Tag: entrepreneurship

3D Juggling 555: Why didn’t they do it?

Jane writes: “At the end of a management development programme I attended many years ago the facilitator drew a tombstone on the flip chart which bore the legend ‘Knew it but didn’t do it’.  The message was clear – go out and put what you’ve learned into practice!  Knowing what to do and how to do it isn’t enough, but taking action can often be really difficult.

When we work with clients we help them to explore alternative ideas and solutions.  We assume that these exist and encourage them to consider this by asking ‘what else?’ until no more emerge.  Sometimes we’ll contribute a suggestion to encourage more thinking – although it’s only ever a suggestion, never a proposal.  When they come up with something and then dismiss is, we ask ‘why not?’ or ‘what would make that possible?’ The more options, the more likely that they’ll find one, or a combination of them, that they can really commit to undertaking.  And then we’ll help them to work out how to make it happen.  Then they do it.

This involves Creating Awareness and Designing Actions, numbers 8 and 9 of the ICF Core Competencies

What aren’t you applying?  Think about it…”

© 2012 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

3D Juggling 517: Entrepreneur-ship

Jane and Claire write: ‘With the arrival of Hilary Devey as the new Dragon for the 2011 series of Dragon’s Den, entrepreneurs are in the headlines again this week.  Entrepreneurs are not just millionaires who have spare money to invest as business angels.  We regularly meet people in public sector roles and in the church who also share many of these entrepreneurial skills – just not the money to match!

Arthur Ransome’s ‘Swallows and Amazons’ is a story of entrepreneurs. When assessing how risky it was to let her children out on a lake on their own, the mother’s response is ‘Better drowned than duffers. If not duffers will not drown.’  She had confidence in them and that what they had learned in a safer environment would serve them well in their next adventure.

Many of the people we meet are being encouraged to behave like an entrepreneur and to develop new business opportunities.  Some don’t really understand what this means or see it as an adventure too far where there is a real risk of drowning.  We think that being an entrepreneur – even when someone else is paying your wages – is about using the skills, knowledge and experience which you have already gained to create something new. This might be be:

  • spotting opportunities and connections (and investment!)
  • developing a new response to a familiar situation or need
  • adapting a familiar response to a new situation or need
  • a new response to a new situation or need

The last of these is the one that most people find scary. Entrepreneurial practice is learned from experience.  The children in Swallows and Amazons took a risk.  So did their parents!  And it paid off.

Could you be an entrepreneur where you are? Or are you one already – if only you could recognise it? Think about it… ‘

The theory:

Way back in 1934 Schumpeter stated that ‘learning in the natural and social world’ is important for entrepreneurs. In 1985 Drucker proposed that ‘recognising and acting on opportunities is an important aspect of entrepreneurial behaviour, which is going beyond the boundaries of what is known and expected, rather than simply replicating something which already exists’.

Entrepreneurial practice is learned from experience.  Learning from your experience is an outcome of coaching.  Action Learning Sets are an even more cost-effective way to enable learning from and with others.  As a coaches and as facilitators of Action Learning we can bring theories and models and stories that will challenge your thinking even further as you develop your skills.

We’re entrepreneurs.  Talk to us.

(c) 3D Coaching Ltd

3D Juggling 513: Mini Jobs

After last week’s Juggling on Trust, someone helpfully pointed us to this Reith Lecture called Trust and Transparency

Jane writes: At my Pilates class last night I was having a conversation with someone about their job.  One of the things she said really struck me – that in previous jobs she had always been able to clear her desk at the end of the day, but that now she finds this to be impossible.  She has resigned herself to never being able to get through everything.  It was great to hear that she could cope with this, but it set me thinking about the difference that could be achieved if it was practical to organise some jobs differently so that resource was available for short amounts of time that might help others to ‘catch-up’.  From my experience I’d guess that even an extra 2-3 hours a week could be used effectively to make a real difference.

Then I remembered what I had read about out-of-work benefits and in-work support. How could you benefit from thinking about different work patterns that offer jobs on reduced hours?  What issues would this approach present?  How could you resolve them?

© 2011 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

3D Juggling 511: Underemployment

Claire writes: I had one of our cups of coffee last week with someone who works for a public sector organisation which has already made its first round of redundancies.  Those people who are left are expected to deliver the same service with less resource.  Does that sound familiar?

