Healthy Paranoia: Your Career and Your Business

The stage five of ITIL “Continual Improvement” is the one I live by. I’ve been applying the method to my personal and professional life for the past ten years, calling it “Healthy Paranoia”. Perfection doesn’t exist, but through refinement excellence can be achieved.

So what does it take to get to the next level? Why some people/organizations fail while others succeed? A million dollar question everyone tries to answer. Have you read a book “What Got You Here Won’t Get You There”? – I recommend.

Some skeptics might question the attempt mixing thoughts on development of an organization with professional growth of an individual. Oh well one can’t please everyone…

Why THEY succeed?

It’s a combination of the following characteristics:

1. Direction
Leadership/Vision
Strategy/Goals

2. Control
Business/personal Controls
Structure/Discipline

3. Operation
Culture/Attitude
People Development/Continual Growth

Why THEY Fail?

1. High Growth without competency/Too much Too Soon
2. Failure to Invest (time, resources, focus)

Leadership definedSets the direction for the enterprise/person. Creates the environment and motivates the organization/person to reach the ideal state.

• KNOW your behavior
• SEEK objective, independent outside advice

Strategy definedDecision-making process. Assists you to employ time, people, and money appropriately

• DEFINE reality for your business/career
• SET the vision

Culture definedCulture/Attitude is a managed process. Clearly defines values, beliefs, rewards, discipline, and what it takes to succeed

• YOU define the culture every day
• NOTHING that you do goes unnoticed

People Development DefinedRecruiting, hiring, training, and retaining competent people. Providing freedom, responsibility, and authority in an atmosphere of trust

• CLEAR roles and responsibilities
• LINK performance to strategy
• REWARD the exceptional, not the expected

Structure definedEffectively employs people, time, and money
Allows for effective communication and productive relationships to achieve desired outcomes

• DECIDE how to best serve the customer
• WATCH for duplication or dropped balls
• SET after strategy

Business Controls definedMeans of keeping the organization on track. Measuring the “important” not the immediate or urgent

• FINANCIALS tell about history
• MEASURE the important

Next Steps – Business
Planning, People, Performance

1. CREATE a strategy
2. CREATE an outside board
3. LINK performance to the strategy
4. DECIDE whether you have the right people

Next Steps – YOU
Learning, Doing, Giving

1. READ about management
2. HOLD yourself and your people accountable
3. SERVE on outside boards to learn and contribute

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
– Aristotle