Tag Archives: Strategy

Declare Independence from Tradition!

Embracing 21st Century Technology in our 20th Century Industry
(Or, why we do things differently at Contrado)

Thomas Jefferson once said that he liked “the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.” He knew what they needed: independence from traditional political, economic, and religious oppression. By writing the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution, he was expressing the convictions that were in the hearts of the American people – the need for change.

1.  Understand that People Are Afraid of Change. When was the last time you changed the course that you were on? “Change” is a broad word that we can apply to many different things… a birth, a loss, a move, a new opinion, a new job. But ultimately it is a departure from tradition – which leads to a new way of doing things. For example, the change our nation went through during the 1700’s, despite being fought by many, led to a whole new world of possibilities and fresh starts. Regardless, change usually freaks us out. Whether it’s Good Change or Bad Change, we as humans are naturally afraid of the unknown. We fear failure. We feel doubtful about the possible outcomes. But we have to remember we always have options, and we can always CHANGE the outcomes. You don’t have to settle. “Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values.” – Dalai Lama

2.  Understand the Technology. If we think of change as a software upgrade, what software are you in need of, right now? Do you need better online engagement with prospects, for example? Do you need to build more homes with limited resources? Do you need better software to help you meet your customer’s exact needs? If you don’t know, evaluate what isn’t working. Then inform yourself!  You can start by asking the question, what are the best tools out there for what I need right now? If you go beyond word-of-mouth and previous methods into the world of uncovering the new, you will find services, systems, software, companies, and tools that you have never even heard of (like Contrado’s new HTML5 Interactive Floor Plan system!). What are today’s game-changers? Incorporating iPad technology into their homes? Making it easier for you to do your job? Building homes in half the time? You will be surprised at how much newness is flooding the industry.

3.  Understand that nothing will change unless you Try Something New. Times they are a-changin’! We are living in an exciting time where technology seems to be accelerating at the speed of light, and we will be left in the dark if we don’t try to keep up. In other words: have you ever heard someone say that the definition of insanity is ‘doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results’? Trying new things can be scary folks, but how can you improve without even a little bit of change? Traditional tactics in the Revolutionary War ultimately failed the British; the revolutionaries were outnumbered, so they developed guerilla warfare to outmaneuver their red-coated opponents. They were forced to innovate the way they battled – thinking differently, operating more efficiently, using what they had and just going with it – which led them to victory.

You have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  So if after all of this you don’t do it for you, do it for our Founding Fathers!

What’s Your Collaboration Quotient?

Collaboration is key
Hiring a key staff member with an impressive IQ is undoubtedly a benefit to achieving your company’s goals, and even better if they possess a high EQ/Emotional Quotient to help manage team members effectively.  But, what is your company’s CQ/Collaboration Quotient?

Many business leaders today are increasing their quotient level by identifying the tremendous opportunities available to them through enterprise collaborations – all parties working towards a common goal.  Before you jump on board; however, you’ll want to assess the types of problems your business wants to solve.  Here are a few examples of how multi-party collaborations can help solve a business problem, address an immediate crisis or set loftier milestones:

  • Draw more innovation opportunities
  • Advance effectiveness & efficiencies
  • Decrease time-to-market cycle
  • Joint  ”strategy focus” and desire for same end result
  • Avoid duplication of efforts
  • Streamline the information flow which decreases errors
  • Reduce overhead, improve profits
Clearly, we’ve all conducted in-house collaborations with project teams for years.  Adopting multi-party collaborations adds that next level by integrating your in-house team with outside specialists who possess the necessary tools and technologies for bringing about the improvements essential to reaching your goals.  The biggest roadblock to teaming with outside experts can be the push-back from your current in-house team.  To build confidence, it’s important that they understand how the tools and share of information processes can best be integrated, the value the partners bring to your company’s bottom line, and how the integration process will ultimately make your company increasingly more competitive.  The overall collaboration effort brings everyone onboard and driving for the defined common goal of the company, which drastically raises your CQ/Collaboration Quotient.
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