Sunday, December 31, 2006

Small Business

"The business of America is business." -Calvin Coolidge The smaller, the better. How so? Leadership. Not the kind that we find on so many blogs, that confuse management with leadership. I was taught (or assume that I was taught, it might just be the internalization of repeated exposure) that we manage things, and lead people. Makes sense. Few businesses run by managers will find themselves on the purple curve of unending growth. It takes leadership. Use cases. A use case describes a sequence of actions that provide something of measurable value to an actor. Actors. An actor is a person, organization, or external system that plays a role in one or more interactions with your system. In my spare time, I have tried to introduce Use Cases into Constraints Management circles. Those in the world of computer software development (especially those using object-oriented methodologies) understand the power of these simple stick men. Lets pick on Suzie. The HR Director that I introduced in Purple Curve Effect. She did so well with Todd's help, that head-hunters started recruiting her! Which led her to an epiphany that her skills were valuable enough to consider a career change. Leadership For me, before Suzie jumps ship, I would suggest some thinking exercises with Use Cases. Who is her customer today? Draw a simple stick figure. What is that person's title or function? Is it an internal or external person? I go on to put myself in that stick person's shoes... how does the world look from their vantage point? What is their mission or goal? What pressures are they under to perform? Leadership is about thinking outside the box. Outside YOUR box, and thinking about the box your customer is in, and what challenges they must overcome to be successful. Then, the leader will jump into the box with the customer, and help them fight their way to success (read profit!). The true leader will recruit others in their organization to jump in along side, to take hold with, and together everyone achieves more (TEAM). All the while lining up these actions with their own corporate mission statement! So much easier to do in a small business. And yet, perhaps more difficult. Another dichotomy, for another post on another day. However, there are large businesses that understand and appreciate the "out of the box" leader. Does your employer? Are you even such an individual? How is your new year going to be different from the old year? Jeff 'SKI' Kinsey, Jonah P.S. See these Use Cases applied at the Purple Curve Workshop in Canton, Ohio. tag:
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