marker, jot down each of the negative events inside the "cell", corresponding to the period of occurrence.

As soon as you have completed '2009', go to '2008' & repeat the process till the ten years profile is completed.

For the current year, & possibly the first few preceding years, memory recall is not so much a problem, but it gets increasingly difficult when you start looking back, say 10, 20 years ago.

In my case, I was fortunate to have had kept pretty good records, as far back of my days at the Technical Institute, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, around the mid-sixties.

To my pleasant delight, I generally have a comparatively good working memory when it comes to my own personal life pursuits.

In fact, my good friend Dilip Mukerjea once asked me how much I could remember of my childhood, & I told him that I could remember as far back as when I was a 7-year old young boy.

I actually have relatively vivid memories of my childhood, starting in the Bukit Timah area where I was born, & then, the early years of growing up in Yong Peng, Johor, Malaysia. I had already written quite a lot about my childhood experiences in this weblog of mine.

Coming back to the matrix grid, I do not expect you to complete the exercise in one go. You probably will have to do that over several days or maybe weeks.

I did mine over several weeks. In fact, I recall going back to my matrix grid from time to time to add &/or embellish as necessary, to ensure that I had thoroughly captured all the important events of my life.

Frankly, as I recall, it was a tedious & painstaking process, but it was worth it, since I was contemplating the second half of my life.

In retrospect, that was truly the first step of my personal strategic planning.

After completing the matrix grid, in my case it was 25 years back from 1991 - that's was actually the year I quit the corporate world - stand back & look at your own "profile", so to speak.

In my case, somewhat to my chargin, there were many "blank cells". In other words, I didn't have any notable events to record in those particular periods of my life.

I recall, the feeling became scary & unsettling the moment I had started to think about & project myself into the next ten years.

The troubling question that crossed my mind at that time was: Is this exactly what I wanted to have replicated in the next 10 years, or more specifically, for the rest of my life?

At this juncture, I like to add that the foregoing exercise is just the beginning of a personal self-evaluation of where one has already been.

In the next blogpost, I will share with readers the second self-evaluation tool, with the view of completing the first one.

Please stay tuned.

[to be continued in the Next Post.]

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

RAPID RECAP: WEIRD IDEAS THAT WORK

These are some of the "weird" ideas [out of 110] suggested by innovation consultant Robert Sutton in his interesting book, “Weird Ideas that Work: How to Build a Creative Company”.

1. Hire slow learners. Hire people who make you uncomfortable, even those you dislike.

2. Hire people you don’t need.

3. Use job interviews to get ideas, not to screen candidates

4. Encourage people to ignore and defy superiors and peers.

5. Find some happy people and get them to fight.

6. Reward success and failure, punish inaction.

7. Decide to do something that will probably fail, then convince yourself and everyone else that success is certain.

8. Think of some ridiculous or impractical things to do, then plan to do them.

9. Avoid, distract and bore customers, critics and everyone who just wants to talk about money.

10. Don’t try to learn anything from people who say they have solved the problems you face.

11. Forget the past, especially your company’s success.

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact.
Everything we see is a perspective, not a truth."

~ Marcus Aurelius (121-180), the great Roman emperor & philosopher, who wrote Meditations, a classic text of philosophy & history);

