2015 Pt 2 – How is it really going?

As one financial year clocks off and the other clocks on, it makes sense to take stock of where our business has come to; compare where we are with respect to the goals and targets we set at the start of the year.

Is what we have done so far getting us closer to realising our vision or are we stalling (or worse still, going backwards)?

A few weeks ago I had the privilege to be on family holiday in Como, Italy. While we did not get to see any famous movie stars, I did notice a number of monuments and statues, and a few streets and the odd piazza named after a local called Volta.

I was intrigued, so did a bit of research. It turns out that Alessandro Volta was the physicist who invented the battery in 1800 and from where the term of measure Volt is derived. He was a native son of Como and his invention started a new line of physics and studies into electrical energy. He also separated methane and showed how it could be exploded using an electrical spark. This line of inquiry began the early investigations and later invention of the combustion engine.

No wonder the locals built monuments in honour of the man.

Reading further about his life and times, I discovered that he also had his fair share of struggle, with much of his research ending up in dead ends – often after many months or even years of investigation and experimentation.

In the end, one of his famous quotes sums it up: “You must be ready to give up even the most attractive ideas when experiment shows them to be wrong.”

What a great message that is. To be able and willing to let go of the things that are no longer serving us, regardless of how attractive they may be. The other message I get is to be open minded enough to look elsewhere for ideas and solutions.

Where can we apply this thinking to our business? Are we on the right path of discovery or must we look elsewhere? If the first half of the year has worked wonderfully, then keep doing the things that are making the difference – and in fact, do more of the good stuff!

But if we are not achieving our aims, perhaps we need to sit back and look seriously at doing things differently. Whether our ‘experiments’ in business relate to our business structures, sales, staff, product choices, our brand, values, or operational processes, are they “sparking up” and creating positive outcomes, or must we explore other forms and ways?

Now is the time to take stock and make the necessary preparations to ensure that part two of 2015 becomes (or continues to be) memorable for all the right reasons.

Bright spark, that Volta bloke.

By Akram Sabbagh


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