Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Laziest Man on the Planet

 I love Work. I can stare at it for hours…

Seriously. Have you ever given thought to WHY we work? I’m not referring to bills (overwhelmingly your own doing) or some PLMM (Peace, Love and Mickey Mouse) feeling. Because, for myself, I try to avoid work at every turn. Work is unpleasant. Work makes me lethargic and irritable. And whilst I am a Stoic, if I can find some fun, or exciting, or general fucking off to do, then I will (Thank you 9GAG!).

So I was in a discussion with the Red-Haired Vixen, coming off a shift of doing God’s work, and it occurred to me that I have gotten extremely good at avoiding work. To wit:

  • I make an extra helping o’ victuals and my roomie washes my clothes. I fucking hate laundry.
  •   I keep a lady with lovely handwriting on retainer for all written communications. Including Christmas cards and breakup notes to lady friends.
  •  I allow my neighbor to use my truck at will, and he keeps it maintained, washed and gassed.
  •  I freeze extra coffee into ice cubes so I don’t have to make fresh every morning.
  • My assistant buys my wine by the case, keeping a bottle for her trouble, truly gets sexually aroused by cleaning, and makes those difficult breakup calls to lady friends (I’m starting to see a pattern here…).
  • My mailbox place screens my mail, keeps extra books handy to send to the masses and deposits cheques for me into my bank account.

This list could go on and on…

But the point is, I outsource anything and everything that I find unpleasant. Things in my life and business still get done, and done well. It frees me up to think, to analyze, or to pick my navel lint…whatever my heart desires. The end result is that I wake up happy, smiling and completely stress-free. And as the Red-Haired Vixen can testify, stress is a killer worse than smoking, drinking or other vices. At this rate, I’ll live forever.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Shooting Around the Corner in Trenches

During the Second World War, the krummlauf rifle was developed by Germany as a weapon a soldier could use to shoot around a corner without exposing themselves to danger.  The concept itself was brilliant...a curved barrel, and your enemy never knew what hit them.  The reason that I bring this bit of historica up is simple.  It is a lesson vitally important in business.

One of the tricks to creating an enduring company is to spot trends before your competitor does, but that’s easier said than done.

In the book “Think Like a Futurist: Know What Changes, What Doesn’t, and What’s Next,” author Cecily Sommers notes a number of key attributes that could make your company more innovative.

First, it helps if you can drop your assumptions and see the market without preconceived notions. If you can successfully lose any personal agenda or a “we’ve always done it that way” mentality, you will be freer to recognize emerging opportunities.

Be curious. Don’t get frustrated by things you don’t understand. View them as opportunities to grow.

Ask the right questions. The right order of questions, according to Sommers, is “why,” “what” and, finally, “how.” Spend enough time with each question before moving on to the next, but be comfortable with ambiguity too. Not having all the answers is part of the journey to the future.

And do all this in an atmosphere of collaboration and constructive criticism. Feeling judged kills inventive thinking.