Tuesday, July 31, 2007

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La siguiente frase con que termina el libro The Rainmaker (John Grisham)... me ha hecho pensar mucho sobre la moralidad de las acciones... el habla expresamente de abogados, pero igual se podría aplicar en los negocios....

Every lawyer, in every case, crosses a line he didn't mean to cross. It just happens. And if you cross it enough times, it disappears forever... Then you're nothing but a lawyer joke. Just another shark in the dirty water.

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Para aquellos que no lo sepan, dejé de fumar el 22 de Abril de 2007. Los primeros dos días fueron... terribles... pero ahí vamos, me siento mejor. han pasado ya más de tres meses.... duermo mejor, como mejor, respiro mejo. Vivo mejor.

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Hoy aprendí cuatro cosas jugando Squash...

1) No darle tan duro desde el inicio, así aguanto más

2) Después de cada golpe, tengo que buscar "instintivamente" el centro de la cancha, para tener el dominio, lo intenté poner en práctica y en términos generales me fue mejor, aunque al estar "forzándome" a eso, al no ser todavía "natural" este movimiento.... todavía me cuesta... pero siento "más control"...

3) Intentar recibir con la raqueta arriba... así "adelanto" un movimiento...

4) Qué rico es tomar el Jacuzzi después de 75 minutos de Squash..

Monday, July 30, 2007

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En cualquier actividad es importante saber hacer forecasts efectivos... pero no es lo mismo hacer un forecast efectivo que un forecast exacto....

Muchas veces no podré pronosticar un dato exacto... ni tampoco es eso lo que se pretende.... un forecast efectivo es aquel que considera las distintas opciones... es aquel forecast que tiene una pintura completa de lo que puede pasar... e incluso tiene caminos alternos.

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A veces se utiliza la historia (o los recuerdos)... como un borracho utiliza un poste de luz... la función principal del poste no es sostener borrachos...

A veces la historia se narra y sirve de apoyo para ideas preconcebidas.... en lugar de servir de guía (como el poste de luz), sirve de apoyo....

Hay que estar conscientes que cuesta, incluso las proyecciones más "realistas" tienden a quedarse cortas.



Referencia:

http://www.burningdoor.com/askthewizard/2007/07/series_a_financing_how_much_to_1.html

First, let’s address the hypothesis that the company will make money soon after launch. Irrespective of whether we’re talking about profits or just top-line revenue here, I would caution that it almost always takes longer to ramp your top-line than you think it will. Everybody walks into a venture pitch with their three year financial projections that have a lousy first year, a strong second year, and a monster third year. The truth is that even most ultimately successful tech startups have a slow first year, a slow second year, and then you get your spectrum of third year results ranging from really-taking-off to continued-doldrums. It just always takes longer than you think to launch, grow, ramp sales, close deals, etc.

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Me llamó la atención el siguiente texto de Brian Tracy

http://blogs.briantracy.com/public/item/177416

(la transcripción la pongo hasta abajo de este mensaje).....

Me llamó la atención porque lo relacioné con la historia que me contó un mi amigo sobre la medalla de plata que sacó un guatemalteco en Badminton en los Juegos Panamericanos... me contó que el canadiense (que al final se llevó el oro) perdió el primer set, y en el segundo set comenzó a "fingir" que estaba deficiente del lado derecho... y mi paisano cayó en la finta... y comenzó a jugarle hacia ese lado, haciendo justo lo que el oponente quería...

Y aplicado a los negocios....

1) Hacer lo inesperado: esto es hacer fintas... sorprender... salir por el lado opuesto... lo inesperado no es lo absurdo...
2) Explotar al máximo una oportunidad o una buena idea...
3) Buscar la cooperación de los demás.







Get Better Results than Ever Before
There are several principles of military strategy that you can apply to your business, every single day. These can help you to think better and get better results than ever before.

Do the Unexpected
One really helpful military principle that can be applied to business is the Principle of Surprise. The principle of surprise says, "do the unexpected!" In sales and marketing, this means to be continually seeking ways to out-flank or upset your competition.

Do the Opposite of Before
Sometimes doing exactly the opposite of what you have been doing up till now can turn out to be the perfect solution. The natural tendency for a person, when they find themselves in a hole, is to dig deeper. In many cases, the solution is to go and dig somewhere else. Remember, the first law of holes is, "When you find yourself in one, stop digging."

