What Can The Latest Management Philosophy Teach You About Your Business?
When Miyamoto Musashi wrote his legendary treatise in 1645 called The Book of 5 Rings, what he wrote talked about things beyond just the X’s and O’s of specific strategies and tactics, but described a way of life that was effectively dedicated to a purpose… a purpose of succeeding.
He described the path to success as one where all things depend on other things – nothing sits in isolation, including your own psychology, health, and physical condition, and other root factors which all factor into the results you will experience in life, war, or stewardship.
Today there is a new philosophy spreading like wildfire among serious business professionals and managers that blends this concept of ‘root factors of success’ with the most current and modern thinking in project management. Dubbed ‘The 5 Rings of Multipliers’, this new approach starts where Musashi left off and forces modern entrepreneurs and professionals to take a cold hard look at the root factors of their success before building in the right systems and process improvements needed to help them achieve their goals.
One of the very first principles is a principle of ‘recognition of abundance.’ How often have you or one of your family members gone into the kitchen, opened the refrigerator door, stood there and sighed, “There’s nothing here to eat,” only to have another family member, perhaps you, come along and whip up a big meal out of the ‘nothing’ the other person was looking at so dejectedly?
Or perhaps you’ve looked at your financial situation and thought there was no way out, only to hear an example on the radio of someone in way worse circumstances with a lot less to offer just announce that after 6 short months they were now debt-free?
It turns out that most people grossly undervalue the majority of what they have, so when they need a resource to solve a problem, they always seem to come up empty even though the answer is right there in front of them. Let me give you an example.
When you ask yourself to make a comprehensive list of all of your assets, what comes to your mind? I mean after you stop laughing or crying, whichever is most appropriate. For most people it means they think of the amount of money in their chequing account, any savings they may have, any bonds, stocks or mutual funds, possibly their house and car, and a few other larger ticket items.
It would never occur to most people to list the specific skills they learned through education, any certifications they had, any half-written books, any home repair or domestic skills, their social media accounts, their internet accesses, cell-phone, contacts, friends, family, clothes, art supplies, musical instruments, household cleaning chemicals, paints, food, gas, and so on.
And yet… if you had everything you have today, but had it 500 years ago, you would have the wealth of kings. Your education alone would make you the most educated person on the globe at that time. In that era people with a tiny fraction of what you have today raised whole nations and brought them into existence. If they can raise a nation based on what you have on a very short list, then there really are few problems you can’t resolve with the resources you have at your disposal. You truly live in abundance, you just don’t have a frame of reference for it so you can’t see it.
Similarly, your business has far more resources available to it than you guess. For example, it’s likely you have a bunch of multi-coloured PostIt Note pads lying around one of the offices somewhere. You also likely have several friends or co-workers, one of whom probably is a little on the creative side. I’m sure you can find a blank white wall you can borrow for a few hours as well. And odds are very good that you or someone you know has a cell phone with a video camera on it. Put it all together and you have a viral video in the making of caricatures made up of PostIt Notes on the wall interacting in stop motion with your friends and co-workers showing how creative your team is. If that video goes viral, the marketing value of it could be immense. So literally you have the makings of a big rush of new business already at your finger tips and it doesn’t have to cost you any money out of pocket to do it. And it would be a heck of a lot more fun to do than to spend another day tied to your desk making empty cold call dials.
The 5 Rings philosophy goes so much deeper than simply recognizing the abundance you already have. It looks into all the root causes for your successes and failures and helps you identify what is working for you and what is holding you back. So what can this philosophy teach your business?
It can teach your business why its major projects always seem to get delayed or how to turn a customer drought around or why certain kinds of projects always end up with project overages. It can teach you how your productivity is always lower than estimated because the environment you work in actually slows things down in ways you would not even notice but that are devastating to your output.
It can teach you how to be better prepared to take advantage of sudden opportunities for rapid growth or to minimize the impacts of devastating risks.
And most importantly, it can teach you how to get rid of the impediments to your success. So now it’s your turn to ask yourself this question – what can the latest in management philosophy teach YOUR business?