Monday, August 20, 2007

Thought of the day

These last few days I am having a lot of discussions with one of my customers who is transitioning from the early stages of business growth, where growth is highly correlated with the ability of a business to seize opportunities rather than with that of executing a strategy. His company is now of a size that makes it tricky to be changing directions too often, while as a business owner he still prizes his freedom to tinker with the business too much to make a credible commitment to a growth strategy. He is still ready to jump on opportunities and particularly on the opportunity to sell his business even though that is probably not the best way for him to derive long term value out of the business he helped launch. Interestingly in this case, the sale of the business may even destroy value for the company...
Several lessons to be taken there:

  1. strategy without commitment to it is worthless crap

  2. the confusion of roles (owner, director, manager, employee) is not conducive to value creation

  3. early stage entrepreneurs are not necessarily the best people to drive value creation at later stages because what makes them strong in the early stages becomes a performance killer later on

  4. focus on personal wealth may not be the best way to make a business prosper (that's what one of my friends would call the "greed distortion", which is tricky to control)

  5. execution gives meaning to great thinking (one of my frustrations insofar as my influence on a couple of my projects may be quite limited)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Quote of the day

"Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.

They come through you but not from you,

And though they are with you they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,

For they have their own thoughts.

You may house their bodies but not their souls

For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you  cannot visit,

Not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you,

For life goes not backwards, nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children, like living arrows, are sent forth.

The Archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,

And He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the Archer's hands be for gladness;

For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable."

The Prophet, Kahlil Gibran

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Meet Sophia!


A special day

Expecting the birth of a child is quite an experience. Since this is the first time I find myself in such a situation I guess it adds a bit of spice to the whole thing... What analogies can be drawn from the way humans come to life in order to be applied to bold quests in business? I wonder. I don't think I'll explore that just now :-)
Anyway, while I am taking part in my most fascinating "project" ever and with a key milestone just hours away, allow me to offer a quote for today, which I hope will also be good food for your thoughts and mediation:

"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye."
The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

More in a few days...