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Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Focus is important but so is agile thinking

You must learn when to take your "eyes off the ball"!

Entrepreneurs must learn to balance two skills and know when to use them; a) Focus and, b) Agile Thinking.  Focus is driven into entrepreneurs by investors and experienced managers.  The ability to be more agile in one’s thinking comes from practice. When the situation dictates, agile thinking should take the lead over focus. 

Examples of these two skills are found in discovery experimentation in a laboratory.  Scientists must conduct extensive literature to learn about the field they pursue.  They then develop a hypothesis that requires testing.  Proper experimental design forms the preparation leading to the testing and results that either confirm or refute the hypothesis.  A high degree of focus is used in the execution of the experimentation to ensure proper procedures and completeness of the tests.  However, the agile thinking comes into play during the learning phase and interpretation phase.

The learning phase is the time when a scientist may let their mind run wild.  The goal is developing a hypothesis that covers the total of all facts known to date.  Once the tests are complete, the interpretation of the results and any future experimental designs require agile thinking.  It is through this agile phase that new hypothesizes or amazing discoveries become apparent.

The same is true for business.  The art of preparing a business plan requires extensive learning about the sector and business.  The plan will contain a course of action requiring the entrepreneur to focus.  However, since the business landscape changes on a regular basis and things rarely go as planned, the entrepreneur must remain alert and use the agile thinking skills to make corrections and chart new courses.  Thinking agile also is important for the entrepreneur because they learn to monitor the surroundings and possibly evade road blocks.

It is important to keep ones “eye on the ball” so to speak!  But, observation and adjustments are sometimes needed depending on the situation.  Focus on the end goals ensures you know where you are going.  Being alert and using agile thinking may help you plan more than one path to achieve your objective.  Alternatively, the agile thinking may allow you to see superior opportunities and identify a means of capitalizing on them.

Focus and Thinking Agile are two skills that if used properly can work to your benefit.  Learning to use these two skills takes practice or you may become too diffuse in our efforts and fail to make real progress!  The ability to analyze any situation and identify the smartest path to success can help you go further and achieve the success you desire. 

  Taffy Williams is the author of:  Think Agile:  How Smart Entrepreneurs Adapt in Order to Succeed to via Amazon