Monday, November 30, 2009

101 STRESS RELIEVERS: Things You Can Do or Start Today to Relieve, Eliminate, or Better Manage Stress in Your Life

1. Build select periods of refuge into your schedule. (It's called a 'vacation' — remember?)

2. Learn how to take breaks during the day.

3. Live within your budget — pay your bills.

4. Anything that you can control in your lifestyle, do so. (disorganization = maximum stressors!)

5. Keep your number of role responsibilities in line. ("No!" is the word, if you have forgotten.)

6. Be ready to streamline your schedule.

7. If possible avoid people who stress you.

8. Plan — avoid overextending yourself.

9. Learn to compromise: Cooperation = Growth but Competition = Stress

10. Accept what you cannot change (including other people).

11. Frequently ask yourself, "How do I feel?" and listen to the answer!

12. Nurture relationships worth developing (Fertilize your friendships!)

13. Try a new perspective, i.e., flexibility.

14. Ask for feedback from a reliable source.

15. Always be prepared to wait.

16. Leave time for delays in traveling and appointments.

17. Develop TO-DO lists that are accomplishable — only write down what you will complete in one day!

18. Explore your spirituality in some way.

19. Breathe consciously and connectedly for 5 minutes or more.

20. Do something creative.

21. Go to an aquarium.

22. Start an aquarium.

23. Write a poem about your feelings.

24. Forgive someone you thought you never would.

25. Make peace with your parents (whether alive or dead).

26. Make peace with your children.

27. Relax, learn to relax, practice relaxing, relax about not relaxing.

28. Do yoga.

29. Get massaged.

30. Get Rolfed.

31. See a chiropractor.

32. Practice a martial art.

33. Practice a marital art.

34. Run, jog, walk — Move!

35. Go swimming.

36. Improve your diet.

37. Improve your wardrobe.

38. Improve your image and self-image.

39. Learn to love your job/work/career.

40. Improve your relationship with your boss.

41. Spend money.

42. Save money — start a new account.

43. Earn money.

44. Give away money.

45. Keep a journal of your feelings.

46. Enjoy your successes. (Roll around in 'em like a hound dog!).

47. Learn from, and let go of, your failures.

48. Read books.

49. Sit in a sauna.

50. Sit in a whirlpool.

51. Shower with a friend.

52. Sun bathe.

53. Sit in total silence while staying alert.

54. Go on a hike, explore.

55. Go camping.

56. Tell the whole truth as fast as possible.

57. Communicate better and more often with your loved ones.

58. Write yourself a letter.

59. Make some positive long-range goals.

60. Visualize success.

61. Do guided imagery of peaceful scenes.

62. Take a weekend trip.

63. Meditate.

64. See a movie.

65. Do some stretching exercises.

66. Learn to do affirmations.

67. Learn and apply self-hypnosis.

68. Make peace with your childhood.

69. Resolve destructive dualisms. (Either-Ors)

70. Get the right amount of sleep.

71. Make peace with money.

72. Invent something.

73. Learn to delegate.

74. Listen to easy music with headphones.

75. Get in touch with your body.

76. Make peace with death.

77. Make peace with God.

78. Make a retreat.

79. Try to enjoy everything for five minutes at a time.

80. Contact a long, lost friend.

81. Play with a pet.

82. Remember that a clock is a tool, not an enemy.

83. Learn Vivation (see Jim Leonard in Bibliography.)

84. Clean up and get organized.

85. Treat yourself to maid service.

86. Go out to a good restaurant.

87. Go to the beach, the mountains, the lake.

88. Uncover your healthy self-esteem.

89. Skip a meal.

90. Go on a fast.

91. Eat your dessert first.

92. Resurrect an old hobby.

93. Buy yourself a present.

94. Smile.

95. Tell a joke.

96. Travel.

97. Go to bed two hours earlier than usual once a week.

98. Take a wellness day off.

99. Eat a bowl of cereal; hold the spoon with your fist.

100. Pray.

101. Do something with one of the above.

[Source: 'Living A Stress Free Life', by Dr Anthony Dallmann-Jones. For more information about the author, his many books & other good stuff, please visit his corporate website.]

WISDOM DEFINED

“Wisdom is a state of the human mind characterized by profound understanding and deep insight. It is often, but not necessarily, accompanied by extensive formal knowledge. Unschooled people can acquire wisdom, and wise people can be found among carpenters, fishermen, or housewives. Wherever it exists, wisdom shows itself as a perception of the relativity and relationships among things. It is an awareness of wholeness that does not lose sight of particularity or concreteness, or of the intricacies of interrelationships. It is where left and right brain come together in a union of logic and poetry and sensation, and where self-awareness is no longer at odds with awareness of the otherness of the world. Wisdom cannot be confined to a specialized field, nor is it an academic discipline; it is the consciousness of wholeness and integrity that transcends both. Wisdom is complexity understood and relationships accepted.”

~ Joseph W. Meeker [from LANDSCAPE, Vol. 25, No. 1, Jan 1981];

[Source: 'Playing the Wisdom Game', by Copthorne Macdonald. Since 1995, he has tended 'The Wisdom Page' — a website devoted to wisdom resources. In addition to this article, here's the weblink to another interesting article entitled 'Developing Personal Wisdom' by the same author.]

TODAY'S Q2P (QUESTIONS TO PONDER)

Where am I going?

