Getting better in increments- Part 2

Affirmative action, compounding, Human Brain, Uncategorized

When you read self help books, the ask you to think of all the dreams you have and to write them down , then set goals etc. Etc.

I have read so many of those books, each time thinking that by following the advice in the book I would be able to achieve all my dreams sooner rather than later.

Each time I used to write the massive goals and then have a look at them everyday, after a few weeks I would kind of get disillusioned or distracted and give up because somewhere I think my brain used to keep working on the fact that this was not a feasible thing and it would not believe it.

However when I kept Small short term targets, I generally used to end up meeting them. In these situations I generally believed that it was possible and I could achieve it. This is why one of most recommended books on this blog has been Tiny Habits by B. J. Fogg.

This fact that the brain believes in small incremental targets makes a lot of sense if any eventually large target can be broken down into smaller incremental opportunities to achieve and then let the law of compounding play its role.

In my last post I had mentioned how Tony Hsieh in his book Delivering Happiness talks about a 1% improvement everyday can make you 365% better at the end of the year. Even if this seems an undoable thing , if we were to improve even 10% every quarter in whatever field we want, by the end of the year you would be more than 46% better than the previous year.

While reading Steven Kotler’s book The Art of Impossible, he’s actually got this incremental number to 4%. He says that if the challenge or target is 4% more than your current ability, then there’s enough anxiousness to perform but the brain doesn’t feel that it’s an impossible task and therefore there’s a large chance of success .

If you are like me who get overwhelmed with very high value targets or goals, then try doing this 4% method every month or 10% every quarter or anything which you think your brain will believe. As I have stated many times earlier, its our brain which plays games on us, so we have to find ways to trick the brain and use the law of compounding to our benefit.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

The way you say it….

client management, problem solving, relationships, Speaking, Uncategorized

A few weeks back I had written a few posts about the relevance of asking questions.

One of the things I have noticed in handling clients over many years, is that they all come in different shapes and sizes – literally and figuratively.

To build rapport with someone you need to gauge the person and then speak to them in a way that resonates with them.

Most of the problems that occur in client interactions is not because the client is demanding or whether the delivery is not happening at the right time or in the right way.

Its mostly about how you say, what you say and the tone in which you which makes a lot of difference. In addition if you make the client a partner in the solution then it works even better, because then she would like to see the solution succeed even more than you do.

Building long term clients who keep doing business with you for years to come, has a lot to do with how you handle them. It takes years to build relationships but you start with a simple step in how you say what you want to say.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

What’s better….process or outcome

differentiation, Frameworks, ideal customer, Positioning, segmentation, single target market, Uncategorized

In our world of monthly or quarterly targets, where we are we marked in every week’s review meeting, it gets very enchanting to see the outcome without noticing the process and inputs.

Sometimes good processes can also lead to bad outcomes because of the randomness in the market that you are targeting . For example you may have identified the single target market , you would have planned your marketing activities for the long haul, you would gone about systematically educating your market, you would have identified the positioning by doing the correct segmentation, but suddenly an unexpected event occurs and throws your complete plan out of gear. The COVID-19 pandemic threw so many launches out of gear. No process can predict this kind of a situation.  But because of the right process, while we couldn’t go ahead with our original OEM we now have an even more responsive OEM to launch our offerings. 

On the other hand I have had situations in my life, where I was scared, because we had short circuited the process , because of lack of time, but still got amazing results. That was also a result of randomness or luck where a certain trigger of a government deadline moved all our inventory in no time. We made a lot of profit also.

Sometimes you need to tweak processes to make them more responsive for the increased pace of product launches. However I am of the belief that we need to map the process for a product launch. It could be directly from the books by Philip Kotler or it could be built on your experience but having a process ensures that you don’t miss any step.

Tell me in the comments below, what is your view.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!

Habits – Path Dependence

Brain size, creativity, Energy, Habits, Human Brain, Uncategorized

I have generally been talking about how the human brain eats 25% of the energy that a body needs even though it is only 2% of the body mass. This is one of the reasons for procrastination in my opinion because the brain wants to conserve energy and by delaying the process of using the brain it’s able to save energy.

Since motivation is something which is fickle, you would rather convert something into a habit, so that it gets done automatically with a predetermined set of steps – something which B.J.Fogg explains very well in his book Tiny Habits.

Now the challenge with habits is that once formed, they are difficult to dislodge. So you become – literally a creature of habit. The human brain loves habits because they run on auto pilot, and don’t consume too much of energy. Since one of the key functions of the brain is to ensure your survival, the brain loves everything that does not consume energy so that it has enough when it has to figure out ways to survive.

With habits though you always follow a predetermined “path”.

However with changing situations in all our lives, you need to find ways to move away from the so called “beaten path” What made you successful then, will not make you successful in the future. Nokia realised it too late, Kodak realised it too late and there are a whole lot of other names that you can list. All these companies had put up terrific systems (equivalent of habits) to ensure economies, to ensure quality etc.

But the same systems got them blindsided.

Companies are also made up of people and when companies get blind sided, its the people who have actually got blindsided because they have become creatures of habit. To solve a new problem they use the same old tools, the same old sources of data which they have used earlier. But since the problem is new, the old tools don’t work and we are not willing to go back to first principles to solve the problem. Sometimes it pressure of time, sometimes revenue takes precedence and there are a whole lot of other reasons.

So the key thing to figure out is when to use creativity and when to go with something which has already proven useful many times before. When do you travel on the well tread path or choose a different road when you hit a fork.

As team leaders this is a problem which we face all the time and finding better ways to solve a problem is something that I am continuously looking out for. If you have found a way which helped you to creatively solve a problem pls let me know below in the comments.

Till next time then.

Carpe Diem!!!