Follow-up and Follow-Through
A second military principle that applies to business is the Principle of Exploitation. The principle of exploitation emphasizes the importance of follow-up and follow-through. In business, this means that, when you get an opportunity, you exploit it to the fullest extent possible. If you have a great promotional idea or product or service, you sell all you can. You take advantage of your idea or breakthrough and use every opportunity to capitalize on it.

Work Harmoniously With Others
The third principle of military strategy that applies to personal and corporate thinking is the Principle of Cooperation. In business, this is often called the principle of synergy. In military terms, this is often called the principle of "concerted action." In business terms, your ability to work effectively and harmoniously with other individuals and groups is more responsible for your success than any other quality.

Win the Cooperation of Key People
A key part of strategic thinking is for you to identify the individuals, groups and organizations whose cooperation you will require to achieve your goals. Make a list of them and then organize the list in order of importance. Then ask yourself, "How am I going to win their cooperation?"

Answer Everyone's Favorite Question
Everybody wants to know, "what's in it for me?" The effective executive is always looking for ways to help or assist others knowing that this is the only sure way to create within them a desire to help you to achieve your goals.

By doing the unexpected, by following up and following through, and by constantly looking for ways to get other people to cooperate with you, you will accomplish more in a shorter time than you might ever have imagined.

Action Exercises
Here are two things you can do immediately to apply these ideas in your business and in your work:

First, look at your job, especially the areas where you are experiencing frustration, and question whether or not there is a completely different way of approaching your problem or situation. Do the unexpected. Perhaps you should be doing exactly the opposite of what you are doing today. All success in business comes from surprising the competition in some way.

Second, identify the people, groups and organizations whose assistance you will need to achieve your goal. Continually look for ways to earn their support and cooperation by thinking in terms of what is in it for them.

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Es importante tener un plan...

Cuando las suposiciones que se han hecho sobre un negocio son erróneas, si no se tiene un plan, no se llega a saber ni siquiera que son erróneas.

Al menos con el plan en la mano me ayuda a cambiar de curso...

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Without a plan, when assumptions are wrong you don’t even know what they were, how were they wrong, in what direction, and what can you do about it. With a plan, you use plan versus actual all the time to manage the difference between what you thought and what actually happened.

That’s what I love most about having a GPS unit in a car. When I screw up and take the wrong turn, the GPS still remembers where I wanted to go and tells me how to change my course. That’s what good managers do with a sound planning process.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

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Resumen:

1. ¿Para qué esperar a que me llegue una crísis para valorar lo que realmente importa en mi vida?.

2. Es fundamental identificar la brecha (gap) entre lo que realmente me importa y los recursos que realmente estoy invirtiendo en eso.

3. Proceso
3.1 Inventario de mis valores: realmente escribir lo que más valoro
3.2 Verificar el uso actual de mis recursos en lo que realmente me importa:
a) Dinero: ¿cuánto?
b) Tiempo: ¿cuánto?
c) Energía: ¿qué calidad de energía pongo?... buena energía = focused

4. Identificar la brecha entre mis valores y mis compromisos

5. Comprender las causas de esa brecha, por ejemplo:
a) Uno a veces hace dos compromisos que entran en conflicto (por ejemplo, decidir invertir más tiempo en dos sitios diferentes y distantes.... habrá conflicto)
b) Dejar que otros establezcan mis prioridades (por ejemplo actuar en función de lo que piensan los otros que es bueno... aquel que no le dedica tiempo a su familia porque piensa que sus colegas lo dejarán de mirar con respeto...).





Fuente:

http://www.hbsp.harvard.edu/hbsp/hbo/articles/article.jsp?articleID=8770&ml_action=get-article&print=true

Transcript:

Do Your Commitments Match Your Convictions?

Key ideas from the Harvard Business Review article by Donald N. Sull and Dominic Houlder

The Idea

How many of us struggle harder every day to uphold obligations to our bosses, families, and communities—even as the quality of our lives erodes? And how many of us feel too overwhelmed to examine the causes of this dilemma?

For most people, it takes a crisis—illness, divorce, death of a loved one, business failure—before we’ll refocus our commitments of money, time, and energy on what really matters to us. But why wait for a crisis? Instead, use a systematic process to periodically clarify your convictions and assess whether you’re putting your money (and time and energy) where your mouth is. Identify high-priority values that are receiving insufficient resources—or outdated commitments that are siphoning precious resources away from your deepest convictions.

Once you’ve spotted gaps between what matters most to you and how you’re investing your resources, use a time-out (a sabbatical, course, or retreat) to rethink old commitments and define new ones more consistent with your values.

