In the game Far Cry 4 where true victory takes raw instinct and killer skills, one of the objectives is to take-over outposts and fortresses. There are obvious ways to enter a fortress, some not so obvious. If we go in one of the heavily guarded main entrances, we are likely to encounter heavy resistance. The risk is greater, they may set-off alarms. If that happens, you’ll have a new wave of problems to deal with as reinforcements arrive. Do you have enough ammo?
However, if we can find an alternative entrance, we can enter the fortress undetected and strategically take-out the resistance one-by-one undetected with a single arrow and accomplish the same goal.
This is the same mindset I use for solving problems. I look for solutions to minimize resistance from reaching the objective. Side-stepping known problems (obstacles) along the way ensures efficient entrance into the fortress.
The beauty of the end result becomes, “You made it look so easy” or ” What just happened?”
What appears to be problems are not really problems until we make them our problem.
I think the best example is How to paint a room in 6 minutes. The video epitomizes the result of side-stepping problems. When we avoid all of the known problems associated with painting, well, we’re left with pure efficiency. That is what happens when we change our mind when presented with options.
Step 1: Identify the obstacles in our way
Are you the biggest obstacle standing in your way?
Think about when you hit a bullseye. You’re excited, right? We did it! Yay! But when we hit the area around the bullseye, we don’t quite experience the same result, meh. The same thing happens in business.
In the beginning we take anything and everything for work. As time goes by, we avoid certain work. As more time goes by, we focus on what brings in the highest revenue and most profit.
We experience different profit results depending on where we hit the target. We need to be careful how we aim.
Where are your sights set?
Meanwhile in strategy news…
There are many ways to reach a goal and there will be many obstacles in the way of reaching our goals. Think about the difference between running the ball down the field vs. kicking a field goal bypassing everyone (obstacles).
A good strategy often involves the path of least resistance (avoiding variables and obstacles) altogether. The question from the beginning, once the objective is established becomes, What is the easiest way of reaching this goal? Next, implement strategic technique-based goals.
That is the question I ask before I step foot on every job.
Back in 1998 I worked in telecommunications as a bandwidth broker. I was hired to grow a new Internet start-up from the upstairs hallway of a house. Myself and two others started in the company with virtually nothing and grew the company to sell for 30 million 18-months later.
While that might sound impressive, what you might find more impressive is how we did it. An efficient and effective strategy is required. I have a ton on my plate right now, but I have been working on a piece to discuss how we did it.
The key takeaway was identifying a target no one else could see. By the time people caught on to what we were doing, the company sold and many new companies copied what we were doing.
It’s an intriguing story to say the least to learn how strategy changed how the internet operates today as the result of what we did. We were a company partnered with Cisco to find the most efficient way to pass traffic on the internet.
A reader had a question about trying to figure out the order to do things. He asked, “You talked about the big picture, what is it?
Let’s explore two examples. The first is something we can do as a result of seeing the big picture and the second is getting a glimpse of how the big picture works.
Walk into the corporate office of one of the worlds largest employers in the world and say, “The algorithm for your HR management software is broke. Here is how it needs to work.” Mind you, I don’t know anything about the industry and I don’t need to know. A team was assembled to initially create the software which was implemented throughout 1,400 offices nationwide. They are all broke, worse yet, they are all linked together.
The best way to explain ‘how things work’ is understanding how something ‘needs to work.’ In this case, it was not necessary to look any further than people, which coincidentally is what the software manages.
Continue Reading “Order of Things”