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Your business can only grow as big as the way you think about it

Your business can only grow as big as the way you think about it.

If what you've been doing until now is thinking of it as a bunch of technical things you have to hook together, that's only going to take you so far.

And the self-honesty required to admit this is where you’re really at...that's unfortunately rare.

“I'm making (some) money!” cries the coach.

Yeah, but…

If you want to level up, doing more of the same is NOT what's going to get you there.

Growth Attempts Ending In The Valley Of Death

The diagram below shows you quantities and revenue sizes of companies in the United States. Perhaps, as I was, you'll be surprised at just how few there are at the higher end.

verne harnish scaling up valley of death sales tactics business growth
(Scaling Up, Verne Harnish)

See the Valley of Death between each plateau?

That’s where you learn, adapt, change your thinking...or die.

This is why so many people try to grow, yet fail, collapse and fall back to the old plateau and say, “That didn't work.”

I've been around a long time. Been running my own business since 2012, after a 15 year corporate executive career. I've seen it all.

In the first several years of my business, until around 2016 when I worked for a full year with my main client being a Change Management consultant who only took care of companies of 1000+ staff, I talked “newbie talk.”

Meaning I shared tactics good for newbies. How to bring in your best prospect. How to qualify them. How to turn them into buyers. What to say. How to set up your sales page. What to write. The thing to say in the video sales letter.

All that stuff is still out there, in forum posts, videos and right here in blog entries. It's free.

No More Newbie Talk

Since then, as I scaled up in business, I moved on from “newbie talk.”

The things newbies struggle with don’t interest me anymore.

Instead, what I've been looking for over the past year or so are new ways of thinking.

People struggling with their business often find the treasures I bring back from this search “boring” and “philosophical.” That’s their mistake. And it’s entirely because of their billiard ball, “Newtonian Universe” point of view...that success is a matter of putting the right pieces together in the right order. That is simply not the case. That’s what newbies believe and what they concentrate on.

So anything else sounds like nonsense.

I admit it’s a bit frustrating. But occasionally someone comes along, someone usually with a lot of experience, who “gets it.”

One of the treasures I brought back--I went and Snagit-recorded about 15 minutes of this lecture--was a talk about how Germany, the Soviets, and the USA produced tanks in World War II.

Now what does that have to do with MY business, you say?

Well, it's an example of different THINKING.

Different Thinking About The Same Problem Leads To Different Results

The Germans built these fantastically-engineered war machines. High specifications. Many options. Very expensive...many times the cost of their enemies'. Long turnaround to complete production in factories with work stations rather than a single production line--much like a Boeing airplane today.

german world war 2 tank production scaling up business growth
(German tank production station, rather than automotive-style assembly line)

The Americans, lead by an amazing architect named Albert Kahn, designed single-line factories that made inexpensive, zero options, long production run vehicles to good tolerances.

The Soviets? Well, first of all they borrowed Albert Kahn. They were US allies at the time, seeing as Hitler was invading the heck out of the USSR. And they did a study. How long did a Soviet tank survive in the field?

They found out it was six months, and in combat 14 hours. So why build things to exacting tolerances?

The Soviets made factories that practically spat out good tanks. Made to acceptable tolerances, because who cares--they were going to be dead in six months or less. They focused on lowering costs, and boy did they lower them.

The end result was the USSR and USA churned out a ton of tanks and overwhelmed Germany’s production. The finely engineered tanks Germany produced ended up filled with unexpected road dust and out of commission half the time in the war in the east.

Can you see the differences in THINKING about their work here?

Can you see the TRAP Germany caught itself in with the desire for high tolerance, beautiful war machines?

Can you see how these modes of thinking might be overlaid on YOUR business...and which approach you might have been unconsciously using until now?

Say you're a coach. Have you been, without really thinking about it, running a:

A) highly customized, long deliverable, exacting program?

B) well designed but affordable, easy to fulfill program?

C) "gets the job done" (barely?), low cost, quick and dirty program?

Is this approach you've unconsciously taken on the right one to get you to the next level?

Are you ready to be self-honest, admit where you're at, see reality as it is...and adapt your way out of the plateau you've been hung up on, so you can move to the higher plateau you’ve been imagining?

>> Jason Kanigan is a business strategist and conversion expert. To book a consultation with Jason, click here. <<

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Do Businesses Learn?

Do businesses learn anything?

