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Business Coaching: "Yes"

Let’s begin today by talking about NO and YES.

Many business gurus are telling us today that we must not allow ourselves to get distracted and spin away from our basic mission.

"Hold on to what you have!" they say. "Your reality today is defined by SCARCITY. So conserve your resources. Stay with your model. Push away distractions. When opportunities come up, say NO!"

Discipline and strategic focus are a good thing....but too many organizations are in a major rut. They've been over-focused since 2002, frightened out of their wits by the NASDAQ bust. They can’t let go of the feeling of NO. They say NO mechanically, repetitively. Only when things get tough do they consider looking outside their narrow world at new strategies. At considering fresh possibilities and new partners. At saying YES.

That's the beauty of this period in our lives. It's a time to say YES instead of saying NO.

"Oh, we could never do that," say many execs while reviewing a new vision of what they could become in the emerging, post-recessionary future.

"We wouldn't know where to begin. It doesn't conform to our idea of normal, conventional, manageable."

Seth Godin wouldn't agree. Tom Peters wouldn't agree. I don't agree.

NO is also a way to resist, a way to push tough situations away. NO is about rigid denial. If we simply relax and think about how to morph our business model to fit the new situation, we can saying YES, this is the way it is...and we can adjust...and adapt. YES. Stop pining for yesterday and say YES. Stop worrying about tomorrow and say YES. Explore your options. There are more of them than you realize.

We can see this time as a time of abundance and place ourselves in the middle of that stream. Some people see the door close. Others see it open. See the opportunity in transition. See the flip side of the problem. Come at it another way. The energy that drives consumption is still there; the motivation has changed. That’s all. Now your business opportunity simply looks different. But it's still there.

Life today is not a NO. It's a YES.

YES! Barack Obama said it in one context and stirred people to do something they'd never done before…now we must say it in another context. We must inspire our customers and employees. We must inspire our vendors and investors. It begins with an attitude or gratitude and abundance…Y-E-S!

After dispelling the myth that saying NO is the way to get through a recession, I'll go ahead and dispel yet another myth.

That myth is that developing a strategy for your organization is just a matter of common sense.

Nonsense! In this global economy, strategy is not 'common sense.' The marketplace is more fragmented than ever before. The differences between market segments is blurring. The ways to connect with customers are virtually unlimited. Too many choices and combinations of choices. Old systems are outdated. New tools are unproven. We are overwhelmed with unusable information. No one has time to sift through the chaff, to reflect or ponder. And so we turn to our instincts, our gut feel. Unless we trust our instincts to move us forward, passion ebbs away. And passion is everything. Everything.

Adrian Slywotzky of Mercer Management has identified over 23 strategic business models in his book, Profit Patterns. 23 ways to get a customer, deliver value, make money, and have fun. 23 ways! That's a lot of choices. Common sense is not enough. It’s not even close. Let's stop talking about common sense. Let's say YES to UNcommon sense.

Yes...yes...creating a strategy in the Internet 2.0 era can be complex. Say YES to complexity.

Most of your competitors can't handle it because they deny it even exists. Say YES to it and you'll immediately be ahead of the pack. Say YES to it and then plunge in, re-channeling the energy previously used to complain, stall and bang your head against the wall.

Stall and wall…hmmm…Did that rhyme?? When you say YES, things just connect. Your instincts will push things together that belong together. That proves it! Trust yourself.

Ladies and gentlemen, innovation is now. It's not common sense. And it begins inside with acceptance, with gratitude, optimism and imagination…with a big, slow breath and one bold word, one bold word that sums it all up….YES! YES! YES!

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About the Author

Lynn Hinderaker, PointForward / WOWBIZ-TV
1305 South 35th Ave
Omaha, NE 68105

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