Finding and using the power of your business
By Christopher J Tipler
As visitors to this site will know, I have recently been using some nautical metaphors to communicate business ideas. Now I want to talk about a different kind of ship – a spaceship. Apollo 13 to be precise.
When this craft experienced a life-threatening explosion on its way to the moon, pandemonium broke out at Mission Control in Houston. Technicians and scientists came to the mission controller, Gene Kranz (the guy in the white waistcoat) with lists of all the faults and problems. Kranz responded by asking ‘what’s good on the ship?’ This was a brilliant question. It immediately cut through all the urgent noise and forced the team to focus, not on faults and problems, but on what they could do to avert disaster (as an example, crude devices were designed, using materials on the spacecraft, to help reduce carbon dioxide levels).
Now I want you to put on your white waistcoat and ask the same question of your business. What’s good on the ship? Please don’t compile a list of ‘strengths’ (that would put me to sleep). Tell me instead:
- What powerful ideas are driving your business to succeed?
- What ‘good habits’ have driven your success in the past?
- What is it about your business that creates ‘meaningful difference’ instead of ‘better sameness’?
- What do you celebrate?
When you have some useful answers – answers that survive the ‘so what?’ test – bring your team together, create a RIOS agenda, and get on with it!
If you can’t answer these questions in a satisfying way then you have an even bigger opportunity – the opportunity to create a real strategy for your business, perhaps for the first time. You will be amazed at the power of this.