Copy of Great Place to Stay and Great Place to Work Have Much in Common

by Louis Patler

The ocean, like customers, has a mind of its own that is worth paying attention to.It has its moods, its quirks, its ever-changing tastes and ways. The best innovators and inventors understand this about customers and clients, as well. Customers can be fickle and hard to predict. You can’t afford to take it for granted.”

My new book, Make Your Own Waves: The Surfers Rules for Innovators and Entrepreneurs, was inspired in part by an unexpected finding in my research on innovation: serial innovators tend to take metaphors and analogies literally. So, for example, if the marketplace moves in waves, why not base a book on the ultimate subject matter experts, the Big Wave surfers who ride walls of water the size of office buildings.

I remain constantly on the lookout for other analogies that shed light on the world of work. Recently, I was reading a travel blog by my friend Kristin Luna entitled “HOW TO BE THE BEST AIRBNB HOST YOU CAN BE.”

 

(http://www.camelsandchocolate.com/2015/07/how-to-be-the-best-airbnb-host-you-can-be/ )

It occurred to me that her tips re being a great Airbnb host sheds considerable light on being a good boss, manager or team builder. For brevity I will list her tips and then comment briefly on each.

1. Type up a guide to your home, your neighborhood and the city at large.

            -Be clear with your colleagues and team about “how things actually get done around here.”

2. Ensure your space is spic and span—especially the bathroom.

            -Pay attention to the details, the little things. In the start up mode, be prepared to clean the sinks and vacuum the floors.

3. Make checking in and checking out as easy as possible.

            -Give people as much flexibility as possible. We all have different work styles and ways to be productive.

4. Leave clear instructions of what is expected of your visitors.

            -Clear is good. Transparency is too. No need to make the simple harder.

5. Have basic amenities handy.

            -Give your people the tools and resources they need and turn them loose to get things done.

6. Provide them with snacks, too.

            -Yes, feed the masses. Keep the energy up. Energy management is more important than time management.

Note: I am publishing this post a second time because it says a lot about a business that is booming and has values we can apply to our own businesses.

Now's The Time to Bet on the Little Guy

Now's The Time to Bet on the Little Guy

Earlier this year,  I read something coming out of the defense industry that has a much wider application. (https://www.defensetech.org/2017/02/17/special-operations/ ) The article is entitled, “Executive to Military: Be Like SOCOM and Bet on the Little Guy,” and it raises the perennial issue of staying with the so-called tried and true vs. taking a strategic risk on a new idea or product.

IN the name of LOVE, raise your arms...

IN the name of LOVE, raise your arms...

My first visit to South Africa came in the 1970s at the height of apartheid. As a young and somewhat idealistic professor on the Semester at Sea program, when the ship docked I was shocked to see “coloured only” signage echoing the racist attitudes and policies there. As was true at every port, after the bow lines were tied off, a group of customs and government officials came on board to review all the paperwork and passports before clearing the passengers to disembark.

Le Tour de France: 5 Lessons Learned about Leadership and Innovation

Le Tour de France: 5 Lessons Learned about Leadership and Innovation

I will be the first to admit that I have watched Le Tour De France bicycle races sporadically for many years and always mildly intrigued. I mean, it’s a sporting event that lasts TWENTY-ONE DAYS! Not only that but each day is a called a “stage” and meanders through amazing scenery over a period of up to 5 hours during which I found myself looking at the castles and vineyards and of course the bystanders running alongside the cyclists in their bizarre outfits in search of their 15 minutes of televised fame.

Millennials, Motorcycles and Marketing Gibberish

Millennials, Motorcycles and Marketing Gibberish

Today I was reading about who is and who is not buying Harley-Davidson motorcycles (http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/companies/millennials-are-wrecking-americas-most-iconic-motorcycle-brand/ar-BBEicIs?li=BBnbfcN ). The article contained the following quote about millennials from an industry market analyst:

“Disruptive” Innovation: Easier to define than “do”! Part 2 of 2

“Disruptive” Innovation: Easier to define than “do”! Part 2 of 2

In Soren Kaplan’s book, Leapfrogging, he correctly says “Here’s the issue:  Disruptive innovation isn’t how innovation works in the real world when you’re in the process of doing it – only in retrospect by storytellers.” He rightly argues that you don’t set out to be “disruptive,” you set out to make something innovative. The scale and impact of that innovation is determined in the marketplace and only history will determine if the innovation was a game-changer.

“Disruptive” Innovation: Easier to define than “do”! Part 1 of 2

“Disruptive” Innovation: Easier to define than “do”! Part 1 of 2

“Whether they're battle-tested veterans or fresh-faced newbies, entrepreneurs undergo an intense learning process when establishing and launching a business,” says a recent article in Entrepreneur magazine (Entrepreneur magazine, April 21, 2014).

WHAT YOU DO WITH WHAT YOU KNOW MATTERS: College Majors Are Not the Predictor of Entrepreneurial Success

WHAT YOU DO WITH WHAT YOU KNOW MATTERS: College Majors Are Not the Predictor of Entrepreneurial Success

This is the time of year when families all over the world await word on where their children will be going to college. It is also the time when the students are asked to think about their major fields of study. Having been though this process five times with my five children, I have some advice for parents and kids alike: It’s not what you major in that predicts your future. It’s what you do with what you know that matters!