It may well be that their work can be done differently and more effectively with less people.  But only if they have time to stop and think.  James Watson, an American scientist, said: “It is necessary to be somewhat underemployed if you want to do something significant”.  Creativity comes when our minds are not fully or over occupied.  What can you do to create just enough underemployent in your week? Think about it…

© 2011 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

When we are working with executives and executive teams we often become aware of ‘tension’ between executive directors (EDs) and non executive directors (NEDS).  Typically EDs value the external experience, expertise and challenge that NEDs bring whilst experiencing frustration about how this is offered (‘they don’t understand our constraints…’), and NEDs value the experience, expertise and commitment of EDs whilst experiencing frustration at their assumptions about what’s possible (and often, in the public sector, an apparent lack of accountability).  We’re thinking about how NEDs establish authority and relate to EDs, and about how EDs can help them to challenge appropriately. We’d love to hear about your experiences.

Click here for a factsheet from the Institute of Directors about the role of a NED

3D Juggling 506: The great lie

Jane writes: “According to a leading business expert speaking this week ‘Britain would flourish as an international trading nation outside the economic shackles of the European Union’*.  This view contradicts the key argument posed by some that leaving the EU would wreck the UK’s trade prospects.

Take a step back.  Think about some of the things the current government is aiming to do to achieve the level of savings it has committed to find, and to put customers’ at the heart of decision making about how services are delivered.   If you are involved in the design and delivery of services that have been provided by the public sector for many years, how does this feel?

What are you doing to ensure that your service, assuming it is of value, continues to be available when there’s no money to deliver it from within your current organisation?  Are you waiting to see what happens while you worry about the impact that leaving the ‘safety’ of the public sector may have on you?  Or are you talking with the other people and organisations that are, or could, be interested in what you do, with the intention of finding new and sustainable ways of doing it?

Received wisdom may be that there’s a need for your service, that you know best how to deliver it, and that customers want it to be delivered by you – that’s there’s no better alternative.  That may be a great lie.  Your service may be able to flourish independently.  You probably know how to make this happen, although you may need some help to work out how. And if you’re in the church or voluntary sector, who do you need to be talking to now?

We have worked with many individuals and teams to help them develop alternative futures.  How could we help you?

*Quote from Ruth Lea, Economist and Director of Global Vision.

© 2010 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

3D Juggling 500: Review Time

This is the 500th edition of 3D Juggling and some of you have been with us all the way. Thank you. We value your company as much as those who have joined us this week.  Welcome. Here’s a timely look at the archives.

In 2003, we wrote:

3D Juggling 139: Adjusting nuts

“Do you remember when a computer with the power of a laptop took up several rooms? In those early days, a computer had some problem and the maintenance guru was called. The machine itself was an enormous size, but the glitch was sorted in minutes. The company were rather surprised to receive a hefty bill for a 2 minute job. When challenged, the response came back: “It’s knowing which nut to adjust.”

TVs, computers and other fiddly pieces of equipment often come with that great button: Reset to default. So when we’ve twiddled and tweaked and it’s still a challenge, we can undo our work and start again.

Unfortunately we don’t have reset switches, but are complicated machines, balancing who we are – our body, mind, emotions and spirit with all the factors which make our lives – money, work, family, home etc. Often, deep down we do know what to adjust to make the whole juggling act easier. It’s often a question of whether we are willing or able to face it. And if we can’t find the answer, often an objective friend or a coach can ask enough insightful questions to begin to find which nut to adjust!”

This is timely because of last week’s spending review in the UK.  This will have an impact on individuals and on teams – including those that are ‘safe’ – who will have to bear the guilt and adapt how they work with those that are not.

If your job is disappearing, it may be time to think very differently about what the future might look like.  That’s what we’ve been doing in Career Makeovers for many years.

If you’re working with teams that are disappearing or know they will look very different in the future, they re-enter Tuckman’s Storming phase.  This can be a time to acknowledge the reality and move from fighting the change to knowing what the team is here for now.

If you need to manage fallout in any way, Action Learning can help you to have honest conversations and work out what you need to be asking who.

Talk to us about how we can help you, within your budget, know which nut to adjust.

(c) 2010 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com