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Business Ideas are not created equal

May 16, 2014 Mike Rose

To think inside or outside the "box" that is the question.

Defining your "business box" could save your business.

The capacity to create a business idea in an existing business and get someone else to understand that idea is a fascinating human trait. Business ideas, or ideas in general can only come from humans. There is not a app for that.

I believe ideas come in two major forms in business; Inside-the-box and Outside-the-box. Have you ever asked someone or a group of people to "think outside-the-box?" The response is usually, "sure, I'll think outside-the-box with you." These session are usually filled with a storm of ideas instigated by something not going quite right or something that can be improved upon in the business. Have you ever considered to think inside-the-box? More than likely not because we must first define this "box" we refer to all the time. Return On Energy® has defined the box. See figure 1.0.

If you have not defined your business box that an outside the box idea could kill your business. Defining the box is actually quite simple, but not easy. For example, dieting is simple. Consuming less calories than you expend is a simple concept, but no one would ever say that dieting is easy!

So what is the box? Way One thinking, among other critical factors is to develop the business objectives. Way Two thinking is to create SMART plans or strategies that are designed to support the business objectives. And finally, Way Three thinking is the enormous about of energy the tasks require in order to execute the plan. That, for the most part is the parts of the box.

For example, at Mojo Media Labs we have four key business objective categories that involve Finance, Customer, Culture and Internal Business Operations. Finance has two business objectives; revenue and budget. Customer has two; retention and our service packages. Internal Business Operations has two; sales process and the Mojo operations model. Culture has two; talent recruiting/retention and training and development. This is a total of eight key business objectives. Each objective has a multiple documented strategies in order to accomplish the objectives and I could not count the tactics that occur on a daily basis to insure we are on plan. This is our box.

We are constantly thinking of inside-the-box business ideas to be more efficient at our tasks, increase the R (results) in our SMART plans that insure we hit our objectives. An objective is a target. The shaft of the arrow is the plan and the fletching part of the arrow are the tasks. Everything must be aligned in order to hit our intended target.

We define outside the box thinking as any business idea that falls outside our current objectives, plans and tasks outline. This structure allows us to keep the team focused on the target for longer periods of time. We blow the box up every twelve months and build a new box. Can you see then how an outside the box business idea could pose as a distraction during the course of normal day to day business operations?

The box also helps identify if you are working "in" the business apposed to working "on" the business. Some people are more creative in the box, or working in the business. Some are more creative and more passionate to think outside the box or on the business. The ROE® methodology helps me define the box; that thing we either think or work in or out of.

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