Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Starting a New Business - the Systems Thinking Way


I am starting a new business. I am not giving up my work as a business advisor, but I do need a change of pace. Ten years of working to improve other people's businesses have taken a toll.

You might think "a change of pace" means I want to slow down. On the contrary, I want to speed up. The very, very slow, cumbersome, and obsolete systems and processes at most companies are very difficult to adapt to.

I need to do something challenging, and I need a test bed for ideas. I also happen to love photography, especially trick photography, so, I am setting up a photography business.

I am of course applying Maneuver Conflict and Systems Thinking ideas to the new business.

Here are some of the things I am doing differently from other photographers:

To succeed in business, you need to try a bit harder, and do things other people can't or won't do.
Finding a unique segment: Most photographers focus on weddings, portraiture or advertising. I focus on trick photography. It means I do something no other professional photographer in gothenburg does.
  • Lots of photographers shoot weddings. I am the only one that make the bride and groom fly, levitate, or be quite literally joined together. (You can do some amazing flesh manipulation techniques these days...)
  • Lots of photographers shoot children. I am the only one that can shrink a whole class of school children and put them in a lunch box.
  • Lots of photographers shoot products. I can make the products levitate, sparkle, etc., without an advertising agency.
  • Lots of photographers shoot portraits. Almost everyone does it using soft light and clamshell setups. I do that too, but I also offer soft light setups, hard light setups, night setups (in broad daylight)... and I can turn you into a zombie or cat creature.

Delivery: Most photographers deliver files on DVD, and framed prints. I deliver the files on USB sticks, because newer computers often do not have DVD players. I do deliver framed prints, but I also print on t-shirts, mugs, phone and tablet shells, and hundreds of other things. 

I bet people want to see, and show off, their pictures all the time, when they walk along a street, drink a cup of coffee, or pick up their phones.

My clients can order through a web form, and they can customize items themselves if they like, for example by adding or changing text, changing colors of items, and so on. I have set up a small public store to showcase 
what I can do.

Hadouken is a Japanese photo craze where you imitate Manga style fights, complete with Ki based energy attacks. Probably not what you would choose for a corporate group portrait. Then again, it might be...
Events and courses: I have started organizing photo events. The first one is a Hadouken photo event, on Saturday, 4 May. More will follow. If a special event is successful, elements from that event will be included in photography courses.

In short, I am constantly, and very consciously, looking for things I can do that will delight customers.
Will I succeed? I will if what I do is interesting enough: Interesting to customers, and interesting enough so that people will want to spread the word.

Here are links to my photography web site, and my photography blog.

Check them out. You might like them! :-)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Workshops: Values to Vision and Strategic Principles


I am announcing four workshops in Stockholm and Gothenburg.

Each workshop is limited to twelve people, and the first workshop is in just five weeks, so if you are interested in gaining an advantage over your competition, sign up now:

Stockholm:

Gothenburg:

Why should you care about having a clear vision?

A vision is a guiding light:

The vision helps you establish a connection with your customers, it attracts the right people to your company, it sets a course to follow when developing strategy and tactics.

And yet, most companies have vision statements that are bland, uninspiring, and to be frank, not very useful.

In the workshop you will learn how to build a vision guided by your own values. You will learn how to use your values and your vision to shape your mission. And, you will learn how to create a Goal Map, a simple picture that explains your vision, and the intermediate goals necessary to achieve it.

A Goal Map is a great tool for explaining your vision, and setting a course for your organization. More than that, you can use it to define the behaviors necessary for success.

Why should you care about strategic principles?

Strategy is about setting goals, and achieving them. There is a simple set of principles that are common to all kinds of strategy: In business, war, love, games.

Unfortunately, a strategy developed without understanding the principles, will often cause more harm than good. Quite often, even large companies, confuse strategy and tactics. The result is often a gigantic  Powerpoint stack, full of lofty statements and wishful thinking, but of little practical use.

