Thursday, July 18, 2013

Thoughts On: Clutter

Tom Hetherington, a consultant for the modular home industry recently wrote an interesting article about Clutter. I'm guilty of allowing too much clutter into my life, so this was right on target for me.

Recently, during a phone consultation, the lasting question of “being the best” at our chosen industry was brought up. On the surface, it seems so philosophical when questions of market position, operational efficiencies, profit margins, and personal performance seem so much meatier. To be master of your industry, you must vanquish clutter…personally and corporately. “Clutter” in all of its formats is the inverse of positive and sustainable growth and outcomes.

A good friend shared with me his answer to a church question “Where do you feel closest to God?” by saying “on a pair of skies on top of a mountain in Utah.” My southern political expert answered a similar question from me by saying, “being on the beach in North Carolina.” There were many more questions asked to more people, but in the end, each location was similar, being without clutter.

Clutter comes in many forms both physical and philosophical: the top of a desk that has not seen daylight in years to the stakeholder that signed on and off almost at the same day…just they’re for the journey and compensation. We have so embraced clutter that we have identified our desktops as “messy-organized” on most personality surveys and have enshrined the inactive shareholder as a “dedicated and reliable.” Clutter has become revered is some cultures; yet, they, too, ask how to get past the annual history as reported in the fiscal year-end financials.

Unidentifiable Personal Clutter:
·      those things which keep you from moving forward because they have become a part of your personal life and through the years have become accepted
·      the baggage that you should have gotten rid of, but kept with you because the past might change

Identifiable Business Clutter:
·      colleagues who have not solved a company problem in the past year
·      “nay-sayers” (but allowing for contrarian thought)
·      sales staffs that do not understand that “discounting” must be “value exchanging”
·      inventory that exceeds current production (this includes staples and paper clips)
·      doing business with anyone that does not generate profit within established goals
·      employees who try to solve their problems on your time (their bad day becomes your company’s bad day…image is everything, or a chance to make a first impression, etc.)

Being the best is being clutter-less not clue-less.  It is keeping it simple, knowing where the roses are located, staffing your business with the best minds, and understanding that friends do not always agree with your direction, but they respect you. Eliminate clutter and find that “Being the Best” is simply being you.

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