Preface: In business, journaling is useful for gathering data that can be applied in the future too. If you understand the purpose of reflections about business, and the value of working on your business, and not always in it, you’ll do well to read and apply the Harvard Business Review advice from January of 2016.
Investing to Double Your Businesses Value – Part VIII
Credit: Donald J. Sauder, CPA
Investing to Double Your Businesses Value – Part VIII is not about history being written in Word documents with auto saved features; it’s about you, having the opportunity to reflect on, and write, your own history.
Let’s reflect for a moment on a Harvard Business Review article from January 2016, that outlines the value of advised journaling in business leadership:
Research has documented that outstanding leaders take time to reflect. Their success depends on the ability to access their unique perspective and bring it to their decisions and sense-making every day.
Extraordinary leadership is rooted in several capabilities: seeing before others see, understanding before others understand, and acting before others act. A leader’s unique perspective is an important source of creativity and competitive advantage. But the reality is that most of us live such fast-paced, frenzied lives that we fail to leave time to listen to ourselves.
Connect to purpose. All too many leaders have a surfeit of opportunities but suffer a paucity of meaning. Asking questions that bring us back to what is most meaningful to us personally, as well as to what we believe is most important for society and the planet, deepens our sense of purpose. For example, you might ask: What is my daily work? What is my life’s work? Similarly, reflecting in your journal on inspirational words from world leaders or wisdom traditions can act as an antidote to superficiality and parochialism
Gaining access to your own insight isn’t difficult; you simply need to commit to reflecting on a daily basis. Based on research (my own and others’) and many years of work with global business leaders as a consultant and international management professor, I recommend the simple act of regularly writing in a journal:
Journaling your business’s history as it unfolds, helps you see, understand and act before other entrepreneurs. It also, helps you understand yourself, your business and your marketplace. When reflecting on your business journal, you could quietly say; Hi! Stories of my Business! A journal helps you step back to avoid risks, and reflect to make more successful decisions in the future. A journal helps you navigate a common denominator or say numerator. Shifting from reactive business, to proactive business, requires the ability to see, understand, and act first.
One of my favorite stories is Rob McEwen, CEO of Goldcorp in 1999. McEwen was leading his company on discovering additional deposits at the Red Lake Mine in Ontario. In his search for inspiration from a demand for immediate exploration results, McEwen didn’t spend more time working on the business problem himself; instead he took some time to reflect, and traveled to MIT where he attended a lecture about open-source software systems.
Minutes after the lecture, he got an idea that worth billions. Applying a contrarian and vanguard approach, McEwen launched the Goldcorp Challenge. Sharing proprietary geological data with the public, he created a contest with a $575,000 cash prize: present exploration plans and techniques on where to find gold in Red Lake based on the data. Resource findings and results would award the winners. Millions of entries were submitted, within weeks, from mathematicians, graduate students, and experienced geologists. More than 100 targets, all hidden beforehand, were identified. The idea resulted in 8 million plus ounces of gold reserves; and a substantial world-class discovery.
In the minerals and mining business, exploration is for the purpose of gathering data that will be useful in the future, e.g. resource and reserve harvesting. In business, journaling is useful for gathering data that can be applied in the future too. If you understand the purpose of reflections about business, and the value of working on your business, and not always in it, you’ll do well to read and apply the Harvard Business Review advice from January of 2016. In 2014, did you journal where you’d be in three year? A thanksgiving and reflection are advised if that answer is yea.
Investing to Double Your Businesses Value Part VIII – Investing time to reflect on the past, and the present, while writing today your future business history.