The business strategy workshop will clearly define what strategy is, and give you:

  • A simple tool you can use to develop good strategies, and find the flaws in bad ones
  • Six strategic principles common to all strategy development
  • Cheng/Ch'i, a Chinese principle for developing strategies for business, war, and love
And there is more of course. Check the links above for more information.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The Reality Dysfunction Draws Closer


The Reality Dysfunction is approaching. The picture above is the theme picture for my presentation at Lean Kanban Nordic on the 12th of Mars. I'm going for the jugular with this one...

You can read more about the presentation itself here.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Reality Dysfunction preview at Scrumbeers

The audience was great - Knowledgeable, asked a lot of questions, and there was a very interesting discussion afterwards.
I did a trial run for of Reality Dysfunction presentation at Scrumbeers yesterday. The presentation was very well received, though it was much too long. You can read the audience comments and reactions here.

The Scrumbeers gatherings are always fun. This time, it was also very, very useful. The feedback I got will enable me to make the final presentation even more fun, and shorter. Lots shorter. My presentations tend to be about as long as a Hollywood movie. I need to cut this one down to 35 minutes or less before I present at the Lean Kanban Nordic conference on the 12th of Mars.

I'd like to thank the audience not just for being very interested, kind, and fun to spend time with, but also for giving me lots of useful feedback.

I am looking forward to the next Scrumbeer.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Reality Dysfunction - Presentation at Stop Starting, Start Finishing

The nice people running the Stop Starting, Start Finishing conference in Stockholm the 12-13 of Mars 2013 asked me if I was interested in holding a presentation.

Of course I am.

I am hard at work on my presentation. Here is what I am going to talk about:


Tempo!: The Reality Dysfunction
Henrik Mårtensson

Henrik Mårtensson
How did we end up with so many dysfunctional companies? To fix the problems we face today, we must understand the causes. Tempo!: The Reality Dysfunction is a romp through the wild side of management history: It starts with a bang, a train crash the 5th of October 1841, with consequences that cause companies to fail in 2013.
You will meet the unbeatable fighter pilot, who also figured out how to build an unbeatable organization. You will see what managers must know to lead an Agile development team. You will see how most companies are applying fundamental principles of strategy, psychology, and physics backwards, and hurt and disable themselves in the process. You will also find out what to do about it, and who has already succeeded.
There will be a practical demonstration, with members of the audience, showing how a simple restructuring of work can reduce lead times by 60 percent or more, while increasing quality. And, you will have fun!
Henrik Mårtensson is a business strategy coach, process developer, and project leader. He is also an author and presenter. Henrik began working with Extreme Programming, an agile software development method, in 2001. His interest in methodology quickly brought him to Lean, Theory Of Constraints, Statistical Process Control and Systems Thinking. Several years ago, Henrik got into contact with Strategic Navigation and a military strategic framework, Maneuver Conflict. Suddenly, all the pieces fit together.
Tempo!, Henrik's first book on business strategy, was published in 2010. His second book, LESS!, published in 2012, is a collaboration between twelve thought leaders in Agile, Lean, Beyond Budgeting, Strategic Navigation, Systems Thinking, and Complexity Science. 

Logical Thinking Process course by Bill Dettmer in Finland

Bill Dettmer will hold a course in The Logical Thinking Process in Finland on the 3-5 of April, and the 8-10 of April. Here is a link.

Bill is a well known management and leadership expert. He has written several very good books. I heartily recommend his book The Logical Thinking Process.

Though I have never met Bill, we have corresponded via email. When I wrote my first book, Tempo!, Bill was very helpful and encouraging.

In case you are wondering:

The Logical Thinking Process is a method for solving problems. You can use it in business, or your private life. TLTP is great for facilitating communication and understanding. It beats long boring Word documents or bullet riddled Powerpoint presentations hands down.

I often use it to visualize problems, to help my customers generate solutions, and to communicate and test solutions before implementing them. The tools are simple to use and very effective.