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« Gone Dwelving | Main | Illuminating »

Apr 14, 2005



hey there, here's another way to frame focus and strategy. recently, i read a great quote from Napolean (short French guy who had a pretty big goal).

his quote was about strategy....paraphrasing....the heart of strategy is sacrifice...the willingness to give up something to achieve a goal...

so, relative to your post, to succeed, there must be a extreme focus on the strategy, sacrificing things you could do in order to ensure you do what is required to support the strategy.

the very best companies and individuals have that ability to sacrifice(quickly and rationally) in order to achieve the greater good....

Johnnie Moore

Very interesting. I think we need to think about timing. There is a time for exploration and a time to focus. Friends Renunited, one of the few successes in the UK of the boom era, was NOT the big idea the founders were working on. They created it in "give-it-a-shot" spirit whilst focussing more on what they thought was the big idea (something about gift bags for parties)

But the market had other ideas and Friend Reunited took off. If the guys had focussed on their idea, and not gone off at a tangent to try Friends Reunited, it would never have happened.

I want to talk about pulsation. The heart's valves are neither open nor closed, they move between.

I also think the Western tradition leads us to reverence goals - rather than looking at what is here and now. Check out this interesting piece contrasting goal and river mindsets:

jim wilde

Hi Evelyn,

Every strategy needs to be dynamic, adaptive, and executed. It is my experience, especially with start-ups, that you initially focus on whatever your business can do to move forward. Putting together a marketing message is near impossible until you have clients giving you feedback - one-on-one sales.

For bigger companies, those with six-inch binders filled with strategy, the problem is communication. What if the strategy was accessible, in plain english, to everyone in the organization. Imagine what the situation would be like if employees used blogs, forums, wikis to work together and activity maps to coordinate their daily activities tied to a strategy.

Patrick Misterovich

I have to remind myself to not confuse a goal with a map. For each knight the goal was the grail but the surest way to fail was to follow someone else's path into the woods.

Evelyn Rodriguez

Whoa, a lot here to reply to. Hmm,, here's what comes to mind. Since I've started the Dwelve process, I've had to recalibrate my own personal strategic vision about every 9-15 months (uh, usually 15 months is way too long to wait).

JBR, Sacrifice is one way to look at it. Again, it doesn't necessarily FEEL like sacrifice once you are aligned. In the other regard, we are always sacrificing SOMETHING. In this moment here right now, I could be a zillion of other places. I can mourn that, or I can be fully alive in my chosen path right this second.

Jim, yes all the feedback is crucial and comes into play in the Saturation stage and a bit more again in Illumination stage. The entire strategy probably gets seriously requestioned every 9-12 months. In the meantime, you are always open to feedback but not like the way a chameleon is.

Johnnie & Patrick, hopefully I get to your comments here...

It helps to have a direction, an intention of where to start at least otherwise every possibility, every option is Yes! Yes! I could do that and I can do that too and before you know it you are dropping more balls than you can juggle. And quite a few of them aren't really suited to what you are called to do nor fit your interests and strengths. This applies collectively too. The vision helps you say No more easily - but it doesn't mean you aren't open and receptive.

If I hadn't been open all along I would just be going through with my plans from last year no matter what...and I'm not. The strategy is not the strategy infinitum. As long as the strategy feels right and decisions intuitively continue to click and it feels more like surfing rather than beating your head against a wall to figure out the alchemy of waves...then you can stay the course and continue to listen simultaneously....

Speaking of river analogies, a friend of mine once said, "Your life purpose is like a river. Yes, it meanders but you know when you are in the river versus stuck on the bank." In this spirit, I meant a business purpose can be viewed in the same way. It's a subtle point.

For instance, although I was offered a wonderful opportunity to be a part of a team of folks recently it would mean a lot more writing and more than likely launching a new separate blog under their banner. Almost anyone else would jump at the opportunity... But it didn't fit my vision of where I am going and I told them why. Had I not been that clear, two things could have happened:

1) I would just have said yes since it is such a great honor and opportunity. But eventually it would have lost steam since my heart wasn't in it. Without full commitment you get half-hearted results.
2) I was about to walk away and entirely decline their offer as what I wanted to do was outside their current charter. It turns out my honest feedback - based on my personal purpose and vision - actually influenced them enough that they have found a way to give me exactly what I asked for and in the process enhance their entire offering. A win-win for all. --> This is what clarity and focus can help with.


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