I was watching a video analysis of the 1986 Miami-Dade Shooting by Paul Harrell when he said something that made me really pay attention.

Paul’s discussion was about the police and FBI experience with two tragedies, first a cursory coverage of the 1970 Newhall Incident and second an in-depth look at Miami-Dade.

Organizational Behavior Lessons from Law Enforcement: Do Businesses Learn?

Every 15-20 years or so, Paul said, a major event like these shootings happens that results in a big shakeup of how police and FBI training is done.

He continued—and this is what really made me sit up—if the documentation is bad, the story of what happened can change over time.

Since the stories can change, the lessons law enforcement agencies think they learned from these incidents may be completely invalidated. Paul then gave a specific training example that resulted from Newhall, impacting at least two generations of law enforcement. The problem was, as the Internet allowed people to connect, those who were there encountered one another online, and some said the story leading to this change in training and methodology may never have happened.

If that doesn’t scare the heck out of you, I don’t know what to say.

Do Businesses Learn: How About Your Business?

I was really surprised to hear the word "documentation" being used in a weapons training video.

Take this to your business.

Since I run a business that investigates and maps processes for other businesses, I can tell you most organizations—even big companies—have nothing written down.

Their processes are practically non-existent and there’s little consistency between the way Dave does the task and the way Mary does the task. Simply talk to two customer service or sales reps at a business, large or small, and see how inconsistent the experience is. Not much data is collected (like what stage they are at in the process, when they complete a step, whether a problem stopped them and they had to go to ask for clarification from higher-ups, etc.)

And if little to no data is being collected, that means nearly all businesses really suck at documenting what happened.

What’s Paul Harrell’s conclusion, then, from his law enforcement examples? That the story will change over time. This means your story about what happened in your organization will change over time.

A Personal Answer To The Question Of: Do Businesses Learn?

Some of you know I’m a pretty good photographer.

A year ago today at the Wilmington Arboretum I was out in the afternoon taking pictures and a giant black and white roach with an interesting pattern landed on my shoulder. This was disturbing and I brushed it off. The thing fell to the bricks and played dead for awhile, finally ambling off into the undergrowth.

do businesses learn bug roach tall tale story retelling

I recorded the incident by sharing a picture of it on Facebook and writing a quick note that it was about 2-½” to 3” long.

Almost a year later, a couple days ago, a friend in another state posted a pic of this kind of roach and expressed her displeasure that it had been in her personal space. She wondered what it was. I responded with my example, and said my version was about 4” long.

I felt good about the number I reported.

It seemed right.

But this morning in FB Memories the original post from last year came up and I saw my documented evidence that the actual bug length was at least 25% less than what I’d told my friend. 25% different is NOT accurate.

In the past year, in the retelling of the story only one time, the bug had grown in my imagination.

I am a big fan of The Truth.

It’s the core value of my organization.

It irritates me that I’m human like everybody else and do the same things other people do, like accidentally tell tall tales. This bug got bigger in a single retelling of the story. What do you think happens with the stories of the heroic things your staff did and the demonic things your Customers From Hell did as time goes on and the retellings grow in frequency and sentiment?

This is how easy it is for your story of what happened to change, and the lessons learned to be changed as well. Thankfully I had documentation to tell me when I had made the error.

If you haven’t consistently well documented what happened, your business and your people and you won’t learn anything—and anything you do think you’ve learned will be invalidated because your story of what happened will change over time.

Here's a quick video I made about my reaction to Paul Harrell's video:

If you want help in clearing up your processes so you collect that data as it comes in, and thereby keep an accurate picture of what happened so the story won’t change, talk to me.

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Productizing Your Business

Is coaching a service...or a product?

In my opinion, if you want to learn anything, build up institutional knowledge, get better at serving people and get them to their desired result at a faster speed, the answer is to productize your coaching business.

But what does this mean?

Recently I appeared on William Winterton's new Coaching Success Radio podcast to share some tips on this topic.

Coaching Success Radio Jason Kanigan William Winterton Productizing Your Coaching Business

We're talking about the necessity of serving a narrow niche, offering killer content, and why you should offer your coaching as a product.

Interview On Productizing Your Business

Watch the Jason Kanigan interview hosted by William Winterton on productizing your business here:

 

>> Jason Kanigan is a business strategist and conversion expert. Book your consultation with Jason by clicking here. <<