Sun, Aug 16, 2009
[Photo by Dave Bezaire]
Realising that keeping this blog updated is no easy task, especially when there are a million other balls to juggle and only 24 hours in any day and somewhere within those precious 1,440 minutes, sleep and sustinence has to be fitted in. Somewhere.
Ahead of the official, public launch now planned for the end of September, meetings of varying lengths, in multiple locations, have taken up the majority of my time recently. Too many to list here, but thought this one was worth sharing.
Had a very interesting conversation in prime Surrey commuter belt with a mate of mine, who also happens to be CEO of a UK [and global] retail giant.
It was just a regular catch-up really, getting him up to speed on how the business plans were developing apace – with the added bonus of ice-cold beer and slightly over-carbonized BBQ tucker.
But he’s a shrewd cookie this one, and told me in passing that what I was doing – unbeknownst to me – was ‘river jumping’. Had never heard about this before, but it’s something that his executive team does on a regular basis. And it kind of goes like this:
Starting a Business – River Style
In any company – start-up or established – imagine you’re riding a river, navigating a course and focusing on the objectives needed to make your business a success and meet your objectives.
When you ‘river jump’, you, er, jump from your river into a completely different one and meet people with different models, skills and expertise. You then explain your own business to these strangers and highlight issues you may be struggling to understand or overcome.
In the first instance they’ll look at you as if you’re from another galaxy – much like when you’re trying to explain to your parents what you actually do for a living – but then they’ll help you map the fundamentals of your business to those of their operation and explore any generic similarities that can best help find the solution to your commercial quandries.
Having panned this new river for nuggets of transferable gold – the concept of ‘charm pricing’ is just one that I stowed in my lifevest, if you’re interested – you bid your new friends a fond adieu and jump back across the divide to continue your course downstream towards the ocean of opportunity that lies beyond.
A prime yet stunningly simple example here of the need for any business – established or start-up – to engage in and embrace collaboration, not just within your own pool of mentors but with big fish – and smaller fry – further afield.