Hi there! I'm taking an extended break from blogging here, but I've set up monthly posts on Benifactor.com/updates. Check it out!
At our office, each Tuesday at lunch hour, we share a meal. We've had this ritual in place for years now. Our 'Taco Tuesday' became such a regular item that the group has since requested 'non-taco' Tuesdays at least once a month. I personally don't see how anyone could ever get sick of tacos, but I digress.
We also celebrate a week off as collective, called Sabbath week. It's pretty fun to hear the stories of adventure and leisure as everyone returns in high spirits ready to work hard for the upcoming season of work.
In moments of celebration, we shoot confetti cannons.
Each year, we retreat.
Why? Because it's what you make a habit of that defines you. Or, since someone more famous already said this more eloquently:
“You are what you repeatedly do.” - Aristotle
What applies on a personal level applies at a team and community level. If you're a leader in your organization, what rituals are you establishing to reinforce desired culture?
Policies don't drive performance, culture does. Rituals are the structure culture builds around.
If you're not familiar with the concept of blue ocean strategy, take a moment before reading this blog post and familiarize yourself.
The core concept is to find unexplored industries or opportunities instead of chasing existing, well established ones. And, while I generally agree with that concept, in practice I have another theory:
pursue brown oceans.
What do I mean by this? A couple years ago I wrote about the phrase, "Where there's muck there's brass" describing the concept that, where there's dirty work to be done, there is money to be made. In this same way I think looking for 'ignoble industries" or "un-sexy opportunities" and seeing to dominate in that environment has a great advantage - a lack of competition.
Many of Benifactor's organizations are serving an unsexy market while repurposing best practices forged by sexy high paying markets. While it seems like it would be more beneficial to charge more or spend more glamorously, the trick of the situation is it places us in a red ocean, where we'd have to fight for every client dollar and thus counteractively become a less sustainable business.
Seek a segment within your world that is undesirable. Can you serve this segment exclusively and thus dominate that segment, happily knowing that no one wants to unseat you from your throne?
For most of this year I've been writing blog posts. Writing, by journaling and through blogging has been part of my plan this year to exercise my brain and reflect. But, it hasn't been a priority to me and I haven't made the time.
Now, I think normal people would say, "oh well I don't have time" but my observation of my own lack of prioritization has forced me to wonder why I'm putting it off, to observe what I apparently do have time for (since I don't suddenly have less time in the day than I thought), and to wonder what needs to change for me to 'make time for it'.
There was no great revelation. "Just do it" came to mind. Doing work without immediate reward or public recognition is difficult for me. Blogging (if you're reading this, you are in rare company!) is one of those things for me, but parenting is the other.
Parenting excellence requires me to prioritize time on such a high level its astounding. As far as I've found step one has just been to spend the time and then learn how to use it better. My favourites so far have been board games and bike rides.
Maybe I should start blogging when they're practicing THEIR writing?
I'm curious what the ratio of reading to writing is. With emails and other office tasks many of write innumerable words per day. And, with blog posts, emails, books, and other office tasks there's also a mountain of words.
Which one is greater? Do most people read more than they right? What does it mean for us if we write more than we read? Is one better than the other?