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Entries in Business (34)

Tuesday
Nov042014

Perspectives

This morning we have The Colonel enjoying a cappuccino with us, while we pick his thoughts on "perspectives". Lets get going...

Q: Colonel Good Morning as usual you look refreshed and still with a tan from your gone fishing days.

A: Thanks guys, the tan is quickly going away with the cold climate.

Q: What can you tell us about perspectives at Strada?

A: It starts with "We don't follow, we lead"..."passion"..."always seeking an advantage" to name the most obvious.

Q: We get the feeling that you are a competitive individual.

A: To thrive in the auto business you have to be competitive, you have to "win", you need an advantage.

Q: Do we conclude that through the years you have developed and calibrated a different perspective.

A: Precisely, often we all see the same thing, its what you do with the same thing.

Q: Could that make you an outlier, somewhat off the vector that most folks adopt.

A: Absolutely, it often becomes a question of "Who is this guy?"..."What does he do? How does he see things?"

Q: At times it might be simpler/safer to follow the common path, and reap results faster as an example.

A: I don't know about reaping results faster, and I'm not well versed in following, never was.

Q: With social media, perspectives can take many nuances.

A: Yes they can and will, but if you do the right thing, tell the truth, are polite, humble, generous, share knowledge. The perspectives remain constant.

Q: You are saying that "intellectual integrity" upholds a constant perspective. Even when its easier to do something else.

A: Precisely, and intellectual integrity is a precious/priceless commodity.

Q: How do you uphold your perspectives in an age of technology, social media, being on 24/7?

A: As we always say, you have to be your own editor, you have to be observant, you have to connect dots instantly. More important you have to be brutally honest with yourself.

Q: Experience, knowledge base, wisdom surely helps, being around this business for a few decades is a huge asset.

A: Yes it is, lingering on the past is futile. Focusing on the future, seeking an advantage is essential.

Q: Its easy with social media to quickly "fall in line" with a pedestrian thought process.

A: Its the tragedy of our times, lets fall in line, lets pump our ego, lets connect, and so on. Its dramatically more demanding to have a different, thought provoking perspective.

Q: Some folks might be "turned off" or might not understand a different perspective.

A: Agreed...the reason we say "Brain Power to Energise Your Automotive Experience" folks that are not seeking the brain power are not interested.

Q: In one respect its a narrow focus.

A: Its a wide focus, wide spectrum, but you need an ongoing intellectual curiosity that is not widely appealing. 

Q: Perhaps being in the business for a few decades compromises change.

A: Not at all, with intellectual curiosity, change is easy even if uncomfortable.

Enough for this morning...

 

 

Wednesday
Oct152014

Lead With Humility

A fascinating and thoughtful read, its time well spent.

Business is a vocation, and a noble vocation, provided that those engaged in it see themselves challenged “by a greater meaning in life". — Pope Francis

 

 

 

 

Thursday
Sep042014

Connecting the Dots

Pressed for time, challenged for attention in an environment flooded with content.

How do you quickly make relevant sense of all the stuff that is disseminated?

Lets take a look at some points:

  • We all gravitate to content that captures our attention, or content that is relevant to our activities.
  • We are all flooded by immense amounts of content, be it thoughts, opinions or data.
  • We instinctively filter portions if not all of the content.
  • We all know that the same news item gets repeated by a ton of platforms that are in the news business.
  • All of this pedestrian content is free, and is repeated by numerous platforms.

How do you connect dots to arrive at a meaningful perspective?

  • Its a real challenge.
  • Its time consuming.
  • It requires a profound understanding and a deep knowledge base.
  • It requires the ability to quickly uncover specific points (dots).
  • It requires the prescience to connect seemingly unrelated dots.

Once you have connected dots and have a perspective!

  • Go out and do it, usually its the stuff you read about, that someone connected dots and did it.
  • Yes...most folks will not understand, even the ones in the same business as you.
  • Obvious that when they don't understand is when you have a serious advantage.
  • Yes...they might even think that you are a s#$t disturber...its all cool do it.

 

 

Tuesday
Sep022014

Big Data 

As we get back to "reality" this morning.

Hoping that you had a wonderful summer with your family and friends, and that you are prepared to get back to the real thing.

As usual we are enjoying a few balmy days which were elusive during most the summer.

Enough pre ambles...let's get going.

Have you noticed that during a time of big data many individuals focus on the data, thinking that its the answer. We all hear data here, there, and literally all over the place, and of the various tools to better assemble big data in various formats. Dashboards becoming the favorites lately, while requiring tomorrow's data yesterday. 

Lets go back a few steps to gather some insight.

If you were around during the time when the slide rule was the order of the day. You surely remember that humans can understand a myriad if numbers and fomulas, but lacked the tools to comprehend a good quantity of numbers.

Obvious that Lotus 123 was quickly adopted by the folks that understood slide rules. It made by today's standards a modest amount of data easier to understand, and started providing a competitive advantage to companies that were proficient in understanding their numbers.

This entire process created the term "spreadsheet jockey" since one generation was more adept than another at "jockeying" spreadsheets. While focusing on numbers for the sake of the numbers.

Imagine spreadsheet jockeys, teamed up with powerpoint pilots what a powerful combination during a time of big data. Agreed you have to reflect on this for a moment.

As we get back to reality be aware that data generated by spreadsheet jockeys, and presented by powerpoint pilots is useless without a deep understanding of the customer, the business, and people.

Its the proufound understanding that makes the data come alive, become useful, provide an advantage.

During the Dog Days of Summer, we have seen more folks shuffle a bunch of data relating to the auto business for the sake of the data, that its almost...no it is scary. 

 

 

Wednesday
Jul302014

Leadership

This morning we have The Colonel sharing a coffee, and his thoughts with us.

Q: Colonel Good Morning, you look refreshed as usual.

A: Thank You, and just back from a road trip.

Q: What is going on with leadership. As you know there is constant talk about leadership.

A: There is lots of talk about leadership, and when the proverbial s#%t hits the fan, there is a lot of ducking.

Q: What is going on with leadership at dealerships.

A: Great question, what leadership?

Q: Are you implying that dealers owned by "groups" are lacking leadership?

A: It goes beyond that.

Q: Care to be specific?

A: Dealers are in the people business through cars (vehicles). Its that simple, and that complex.

Q: It should be easy to be in the people business with social media, various platforms, and so on.

A: It probably is not easy, its confusing, and misleading. Dealers have all sorts of "techno apps" that often do not flow well together while augmenting the confusion.

Q: Are dealers missing the essence of being in the people business for a lack of leadership?

A: Precisely, its getting lost in the trees, and  missing the forest.

Q: There has to be some leadership, some sense of direction?

A: Absolutely, there is some, but is it enough for 2014?

Q: You point is vague.

A: Good observation, it can be interpreted as vague, and perhaps its the vagueness that is perplexing too many individuals. You need more leadership now, than 10 years ago.

Q: Its more challenging to keep folks aligned and focused on achieving results, closing deals as an example.

A: Precisely, in 2014 the focus must be laser sharp.

Q: Some dealers have exceptional leadership, which seems "old school".

A: Absolutely, it seesm old school because human nature is "old school".

Q: With all the technology one would think...

A: There lies the competitive advantage...

Q: Let the techno apps do all the grunt work, freeing the humans to lead humans.

A: Its quite an advantage for the folks that grasp the "forest".