Why am I going there?

Why is this important to me? What are the harsh realities? What is the business imperative? What happens if I don't?

Who is going with me?

How will I get there?

RANDOM SPOTLIGHT: ICE CREAM, ENTERTAINMENT, WET TOWELS... & NOSTALGIA


It's always a welcome sight whenever the ice cream peddler is around on a hot sunny day.

In this case, it was a Friday afternoon last week when my wife & I were hanging out along the pedestrian walkway, running parallel with Orchard Road, just in front of the foyer of the newly-opened ION Orchard shopping mall.

After purchasing the ice-cream, durian-flavoured, we sat on the conveniently-located nearby bench to gawk at the world of passers-by.

To our pleasant delight, we were leter entertained by a bunch of young zestful girls doing their sales promotional routines on behalf of the Holiday Inns hotel group.

On top of that, we got a complimentary package of wet paper towels from the performing troupe to refresh our faces. Wow! That was really great!


Interestingly, the ice cream brought back sweet memories of my teenaged years during the fifties & sixties, before the advent of ice-cream in its current form.

I had what I liked to call "ice ball" - crushed ice, moulded by the hands of the peddler into a ball, plus a spoonful scoop of mashed red beans in the centre, & then splashed with multi-coloured sweetened syrup.

One then juggled the completed "ice ball" from one hand to the other - because it was very cold to hold - while sipping the sweetened syrup in between juggling throws.

It was really "messy", especially with the melting ice & dripping syrup through one's fingers [come to think of it, "finger-licking good" was definitely an understatement], but you can imagine my exhilarating feeling on a hot sunny day with the fancy stuff & together with my school buddies!

SHARING A STORY: THE ABNORMALCY ADVANTAGE

Here's the weblink to a fascinating story, somewhat long-winded but still worth reading, about the concept of 'abnormalcy advantage' as related by Dr Paul Pearsall, clinical neuropsychologist, in the AdvantEdge Newsletter from Nightingale Conant, a 'World Leader in Personal Development' self-paced, self-study programs.

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

"My philosophy is that not only are you responsible for your life, but doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment."

~ popular TV Oprah Winfrey;

RAPID RECAP: THE SPERMATOZOA ANALOGY

In writing this post, I am drawing upon what I have already written in an earlier post entitled 'Born to Win, but Conditioned to Fail', with particular reference to the spermatozoa analogy.

While running through my scratchpad notes, it just happens that I now suddenly recall the romantic comedy, 'Look Who's Talking', starring John Travolta & Kristie Alley, plus the voice of Bruce Willis.

The movie had centred on a single mum-to-be, Mollie (played by Kristie), who was on the lookout for a new boy-friend to be the father to her unborn child. She was earlier played out by her married boy-friend, Albert (played by George Segal).

Her yet-to-be-born son, Mikey (unbeknownst to her, & with the voice from Bruce), somehow seemed to have a better idea of which of the men she dated would make a good father figure!

Eventually, a smooth-talking cab driver, James (played by John), turned out to be the better choice.

Although I had enjoyed watching the entertaining movie, but what had struck me most from the movie was actually the opening sequence with the credit titles.

It showed an animated journey of millions of sperms, looking more like tadpoles, & swimming like hell towards the uterus, & from there into the tubes, & up to the point of fertilisation, where only one - repeat, only one - of them, against all insurmountable odds, eventually succeeded in breaking into the egg.

That's the champion.

We are all born champions. Each & every one of us!

Think about it!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

TODAY'S VIP (VERY IMPORTANT POSE)

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun
Or fester like a sore—

And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over—

Like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

~ 'Harlem: A Dream Deferred' by Langston Hughes;

RANDOM SPOTLIGHT: OBESITY


While walking pass a shoe retail boutique at the newly-opened swanky ION Orchard sHopping mall on Orchard Road yesterday, I just couldn't resist the temptation of taking this digital shot.

The name of the boutique, 'Pretty Fit', was located right on the wall space facing all walk-in shoppers.

Then, I noticed this extremely over-sized young teenager, a lady, walking in to gawk at the shoes on display. Her back was then facing me.

Somehow, as I glanced at the entire "scenario", it suddenly elicited a sort of "oxymoronic response" in my brain & I just went ahead to take the digital shot.

