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Interesting Einstein Articles October 22, 2008

Posted by Jeremy in Business Solutions, Efficiency Process.
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Today I was reading the posts from Entrepreneur magazine and there were two that dealt with Albert Einstein.  Now I think that some entrepreneurs really have genius ideas but didn’t really think about some of this before.

10 Traits Entrepreneurs and Einstein Share

Unleash Your Inner Einstein

I bring these articles up not because I am trying to compare myself to Einstein (BE NICE!).  There were a couple of points that I really thought hit some of the things that I have been trying to point out on my blog for the last couple of months.

That’s the way we’ve always done it

Both articles discuss how Einstein always questioned everything.  Einstein was well known for always asking why or why not.  Even when he was told that something worked a specific way he always questioned the “facts” behind what he was told.  In the second article there is a good story about how he questioned the make up of light.  It outlines his thought process and his questioning of the accepted knowledge.

I point this specific point out because in many businesses we don’t question the reasons or the facts behind why we do things the way we do.  The common answer is ‘That’s how it’s always been done’.  This is something that Einstein did not accept and my honest opinion is that it is something that we should not accept either.  I would encourage people to ask ‘Why?’.  In some cases you learn that it is correct and necessary but in other cases you will find that it is something that can be altered to be better.

This really is a core foundation of the theory of constant improvement.  You must question what you are doing in order to improve the process.

New Ways of Thinking

Another characteristic that they describe goes along with the previous one and it is described as “Old problems, new ways of thinking”.  The next comment from the article I feel is a terrific point:

“We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”

This is such an important point.  First we have to question “why” and second we have to look at it from a new standpoint.  Probably many things have changed since the original process has been put in place.  You have quite a bit more knowledge, technology, and experience than you probably did when the process was created.  So we must focus on solving the problems using today’s resources.

Be Like Einstein

When Einstein was alive and pondering all of the amazing topics that he did, he was always asking why.  He would come up with what some people would call a “crazy idea” and then think it through to see if he could figure out whether it would work or not.  He was not limited by what everyone else told him were the way things were.  Einstein always wanted to understand why the limits were set as they were. 

I think that it is extremely important for entrepreneurs, business owners, managers, and employees to all look at their businesses from this viewpoint.  This is how innovation happens.  This is how efficiency happens.  This is how greatness happens.

I challenge everyone to at least once this week to really look at something that you do everyday and ask “Why do we do this and why do we do it this way?”.  You may be surprised what you learn.

As always, feel free to contact me if I can help you in any way.

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Efficient Business Study October 17, 2008

Posted by Jeremy in Business Solutions, Efficiency Process, Efficient Technologies.
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As I was looking through some articles I found one that really my attention (Commentary: Technology improves efficiency, services throughout Long Island).  This article discusses how the The Family and Children’s Association in Long Island is dealing with the economic downturn.  They are striving make themselves more efficient.  I think that this is a great focus for times like this.

One of things that I noticed in the article is discussion of collaborating with other organizations.  This is a fabulous idea and something that every business can consider.  Are there ways for you to integrate with you vendors, partners, or customers?  This can give you multiple benefits. 

  1. You can actually help the other organizations and yourself become more efficient.  
  2. You gain credibility with your customers/clients because you are working to save them money.  You can really become a value add.
  3. By making your vendors more efficient you may be able to have lower costs. 
  4. Integration can make your relationships stronger.

There are many other reasons but you get the idea.  Doing this type of collaboration can be trying at times but it can yield significant benefits if you follow it through.

Greening up technology October 17, 2008

Posted by Jeremy in Efficient Technologies, Green Business.
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I meant to post this earlier this week but have been busy with landing a new full time contract.  Interesting days.

Anyway, I found this article (Smart Companies Take the LEED for Energy Efficiency) interesting when it comes to greening up business.  I definitely believe that there is potential in utilizing technology to make yourself more green but this is definitely taking that a step further.  This is the hosting companies looking into making their offerings more green.  So, you can outsource your network infrastructure which will make you more energy efficient and now the host will be more energy efficient so it won’t just move the consumption around.  This is a very positive thing and I think that it will help with finding solutions to energy efficiency.

Between the use of efficient technology and outsourcing many things can be made more efficient.  This will happen from both a business standpoint and an energy standpoint.

Efficiency/Green Example: Apple Store October 6, 2008

Posted by Jeremy in Business Solutions, Efficiency Process, Efficient Technologies, Green Business.
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So about a week ago my wife got the new iPod Touch.  Today she wanted to get a protector for it, so we went to the Apple store.  I can honestly say that I have never been in the Apple Store before but I felt like I walked into the future.  Anyway, we picked out the item that my wife wanted and then I saw a sample of efficiency in action.  The person who was helping us pulls out a handheld scanner and scans the item.  He tells me the price and says ‘How would you like to pay?’.  He takes my credit card right there in the middle of the store and swipes it.  Then he says ‘How would you like to receive your receipt?  Paper or email?’.  All I could think was finally someone realizes that I don’t want all of this paper just to throw it away.

I thought that this was a great example of how you can utilize technology to make your business more efficient, customer-friendly, and green at the same time.  It was much more efficient because that salesperson didn’t have to direct me to someone else to take the payment.  More green because they gave me the option of deleting a receipt email over pitching a paper receipt.  Definitely more customer-friendly because I took care of everything in one place and was out of the store and didn’t have to keep a receipt.

Using this as an example, what types of efficiencies could your business utilize to be efficient, green, and customer friendly?

I welcome your comments and please feel free to contact me if you need help with any efficiencies that you come up with.