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Anatomy of Awayreness

Most businesses operate in one of two modes: 1) a disorganized, ad-hoc, seat-of-the-pants mode or 2) a structured, lifeless, soul-less, “well-run” mode. Both have their shortcomings.

Realistically speaking, a typical business is a mishmash of the two modes. In some of parts of it, it operates in the first mode. In others, it operates in the second. Sometimes the business swings between the two modes, looking for a “groove” that it sometimes finds but in many cases, does not.  

The First Mode: Ad-hoc, Seat-of-the-Pants Mode

The shortcomings of the ad-hoc, seat-of-the-pants mode are:

  • Lack of predictability and control over the business’s success, profits, revenues and growth.
  • Anxiety and insecurity on the part of business owners, executives and leaders as well as its employees
  • Lack of clarity, focus and confidence.
  • Lack of a well-planned, charted course.
  • Lack of discipline.
  • Lack of order and organization, resulting in stress and insecurity for everyone involved with the business.

Such a business is typically an under-performing business with high turnover, anxious people, and even more anxious leaders.

The Second Mode: Structured, Lifeless Mode

The problems of the second mode are:

  • The business is a lifeless machine.
  • Human creativity, wisdom and talents are is stifled, even crushed.
  • The business operates at a fraction of its optimum performance because it is not utilizing the full potential of its people.
  • People live a frustrated work-life because their full potential is not unlocked and realized.
  • Result is an under-performing business with high turnover and mediocre revenues and profitability.

A business typically starts in the first mode and then “graduates” to the second mode as it becomes successful in the marketplace. Yet, such success is not lasting as there is always another business that will take advantages of its weaknesses and outperform it.

The Third Mode: Awayre Mode

There is a third mode. This mode is not a combination of these two. It’s not even a balance between these two. It’s a different approach altogether.

In this mode:

  • Intelligence, wisdom and talents of its people is used to create systems and structures as they do their activities.
  • The structures of the business are inherently designed to not only “exploit” the inherent talents, wisdom and creativity of its people but also to nurture and bring out those that are yet undiscovered.
  • The business gets stability, predictability and control of the structured approach yet retains and, in fact, enhances the potential of its people so that the business can grow profitably.
  • There is no differentiation between the structures and the people. They are one and the same. Its structures are a part of the people. Its people are an integral part of the structures and processes.
  • What connects structures and people is the “Aware/Conscious/Purposeful Habits.” A habit is unconscious by definition where we do activities without consciously thinking about them. Conscious Habits are those habits that have an added dimension of awareness or consciousness. That’s why, it allows for the people to change them in a given situation.
  • Built into the business are mechanisms for changing people from frustrated individuals to those who willingly to change their habits.

Anatomy of Awayreness

At the heart of the Awayre mode are 7 human faculties that could be thought of as 7 concentric circles, one inside the the other, like ripples of waves from a water drop.

Starting from the innermost to outermost, these layers are:

  1. Inspiration Point
  2. Knowledge/Wisdom
  3. Social Identity
  4. Intellect
  5. Emotional Engagement
  6. Energy/Vitality
  7. Actions

When a business’s foundation is as deep as the Inspiration Point of its people, it performs at levels unheard of before. When a business’s boundaries are defined by the Consistent, Habitual, Aligned Actions - Awayre Actions - of its people, it can predictably and consistently repeat that high performance over a long period of time.

Granted, the Awayre Approach may not be the right approach for every business or organization. The first step to discovering whether it is appropriate for your business or organization is to go through Awayre Discovery Process. In this process, we take you through a questionnaire about your business’ unique challenges and opportunities and prepare a custom report - Awayre Quotient Report - for your personal use. Visit Awayre, LLC at http://www.awayre.com or contact me at bhavesh@ambica.net for more information.


Innovate, Reinvent or Do Nothing?

Here are five businesses that are about to fail (Blockbuster, Rite Aid, Border Group, Palm and YRC Worldwide). I think there is a common theme among these five businesses. In fact there are two things, related to each other, but quite different.

First, these companies did not innovate very well, although they did some. Second, they forgot to reinvent their business model when their industry took a sharp turn.

Perhaps the best example of this is Blockbuster versus Netflix. Blockbuster did innvovate their service offerings but not until NetFlix became a threat, allowing no late-fee option for late returns, for example.

But more importantly, they completely missed the shifting fundamentals of the entire movie rental industry. Their competition was offering huge selection not available at Blockbuster; their customer had become Internet literate and preferred to shop from home, and their movie selection process was much more efficient online than walking through the aisles at Blockbuster.

On the other hand, here are two businesses that did very well in 2009 despite their industry (publishing) going through fundamental changes. One is Martha Stewart Omnimedia and the other is Axel Springer, a German publishing company. Both are also poised to do well in the future.

Watch either of these interviews by Charlie Rose (Click for video here: Martha Stewart, Axel Springer) for only 10 or 15 minutes. You will realize that these two businesses did what the failing businesses did not do, which is to innovate and reinvent their products, their services and their business models.

One way to reinvent your business is by changing its business habits, the systems and processes that the people in the business carry out on “autopilot” or subconsciously. When you reinvent your Business Habits, you reinvent your business. (Click here for more on Business Habits.)

What are you doing to innovate and reinvent your businesses, your products and your services? Or do you think that a small business does not need to worry about “such things” as innovation and reinvention?


Secrets to Building a Long-lasting Business: Part III of III

In the last issue, we discovered the idea of a self-learning workplace. The self-learning workplace is where each of its individuals is engaged in a continuous, never-ending process of self-discovery. This, we call “True Learning,” to separate it from “learning” which is often used to describe memorizing of information.

Click to read more ...