Monday, December 8, 2008

Business Brainstorming & new website

But Molly pushed him aside and went up to the unicorn, scolding her as though she were a strayed milk cow. "Where have you been?" Before the whiteness and the shining horn, Molly shrank to a shining beetle, but this time it was the unicorn's old dark eyes that looked down. "I am here now," she said at last.
Peter S. Beagle, The Last Unicorn (quote from book, link to video clip)

[caption id="attachment_91" align="alignleft" width="150" caption="Small Business Challenges - Dec 4, 2008"]Small Business Challenges - Dec 4, 2008[/caption]

I moderated at an Orange County Chamber business brainstorming forum on Thursday last week with 26 people participating. It's called "Small Business Challenges" and is touted as a peer idea generation forum. We split into tables of up to 6 people. Here's a paraphrase of how I introduced the meeting:

To steal a phrase that may date back several hundred years: "No matter where you go, there you are." It doesn't really matter how we got to where we are, we're here now. And we need to move on from here. Whether we're in a recession, or a depression, it's the first time we're in this situation in the new Information Age, and just like every time it's happened before, it's unique unto itself. Hats off to every person who says "But this time it's different..." because they're right. And that's a good reason to celebrate. Let's make history together!

We need to think differently, start doing different things, so we can get different results. Today we're borrowing the ideas of other people to help us to think differently about our business, to make new plans, to revise our goals. Meet your temporary board of directors sitting at your table with you. Keep an open mind and let them help you.

There are plenty experts out there, plenty books to read, but unless they know you and your particular business or industry, their advice has to remain generic. It needs to fit many other business, many other people. Today we're here to address our specific issues, in our specific industries, within our specific situation, and figure out how to go on from here.

If you hung your coat at the coat check, please picture that you've hung your fear there with it. We're not here to be angry or frightened. We're here to move on into a new and exciting future, to marshall our considerable resources to tackle our own challenges, and to help others with our creativity.

The feedback on the session is excellent. We'll be tweaking the format and it will return on February 10th. If you need help before February, please consider requesting a one-on-one brainstorming session, or attend my small group brainstorming sessions in the meantime. I will gladly lead other larger business brainstorming sessions for other business organizations, have one-on-one brainstorming sessions with you, or you may come to The Crissing Link group sessions. Please see for more information and testimonials.

Here's to the crazy ones.[...]Because the ones crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.
Apple Computers, Think Different

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