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Articles filed in: Success

Ideas Worth Keeping


Sometimes our best ideas come to us when we’re working with constraints. We’ve all seen hundreds of brilliant ideas and initiatives come into being as a result of communities being in isolation around the globe.

Local councils in London are calling at-risk elderly to ask if they need groceries or medicines delivered.

Villages have started newsletters to keep communities informed and together.

Neighbours are dropping care packages at the doors of vulnerable neighbours.

Supermarkets have changed store layouts, putting essential items at the front to cut down on shopping time.

Legoland is hosting live workshops to inspire children who are now home-schooled.

What ideas, routines and rituals have you started in the past few weeks that are worth keeping?

Image by Kelly Sikkema

One Way Or Another


When I got my first job, I cycled to work and back every day. On a fine summer day in Dublin, cycling is a joy, it’s a different story in winter. The worst part was always that last hill on the way home. I’d try to stay on the bike for as long as possible, not wanting the gradient to beat me. But when the frost was thick and the road slick with ice, there was nothing for it but to get off and walk up the hill alongside the bike.

As my progress up the hill slowed, I’d curse the wasted momentum, calculating how much earlier I would have arrived if I’d managed to stay on the bike. And yet, I still got home anyway. Maybe a few minutes later, with a bit less patience, I reached my destination all the same.

Whenever I feel like I’m not moving fast enough, I remember that hill and that I arrived one way or another. If you’re feeling like you’re not moving fast enough today, feel free to borrow my hill if it helps you to keep moving.

Image By Paolo Chiabrando

In Answer To Your Question


We like to ask for advice. It’s human to investigate all the angles—to seek the opinions of others. And yet in doing so, we can forget to reflect on our insights and assumptions.

We often forget to check in with our beliefs before considering what someone else thinks.

What if before sought advice, we reflected on our thoughts first?

What wisdom might we find in our own hearts?

What do I think? How do I feel? These are powerful questions.

Image by Pablo Andrés Rivero

If I Were You

If I were you.

Four words it’s tempting to use when someone shares a problem.

Four words I’m trying to avoid using—because I am not you.

I don’t know what it’s like to sit with what you’re experiencing or feeling at this moment.

You have the wisdom of past experiences to draw on.

Ideas you haven’t yet articulated, even to yourself.

How many solutions could you generate if you reflected on what you want and what your next right step might be? Many more than if someone just told you exactly what to do.

Image by Burst

Balancing Wants And Needs


On a normal day, our local supermarket stocks fifty different kinds of pasta. Right now they’re stocking two. On a normal day, customers would complain bitterly about the lack of choice. Today they’re grateful to leave the shop with two boxes of a brand of penne they’ve never tried.

What we’re witnessing in real-time as we work together to keep ourselves and our communities safe, is a shift in priorities, for our customers, clients and us. We’re adapting. And as we do, there’s an opportunity to pay attention to what the people we serve want and need in this moment.

These skills we’re learning today will help us to be better innovators and creators, teachers and marketers, tomorrow.

What do the people you serve need now? What will they want in the future?

Image by Soroush Karimi

What Can You Do Now?

Julie has been running her local florist business for five years. She’s built up a reputation with the people in her suburb, who regularly pop in when they’re walking past to buy flowers and plants that brighten their homes and their lives.

While new single bunch, online flower delivery services blossomed, Julie made the decision when she started to be a neighbourhood business. She wanted to serve a community of customers she knew by name. This strategy worked well for her, until now.

All the restaurants and cafés along her street have closed, and her customers have retreated indoors to self-isolate. The streets are eerily quiet. Nobody is popping in to buy flowers anymore. Julie’s strategy didn’t account for an event like this.

But she’s not ready to shut her doors. She wants to find a way to serve her customers. So she’s employed an extra driver and begun to offer free contactless delivery. Julie’s doing what she’s always done—what’s different is how she does it. Her strategy remains the same. It’s just her tactics that have to change for the moment.

What can you do now to keep doing what you’ve always done?

Image by Ellicia

On Resourcefulness


When things don’t go according to plan.

Remember this isn’t the first time you’ve had to change course.

Make a list of all the other times you pushed through.

Remind yourself of the skills and strengths you previously called on in challenging times.

Tell yourself those stories today.

They will stand you in good stead as you work to change the things you can change.

Tomorrow and the day after.

Image by Neil Thomas

Don’t Be Right, Be Early


Seven years ago, a member of the Zoom video conferencing sales team worked hard to demonstrate the value of their service to me.

She emailed, she Zoomed, she answered questions. And I didn’t sign up.

‘I will one day,’ I promised. ‘Just not now. It’s just too early for me.’

Which was true.

Few of us could have predicted the extraordinary growth trajectory of a company like Zoom seven years ago.

Nobody would have predicted that thousands of organisations, educational institutions and creatives, would now rely on Zoom to meet, teach and collaborate with colleagues and students in quarantine just seven weeks ago.

In tomorrow’s world, we will forget that Zoom built their business one call, one customer, at a time.

It’s impossible to be sure about our next move as we navigate the future.

It always has been.

Sometimes we have to take the first step without knowing whether it’s the right one.

We can’t always be right, but we can be early.

Image by Britanni Burns

Build a Reputation


My friend Anna has been going to the same hairdresser for ten years. She’s never trusted anyone else to cut her hair in all that time. Now though, she has no option because her stylist just had a baby, and she’s on maternity leave.

When Anna sat in the new stylist’s chair, she was so anxious her palms were sweating.

Objectively, she had no proof that her regular stylist was more skilled than the new one. But reputation is built on beliefs and opinions, not objective facts.

Trust earned over time is a powerful differentiator.

Who do you want to be most trusted by and what for?

Image by AW Creative

What Separates This From That?


When we’re not simply driven by price how do we choose what to buy?

We tell ourselves a story about quality, design, durability, or provenance. But often as we rationalise about the advantages of one product or service over another, the differentiator we perceive is the degree of love and care that’s gone into making or delivering it.

There is no place for love on a spreadsheet, ironically that’s what makes it invaluable. When we care it shows.

Image by Thomas Marban