I had no intention to be mean or insensitive, but I thought I should highlight a pertinent point about Singaporeans, especially with regard to the prevalence of obesity among our kids & teenagers.

Is abundance of fast junk food to be blamed? What about an affluential society like Singapore, where "eating out" is a commonly preferred option in dual-income families?

STRATEGY DEFINED, by FRED NICKOLS

I have found the following interesting perspectives about 'Strategy'.

Strategy is many things: plan, pattern, position, ploy and perspective.

As plan, strategy relates how one intend realizing the goals.

As pattern, strategy is the "rhyme and reason" that emerges in the course of making the endless decisions that reconcile the reality.

As position, strategy is the stance : take the high ground, be the low-cost provider, compete on the basis of value, price to what the market will bear, match or beat the price offered by any competitor, let no threat go unmet.

As ploy, strategy is a ruse, it relies on secrecy and deception: "Let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth."

As perspective, strategy is part vantage point and part the view from that vantage point, particularly the way this view shapes and guides decisions and actions.

Read the orginal article at this weblink to get more details on strategy execution.

By the way, here's the weblink to the author's corporate website, where readers can access more interesting articles about strategy.

GUY KAWASAKI’S 10 TIPS FOR SUCCESS: THE ART OF INNOVATION

The first is to “make meaning” by providing a personal connection of the product to its market.

“If you make meaning, you’ll make money,” Kawasaki notes.

As an example, he cites Nike’s move to market to women, especially the company’s messages focused on empowering female consumers as individuals who should be measured based upon who they are rather than things they cannot control.

The charge to “make mantra” was second, challenging entrepreneurs to reduce their message to its essence.

Kawasaki’s examples include “healthy fast food” (Wendy’s), “authentic athletic performance” (Nike), “peace of mind” (FedEx), and “democratize commerce” (eBay). Kawasaki urges business owners to summarize the meaning you are going to make.

Third is to “jump to the next curve” by realizing that true innovation is more than mere improvement but is instead a breakthrough to a whole new way of looking at or moving beyond the challenges and products of today.

“Don’t just do things 10 percent better on the same curve,” he said.

“You need to do things 10 times better on the next curve.”

In making that jump, Kawasaki challenges entrepreneurs to be DICEE: deep, intelligent, complete, elegant and emotive.

“Don’t wait for this perfect world where chips are cheap enough and things are fast enough and everything’s perfect, because you’ll never ship,” he said. “You need to get it out.”

A willingness to take risks illustrates his fifth point: “Don’t worry, be crappy.”

Instead, Kawasaki says to “churn, baby, churn.” Take version 1.0 to 2.0 and so on.

Along with that risk is the acknowledgement that the entrepreneur must be willing to “polarize people” by recognizing that moving beyond the way things have always been is a necessary part of the innovative process. At those times, you must be able to part ways with those who cannot let go of the present.

The need to keep a broad vision and an open mind is at the heart of another point: “Let a hundred flowers bloom.”

The innovator must be open to other influences and let the customer lead the product in the direction the market wants it to go.

His example was Apple’s adoption of PageMaker, which changed the future of the brand by putting it at the forefront of desktop publishing.

Next, entrepreneurs must find a niche where they have a strong ability to provide a unique product or service that is of high value to the customer.

Finally, Kawasaki encourages entrepreneurs to stick with it.

“Don’t let the bozos grind you down. Because they’re going to tell you it can’t be done, it shouldn’t be done, it isn’t necessary,” he said.

The bozos are not always easy to spot. “It’s the smart bozo that’s the dangerous bozo.”

The bozos won’t always be wrong, but: “If you listen to that bozo and never try, you’ll never know and for sure; you’ll never succeed.”

[Source: An article, bearing the same title, by Jeff Heinzmann, Director, Indiana Small Business Development Centers, in the INBiz Magazine, Spring 2008, Vol 3. Here's the weblink to the magazine.

Guy Kawasaki is the managing director of Garage Technology Ventures – an early-stage venture capital firm – and a columnist for Entrepreneur Magazine. Prior to this position, Kawasaki was the chief evangelist of Apple Computer, Inc., and an Apple Fellow.

I read had his first great book, 'Selling the dream: How to Promote your Product, Company, or Ideas - and Make a Difference - using Everyday Evangelism', way back in the early nineties, when I had embarked on my own.]