Friday’s Five Things

Five things I learned this week….

Your level of productivity is never where you want it to be

Another week has flown by and it feels like 100 things were accomplished yet I barely scratched the surface. The satisfaction of seeing great strides in completing things were balanced against my slightly pessimistic thinking that I still didn’t manage to make dramatic headway in other priorities. I can beat myself up that I didn’t attain my (likely unattainable for anyone who is human) goal, or simply move on and recognize that I accomplished many important and critical things. In my life I juggle 2 agencies, 2 NFPs, twins, and life in general (the hubby isn’t hard work-he makes life easier!).  I just read an article that I thought you might find interesting called the 7 Bad Habits of Insanely Productive People: http://www.copyblogger.com/bad-habit-productivity/ . However, I did remind myself to say “no” a few times to meetings, unrealistic work expectations and consulting time freebies so I guess that counts too. Maybe I need to pull a Taylor Swift and just “Shake it Off” more often.

Sometimes the experts aren’t any more expert than common sense

I listened to a fantastic group of panelists for an industry event this week from an organization that I think is critical to moving the needle in Canadian business innovation. The event was well put together, had a solid number of attendees and included intelligent people on the panel who have years of experience. I was happy to drive an hour to/from just to listen to them. My immediate thought was “this is fantastic“. I loved ingesting their pearls of wisdom and most were very engaging personalities. However, once I sat back and digested everything, I realized the core question of what they were there to shed light on… wasn’t actually answered. The steps and summary of “here’s how we create innovation & change” felt like it was missing. In looking back, I’m still not sure what the right direction was based on the input from the experts.

Sometime great advice really does break through the clutter

In direct contrast to my note above, here were some concrete pieces of wisdom that I learned and would like to pass on:

  1. Investors are looking for team dynamics as being a critical factor in why they fund your company. They are specifically looking for a Hacker, a Hustler and a Designer so make sure you have not only the right skillset but that you are passionate about each others’ strengths and articulate why your company couldn’t work without them.
  2. One organization focused on a 1:1:1 breakdown when looking at social responsibility. It breaks out as 1% of employee time: 1% of company equity: 1% of profit all go towards something that ties in with their CSR program. What a brilliant and actionable idea!
  3. VC Investors are also looking for specifics before they will fund you with the large amounts you are dreaming of:
    • How are you going to get from $0 to $500k in 5 years (or whatever the specifics are)?
    • What is your defensibility (what makes it hard for others to enter the category or emulate you)?
    • What is the team makeup (noted above)?
    • How are you going to achieve 50-100% in growth per year?

The CIX event is November 18 @ MaRS DD

During a conference call this week, somebody mentioned they were flying into Toronto to attend the CIX event in November. Truth be told, I hadn’t heard of it. Here’s their schtick: The Canadian Innovation Exchange (CIX) is a leading technology innovation destination where investors, innovative companies, entrepreneurs and facilitators converge to drive economic growth and accelerate the development and implementation of new ideas. This forum attracts the key players behind Canadian’s innovative technology products and services in order to learn from each other, meet and pursue customer partnerships and investment relationships, and encourage the development of innovative technology that will be an integral part of Canada’s economic growth. It also features the CIX Top 20, an exclusive showcase that celebrates Canada’s best innovations and the people behind them. Find out more here: http://www.canadianinnovationexchange.com/about-cix/

Say no

My last insight goes back to the first point. Sometimes you just have to say “no”. And frankly, I couldn’t think of a 5th insight to write this week so I’m going to allow myself to say it’s okay, rather than beat myself up about what I’m supposed to write.

 

Have a great weekend.