The process

This is the process: Do some work. Just start. Work on it until the excitement of fresh ideas crumbles on contact with reality into the funk of “Why am I even bothering?” Recognise that this is part of the process – and that learning to get through it is quite possibly the key to success. Make something that’s so-so. Edit,…

Peter Drucker on improving decision making with feedback analysis

I’ve read and appreciated this suggestion from Peter Drucker enough times that I’m finally going to apply it. Here’s the idea: You can learn to identify your strengths by using feedback analysis. This is a simple process in which you write down every one of your key decisions and key actions along with the results that you expect them to…

Seth Godin on listening to feedback

The most important thing to remember now a simple sentence: “It’s not for you.” … So you run an Indian restaurant on 6th Street in New York and you have a $24 spicy vindaloo, if you finish it you get it for free, it’s that spicy. And someone comes to the restaurant and says, “I hate spicy food,” it’s really…

In their hands

Make something people can use. Put it in their hands. See what happens. If they’re eager to pay – attention, time, money – you’re onto something. Watch them. Listen to them. Tweak it. Make more of it. See what they think. If they tell their friends – and if their friends tell their friends – then you’ve got it. What…

Feedback (positive)

When I was a kid, my cousin had a tape-recorder just like this one – it had a microphone with a yellow sponge. Putting the microphone in a nearby (empty) pot produced this wonderful echoey noise that grew to a delightful – to my ears – whining whistle. The whine grew slowly at first, but the louder it got, the…

Do it now, and start small

Here’s a great case study in doing it now and starting small from Fast Company founder Alan Webber. It’s about how Muhammad Yunus founded Grameen Bank, and ended up helping millions of families to a more prosperous future. Weber Concludes: Start small. Do what you can with something you care about so deeply that you simply can’t not do it.…

Bootstrapping the non-profit organisation Rule 2: Do it Now

This is the second in a series applying Seth Godin’s rules of bootstrapping (see also here) to building a non-profit organisation. Rule 2: Do it Now Do it now. Not later, not next week, NOW. It’s better than later. In the non-profit world: Still do it now Not much to add on this one. A bias to action is critical, and all things being equal, now…

The meat is on the street

John Wimber, founder of the Vineyard movement of churches, wasn’t renowned as a systematic religious teacher. Apparently people would ask him “John, when are you going to teach us the deep and crucial stuff – where’s the meat?” And he’d answer: “The meat is on the street.” That is, “Go out into the world. You will learn the deep truths…

Who pays? (2)

Shifting to a user-pays model had another significant impact on our work – we became more accountable to the people we serve, and the quality of our work went up as a result. Accountability and Quality Under our old operational model we received charitable donations and provided our materials and training to partner schools for free. We were accountable to…

A second score

A tip on learning to take criticism well from Adam Grant’s Worklife podcast: Every time I get feedback, I rate myself now on how well I took the feedback… When someone gives you feedback, they’ve already evaluated you. So it helps to remind yourself that the main thing they’re judging now is whether you’re open or defensive… You don’t always…