Going broad on your knowledge and deep on your focus.

I headed up to see the AMITPRO Group last week and took them through one of my presentations ‘Who Cares about your Business?’. This one focused on ensuring you have the right strategies in place so that you could support your vision, your clients, and your internal teams appropriately.

One of the suggestions I made to the group (and thank you to everyone who turned up), was to not spread yourself too thinly. The increased buzz around Cloud can trick some into thinking they have to do a bit of everything to be in the game, but really, it would be better to focus on one or two things, and learn to do them well. This will encourage specialisation, integrity, empowerment, and professional confidence… imagine if someone claimed to be a brain surgeon simply because he ‘dabbled’ in the subject!

The book I’m currently reading also backs up this point; the author, Matthew Crawford* is a craftsman and talks about being successful as a result of years of practice and exploration around the subject. In a world where consumers demand products that are easy to purchase, maintain, and dispose of, it can be very easy for our passion for a skill or ability to be lost in the noise of convenience.icecream

Yesterday, a client told me a story of a recent holiday they took in the south of Spain. As he and his family strolled along the waterfront, they noticed that practically every other shop front was this particular fish restaurant, and in the spirit of choice, next door was an ice cream/ gelato shop which sold many different kinds of flavours. So if you wanted the same menu and choice but just in a different part of the waterfront you were fine! Interestingly, hardly anyone walking past stopped in either type of shop because of the lack of quality or passion for what was being sold – you’ve seen it before, the staff who would rather be elsewhere or something that just didn’t hit the spot…

However, there was one small store that was different; not only because it had a remarkably long queue but because the choices they offered was limited to vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. What was great about this store was exactly what the larger chains couldn’t offer – better quality, passion, and personality.

So rather than worry about what everyone else is doing, what is it that you can be doing best? Whatever you can’t do, or whatever your weaknesses are, you can always strategically delegate them to someone who can help serve your clients better.

Just make sure you know what you’re doing in the first place and effectively communicate why it is they should care.

Further reading:

AMITPRO Group: http://amitpro.org/

*The title of his book differs in the UK to the US

Susanne Dansey is the Managing Director of Purple Cow Ideas Management – an organisation that facilitates a paradigm shift in the collaborative nature of the ICT Industry. You can follow her on Twitter and join the conversation on Facebook.



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