Posts Tagged ‘sacred cows’

A Year of Challenges?

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

We all know that it is a challenging economic environment out there, but my year has started with some rather different challenges.  The first client has had to challenge their leadership team and make some hard decisions about who fits; the second needs to challenge the firm’s way of working in order to succeed.  I was asked how to win a million pounds of extra business and I said that the people who could make an ally out of the current financial situation were most likely to be winners.  In a ‘steady state’ economy people tend to follow ‘steady as she goes’ strategies, as encapsulated by the phrase “Nobody ever got fired for buying IBM”, but in these turbulent times more radical courses are not contemplated but necessary.

Why not start your new year by herding up your sacred cows and culling the herd a little?

“Sacred cows make the best hamburger”  Mark Twain

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”  Mark Twain

Things ain’t what they used to be

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

I was walking today alongside the ruins of the Wey & Arun canal, which links the river Wey to the river Arun, and used to make it possible to go by river from London to Littlehampton.  However, by 1868, due to competition from the railways it had fallen in to disuse.  Imagine the work it took to excavate 23 miles of canal… and now it is largely just a muddy depression partially overgrown by trees*.

In business and in life, we invest time, effort and ourselves into various projects and ideas, and over time we can feel that they are synonymous with  us.  However, most projects, like the canal have a natural life span and we need to able to walk away from them when they no longer serve us, or when the need can be better met by alternative means.  Just because we have poured ourselves into something is not necessarily a good reason to keep it going once it no longer serves its purpose.  We owe it to ourselves and our stakeholders to challenge even our sacred cows.

What are your sacred cows?


For those of you with a long memory, here is the song that inspired this blog, but be warned it goes back to 1960 and talks about all those new fangled stuff around then…



*  There is an active group who are slowly restoring this lovely piece of history