By routinely applying this process, you—not your past obligations—will determine the direction your life takes.

The Idea in Practice

To manage the gap between your convictions and commitments, apply the following steps.

Inventory Your Values

List the things that matter most to you, in specific language. For example, instead of “Money,” write, “Providing financial security to my family,” or “Earning enough to retire early.” Aim for five to ten values, and write what you honestly value—not what you think you should value.

Assess How You’re Investing Your Resources

Track how much money, time, and energy you’re devoting to your values. For each value you’ve listed, record the following:

• Percentage of your household income you devote to that value
• Number of hours per week you spend on the value
• Quality of energy (high, low) you devote to activities related to that value. (An hour spent on an activity when you’re fresh and focused represents a greater commitment than an hour spent when you’re exhausted and distracted.)

Identify Gaps Between Your Values and Commitments

Do some values on your list receive little or none of your money, time, and energy? Is there a single value that sucks a disproportionate share of your resources away from other priorities?

Understand What Has Caused the Gaps

Disconnects between what you value and how you actually spend your time can have several causes. Perhaps you’ve taken on obligations without considering the long-term ramifications. One successful entrepreneur in New York had promised to spend more time with her London-based partner. But when she decided to sell her start-up to a West Coast competitor through a five-year earn-out deal, she had to move to San Francisco to run the business. She now spends even more time airborne—torn between two conflicting commitments she made simultaneously.

Or maybe you’ve let others define “success” for you. One young banker earned colleagues’ praise for his extreme work ethic. When he became a father, he wanted to spend more time with his family, which baffled his colleagues. Because he badly desired continued praise from colleagues, he continued his workaholic ways—and effectively gave his colleagues the power to set his priorities.

Change Course

It’s harder to recalibrate commitments when you’re not facing a crisis. A time-out—a sabbatical, course, or other device—can help you reflect and give you an excuse to break old commitments and forge new ones. To avoid “commitment creep,” abandon or renegotiate one old commitment for every new one you make.

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Esto lo he tomado de HBR Ideacast - In Brief Segment - Me ha parecido extremadamente interesante no solamente para las relaciones en un equipo, sino que casi para cualquier otra relación.

Voy a escribir el resumen y luego una transcripción


Seis pasos:

  1. Enfocarse en los hechos: negocios son negocios, y no tomarse las cosas personales.
  2. Multiplicar las alternativas: evitar polarizarse en dos opciones específicas, buscar soluciones de consenso.
  3. Buscar objetivos comunes: así todos trabajan sabiendo que están colaborando en algo.
  4. Usar el humor: saber romper el hielo, y distender el ambiente...
  5. Balancear la estructura de poder: Nunca perder de vista que el gerente general (CEO) es el más poderoso... pero también los otros gerentes tienen poder (especialmente en su area), por lo tanto es buena práctica que todos participen en las decisiones estratégicas.
  6. Buscar concenso cualificado: si se da el caso de que no hay consenso, el team leader toma la decisión basándose en el input de los otros, pero toma la decisión... no se puede estar en un estado de incertidumbre.


Transcript:

How Management Teams Can Have a Good Fight

Key ideas from the Harvard Business Review article by Kathleen M. Eisenhardt, Jean L. Kahwajy, and L.J. Bourgeois III

The Idea

Think “conflict” is a dirty word, especially for top-management teams? It’s actually valuable for team members to roll up their sleeves and spar (figuratively, that is)—if they do it right. Constructive conflict helps teams make high-stakes decisions under considerable uncertainty and move quickly in the face of intense pressure—essential capacities in today’s fast-paced markets.

The key? Mitigate interpersonal conflict. Most conflicts take a personal turn all too soon. Here’s how your team can detach the personal from the professional—and dramatically improve its collective effectiveness.

The Idea in Practice

The best teams use these six tactics to separate substantive issues from personalities:

Focus on the facts. Arm yourselves with a wealth of data about your business and your competitors. This encourages you to debate critical issues, not argue out of ignorance.

Example: Star Electronics’* top team “measured everything”: bookings, backlogs, margins, engineering milestones, cash, scrap, work-in-process. They also tracked competitors’ moves, including product introductions, price changes, and ad campaigns.

Multiply the alternatives. In weighing decisions, consider four or five options at once—even some you don’t support. This diffuses conflict, preventing teams from polarizing around just two possibilities.

