“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.”
This is about business, milestones and magic (which could be ‘company/brand value’.
Day in and day out we get shit done and are told to do more shit. That would imply that many days are just full of shit. While that sounds harsh I imagine many people think only a slightly less harsh version of this about day to day life. But, even slightly less harsh, it has a tendency to dull our senses and miss out on the magic. Business, in particular, has an odd way of addressing this lack of magic.
What do they do? They create lines in the sand.
Uhm. They may be arbitrary lines in the sand but they are lines nonetheless.
In the business world they are milestones and, oddly enough, calendar and fiscal years. Milestones are easy enough to explain, but the yearly line in the sand stuff is slightly harder to explain.
Why? 99.9% of your employees know that business doesn’t stop at the end of a fiscal year. In fact. We spend gobs of energy talking about ‘setting the stage for the following year’ before we ever reach our arbitrary line in the sand <end of the year>.
While I fully understand that some construct and some order is useful it seems like we would be better served to encourage everyone to think of a business more like a long Life and not by birthdays.
Yeah. This creates some management challenges and some organizational challenges and it certainly doesn’t mesh very well with the artificial measurements demanded by the financial world <quarterly and annual reports>, but if you could figure it out it would permit the business to match the natural ebb & flow of a category, industry and challenges & opportunities – regardless of when they came and went.
But even more importantly if you could figure it out I tend to believe it would make day to day a little less like ‘days of ongoing shit to do’ and more about energy invested, or energy conserved, to meet the needs and challenges of the business.
I tend to believe there would be less artificial and arbitrary shit and more ‘meet the needs of what is going on.’ I say that because, while not all lines are really lines, most employees start thinking if they can just hold on and survive whatever line they are being asked to cross that lines in the sand eventually disappear <and someone else will most likely draw another stupid fucking line in the sand>.
It’s just a simple line
I can still hear it all of the time
If I can just hold on tonight
I’ll know that nothing
Azure Ray <Displaced>
I say all of that because I could, and would, argue that creating arbitrary lines in the sand does not make our senses grow sharper in the way that needs to happen to see the world’s magical things.
Yeah. Lines in the sand certainly tend to sharpen focus. No argument here. But that same focus prohibits … well … magic. By that I mean is that your senses have to naturally sharpen in order to access the world of magic. You cannot force the sense with some arbitrary lines in the sand but rather it takes patience.
The pragmatic & practical ones out there, particularly the business ones, are gonna say “who gives a fuck about the magic things in the world … I have a business to run.”
But I would say to them that successful businesses more often than not are <a> more than just process, doing & treating people like gears in a machine and <b> of some value derived beyond simply ‘getting shit done well.’
Let me try it this way. Wall Street assesses value on companies all the time. and while there is certainly tangible value most of the time we sit back and scan some intangible value they have bolted on to some company and, well, we assume it is real in some way because, WTF, Wall Street has put some value on it.
That’s the magic part.
Yeah. Some pseudo intellectual will puff out their chest and say “that is the brand value” … yeah … well … just stuff it, you asshat. It’s the magic the company has figured out how to bring out in the company idea and employees. It is the intangible, the greater good created as senses sharpened, which great organizations seem to figure out how to bring out. There is no book to tell you how to do it and there is no management guru who can come in and give you the ‘how to guide’ which can teach you the patience wherein the senses grow sharper to access the magic in the world.
Sorry to tell you that.
This isn’t like boiling an egg or even cracking an egg for that part this is the intangible part of business where some get it and some doing, but you cannot teach it.
That said. This may be one of the few times in business where the attempt matters. Some of the things I offered today are out of the comfort zone for a shitload of business people <the whole focusing on long Life rather than arbitrary milestones management>. But. I would argue whether you ‘get’ being patient & encouraging the senses to grow sharper to access the world’s magic, or not, if you even attempt to encourage some intangible aspects in your business you are better off than not even trying.
Sincere attempts are appreciated and there is value in that alone. And if you are actually good at it and you just haven’t had the opportunity to do it <because the general business world is not really conducive to this type of thinking> … well … magic is magical.
I can honestly say that once you have overcome your natural tendencies to not be patient and once you have actually encountered the world’s magic released in your business you will never go back.
Once senses are sharpened they cannot be dulled and, in a world which has a nasty tendency to dull our senses, that may be the best argument for embracing the idea that magic does exist in the world and that is is worth the effort to try and find it.
In the end. Maybe we need less lines in the sand and more magic.