Today I join Elixirr – the challenger consultancy. I wanted to share with you why I’m so excited about this new professional adventure and joining a firm of entrepreneurs…
Social scientists say we can learn a lot about ourselves by identifying who we most wanted to impress growing up. For me this was my father. He was a self-made man, the first in our family to go to college. Only recently have I fully understood what it took for him to provide for our family all those years.
For example, while I was in college his company was undergoing a disruptive period that forced my parents sell their dream home while loading up every credit card to the max. It turns out that the desire to downsize had nothing to do with an empty nest and everything to do with an empty bank account. Thankfully, he was able to pivot his company and sell it which enabled the comfortable retirement he enjoys today. It’s difficult to express in words how much I respect my father for this and so many other things.
Regardless of how successful I’ve been in the consulting industry to this point, I’ve often thought about stepping outside the relative security of a large firm and making my way as an entrepreneur. With my father’s example as my inspiration, I feel like my career has always been destined to be tested in this way. Success in this new endeavor will take more than my ambition, it requires a clarity of purpose. After all, an entrepreneur’s success is tied to a mission serving others’ needs. This is how he taught me to create value.
Social scientists also tell us as humans we’re propelled by a strong desire to connect with one another. So, it’s no wonder with the evolution of technology we’ve started to connect everything. The industrial age gave way to the information age… which has even more quickly given way to an intelligently connected one. We’re at the dawn of this new era and trying to make sense of it all. What does it mean to do business in a world where everything is connected anyway?
The answer to this question is revealing itself quickly. Digitally native startups are challenging convention across every industry as the pace of change continues to accelerate. At the same time, the great companies who created the world we inhabit today, and the people who run them, are at a crossroads. What brought success in the past – namely, structure built to optimize process and maximize efficiency – will be insufficient.
Future success will require the innovative mindset of an entrepreneur who seeks to break traditional models and create new pathways to value. Jeff Bezos himself makes clear how different the mindset of a new era executive can be when he states that Amazon’s success is a function of how many experiments they do per year, per month, per week, and per day. For this simple fact, it seems we all live in a time where we will be tested as entrepreneurs in one way or another.
Juxtapose this with the recent conversation I had with a C-level exec of a Fortune-100 company where he asked me to avoid the word ‘fail’ or ‘failure’ when talking about the innovation agenda with his team. I get it, nobody wants to encourage failure, though please understand that perfectionism is the kryptonite of innovation. It is here where I find my calling as an entrepreneur…
I’m here to help clients develop new businesses propelled by high performing teams and executives. I propose we pursue excellence while daring greatly. This begins by identifying discrete opportunity areas or problem statements. We will then unlock the creativity and wisdom of teams to craft unique solutions that will be prototyped immediately and iteratively customer tested. The ideas that rise to the top will be rapidly implemented and brought to market. In taking these steps together we’ll begin to evolve the mental model of your teams and executives. These leaders will become the torch bearers for the future of your business. To be inspirational, one simply needs to find something that inspires them and share it with others.
Today I join a team of professionals who are entrepreneurs first and advisors second. We bring a diverse set of experiences from our varied backgrounds across consulting, industry, and the start-up community. We’re bound together by a common set of values that place our clients’ agendas above our own, the success of the team over the individual, and, most importantly, the commitment to making difficult change happen.
“We are more than ready to get in the boat with you, we are ready to grab a paddle and start rowing.”
While we hold each other accountable to the highest standards, we make it a point to have fun along the way. Our clients engage us across a range of services designed to help them build their businesses. This could be through building on existing models, helping them create build brand new businesses within their existing one, or creating a completely separate entity.
We are more than ready to get in the boat with you, we are ready to grab a paddle and start rowing. I will conclude this post with a few questions for you to consider:
– What do you believe in?
– What does that mean for the future of your business?
– Who is the ideal partner to help you achieve this?
Until we speak again I wish for you much curiosity, courage, and connection.