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Business is fun


Its a not uncommon thing now to walk into Starbucks or - if you're wiser, into biblocafe in Glasgow's Woodlands road - to find most of the seats occupied by what I call visonistas.

There they sit focussed, on their own creativity, oblivious to the world as it hovers in their presence looking for a share of a table. Few of us, sitting down in a cafe or public space immediately strike up a conversation with the stranger sitting next to or opposite us, and unless the lift breaks down, will easily pass a minute or so in a perhaps embarrassing silence as the hollow cube rises or falls in the lift shaft till we reach our destination.

We have become islands in our own world. And yet, "No man is an island, entire of itself" (John Donne). We should be - are - social animals but still it is the done-thing (no pun intended) to ignore our neighbours.

Pets Cartoon #6011 by Andertoons

Networking teaches an important skill if you are prepared to learn it - the elevator pitch. The elevator pitch is nothing more than a 40-60 second chance to say who you are what you do and why you are special. I suspect that on the one hand to immediately launch into a "Hi, my name is John from NGM Accountants and what we do is..." every time you walked into a lift might be a bit adventurous for many of us and a bit intimidating for our intended audience. I guess though it depends on you and how adventurous you feel of course!

Regardless of how aggressive it might seem to you, think of the opportunities that we miss by saying nothing at all, let alone a pitch.

“Business is not just doing deals; business is having great products, doing great engineering, and providing tremendous service to customers. Finally, business is a cobweb of human relationships." H Ross Perot.


So do you dare to start spinning a web next time you are in a lift.....?






Here's an interesting Friday afternoon thought..

There is one famous book by Robert Graves called I Claudius, another, I Robot by Isaac Asimov; a film called I Spy. And of course the letter I - since it is a vowel - is pretty much everywhere when it comes to our language, not just at the start of words or to indicate the first person singular pronoun.

It is however something of a cliche used by trainers, coaches and those who inhabit the dark areas called business development to regularly say when they are trying to demonstrate the power of the team, that while TEAM stands for Together Everyone Accomplishes More (a quirky, americanism & no doubt, conjured-up acronym which sounds just so cheesy you want to go find some toast), it's sentiment is true and valid.

Cartoon #4911 - 'OK, who put the 'I' in 'team'?!'

Sports Cartoon by AndertoonsAnd that's another thing trainers say - there's no "I" in team. Everyone knows that but of course, as usual, they are just being cheesy and making a point - aren't they?
The trouble with teams is there are a few "I"s in there every time and often quite a few who might want to be the main person for decision making. Someone has to lead a team, it doesn't just do it by itself (third person possessive).
If every team member signs up for the team goals, "I" has been subjugated to the greater team goal (and of course each individual member must have their own part of that goal set).
But the real challenge is for the team as a collection of individuals. They need to think of the TEAM as "I" because each is inextricably bound to its objectives, behaviours and ideas. It exists as an entity.
I suspect I may write a book called, yes you've guessed it, "I, team". Then again, perhaps not - my life has enough of a science fiction feel to it sometimes as it is!