Example: To improve Triumph Computer’s* lackluster performance, managers gathered facts and then brainstormed a range of alternatives, including radically redirecting strategy with entry into a new market, and even selling the company. The team combined elements of several options to arrive at a creative, robust solution.

Create common goals. Unite a team with common goals. This rallies everyone to work on decisions as collaborations, making it in everyone’s interest to achieve the best solution.

Example: Star Electronic’s* rallying cry was the goal of creating “the computer firm of the decade.” Premier Technologies’ was to “build the best damn machine on the market.”

Use humor. Humor—even if it seems contrived at times—relieves tension and promotes collaborative esprit within a team. Practical jokes, Halloween and April Fool’s Day celebrations, and “dessert pig-outs” relax everyone—increasing tactfulness, effective listening, and creativity.
Balance the power structure. The CEO is more powerful than other executives, but the others wield substantial power as well—especially in their own areas of responsibility. This lets the whole team participate in strategic decisions, establishing fairness and equity.
Seek consensus with qualification. If the team can’t reach consensus, the most relevant senior manager makes the decision, guided by input from the others. Like balancing the power structure, this tactic also builds fairness and equity.

Example: At Premier Technologies*, managers couldn’t agree on a response to a competitor’s new-product launch. Ultimately, the CEO and his marketing VP made the decision. Quipped the CEO: “The function heads do the talking; I pull the trigger.”


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En el HBR Ideacast número 48, discuten en la parte HBR In Brief un artículo muy interesante:

El resumen es este...




El artículo completo se puede comprar en:

http://harvardbusinessonline.hbsp.harvard.edu/b02/en/common/item_detail.jhtml?id=R0501H


Description:
How many of us keep pace day to day, upholding our obligations to our bosses, families, and the community, even as our overall satisfaction with work and quality of life decline? And, yet, our common response to the situation is: "I'm too busy to do anything about it now." Unfortunately, unless a personal or professional crisis strikes, very few of us step back, take stock of our day-to-day actions, and make a change. In this article, London Business School strategy professors Donald Sull and Dominic Houlder examine the reasons why a gap often exists between the things we value most and the ways we actually spend our time, money, and attention. They also suggest a practical approach to managing the gap. The framework they propose is based on their study of organizational commitments--the investments, promises, and contracts made today that bind companies to a future course of action. Such commitments can prevent organizations from responding effectively to change. A similar logic applies to personal commitments--the day-to-day decisions we make about how we allocate our precious resources. These decisions are individually small and, therefore, easy to lose sight of. When we do, a gap can develop between our commitments and our convictions. Sull and Houlder make no value judgments about the content of personal commitments; they've devised a somewhat dispassionate tool to help you take a thorough inventory of what matters to you most. It involves listing your most important values and assigning to each a percentage of your annual salary, the hours out of your week, and the amount of energy you devote. Using this exercise, you should be able to identify big gaps--stated values that receive little or none of your scarce resources or a single value that sucks a disproportionate share of resources--and change your allocations accordingly.

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Los perdedores y los triunfadores no se hacen de un día para otro. Los primeros lo consiguen tras muchos años de dejadez, abandono y desidia; Los segundos, por el contrario, después de una lucha consigo mismos repleta de empuje, desvelos y repetidas obstinaciones....

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Ayer estaba en Misa (7pm) y oí una canción que siempre me ha gustado... se llama háblame señor, y la letra es la siguiente... tengo que conseguir un buen MP3 con estas canciones de Misa... ya he ido consiguiendo algunas...

Háblame, Señor (Canto)

Yo siento, Señor, que tú me amas.
Yo siento, Señor que te puedo amar.
Háblame, Señor, que tu siervo escucha.
Háblame, )qué quieres de mí?
Señor, tú has sido grande para mí,
en el desierto de mi vida (háblame!

Yo quiero estar dispuesto a todo,
toma mi ser, mi corazón es para ti.
Por eso canto tus maravillas, por eso canto tu amor....

Te alabo, Jesús, por tu gradeza,
mil gracias te doy por tu gran amor.
Heme aquí, Señor, para acompañarte.
Heme aquí, )qué quieres de mí?
Señor, tú has sido grande para mí,
en el desierto de mi vida (háblame!




Thursday, July 26, 2007

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Your behavior is not you.

If I said that your behavior is causing me pain, this is not saying that you are a bad person, I'm merely saying that you may be acting in an incorrect, perhaps hurtful believe.

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In a non threatening way, we were able to sit down together and instead of attacking each other, we were able to attack something else, the real cause of her frustration: my behavior.