I saw in the press recently that the South Australian government announced the completion of the world’s largest lithium-ion battery, built just outside the city of Jamestown.
The battery was the result of a bet between Tesla CEO Elon Musk and fellow billionaire (and founder of Australian tech company Atlassian), Mike Cannon-Brookes. After a series of major power outages across South Australia, including a state-wide blackout that affected an area the size of France in September 2016, Cannon-Brookes challenged Musk to find a solution.
In July, Elon Musk bet the people of Australia he could build a 100mW battery in 100 days or it would be free. He stuck to his word and did it in just 60 days.
He saw a challenge, had an idea and set his mind to achieving it.
As our year winds to a close I wonder how many of us are reflecting on the challenges ahead and deciding what we could achieve if we set our minds to it in 2018 and beyond.
The problem is, no matter how great our ideas, sometimes life gets in the way. We may have identified a great opportunity, but as we get on with our normal routine, these ideas remain unfulfilled or worse, taken up by a rival.
There is a quote from the business guru Jim Rohn which I think is very powerful.
“Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day.”
This shows that you don’t have to design and build the world’s largest battery to be a success as even little changes in how we operate as individuals and businesses can allow us to improve how we live and do business. Conversely if we persist with bad habits then eventually failure will happen.
Small changes and good habits can have a major positive impact so every business needs to reflect on how they can develop ideas and decide on how they can leverage these to obtain a competitive advantage.
Easier said than done, but it is achievable and the best way to do that is to plan ahead.
How advanced is your business plan for 2018?
Too many people don’t have that plan or if they do it’s not written down.
The sad reality is that far too many of us drift along in life happy to do what we have always done.
In our completive world for those that want success is that enough?
I would say no.
If you want to move forward and take advantage of the ideas you have in your head, then you need to think about how you can prepare for the future.
Planning needs to be an important element of the DNA of the business of the future. Sitting down and looking ahead to see the opportunities and threats is not a nice to have but an essential business tactic.
Like any business tactic it’s a process and you need a structure and framework.
I’d like to share 10 questions which if you think about on a regular basis can change the way you live and work.
10 Questions for planning ahead:
When you answer these questions honestly then ideas will flow.
However, it is important to write these answers down and outline simply and in plain English the steps you need to take, including resources and budgets to make your big ideas of 2018 become your competitive advantage.
I’ll leave you with another quote from Jim Rohn
“If you really want to do something, you'll find a way. If you don't, you'll find an excuse.”
So no excuses, what do you want to do in 2018?
John Joe McGinley
Glassagh Consulting December 2017