First Things First Manifesto 2000. Via Emigre

Various authors

This manifesto was first published in 1999 in Emigre 51.
We, the undersigned, are graphic designers, art directors and visual communicators who have been raised in a world in which the techniques and apparatus of advertising have persistently been presented to us as the most lucrative, effective and desirable use of our talents. Many design teachers and mentors promote this belief; the market rewards it; a tide of books and publications reinforces it.
Encouraged in this direction, designers then apply their skill and imagination to sell dog biscuits, designer coffee, diamonds, detergents, hair gel, cigarettes, credit cards, sneakers, butt toners, light beer and heavy-duty recreational vehicles. Commercial work has always paid the bills, but many graphic designers have now let it become, in large measure, what graphic designers do. This, in turn, is how the world perceives design. The profession’s time and energy is used up manufacturing demand for things that are inessential at best.
Many of us have grown increasingly uncomfortable with this view of design. Designers who devote their efforts primarily to advertising, marketing and brand development are supporting, and implicitly endorsing, a mental environment so saturated with commercial messages that it is changing the very way citizen-consumers speak, think, feel, respond and interact. To some extent we are all helping draft a reductive and immeasurably harmful code of public discourse.
There are pursuits more worthy of our problem-solving skills. Unprecedented environmental, social and cultural crises demand our attention. Many cultural interventions, social marketing campaigns, books, magazines, exhibitions, educational tools, television programs, films, charitable causes and other information design projects urgently require our expertise and help.
We propose a reversal of priorities in favor of more useful, lasting and democratic forms of communication – a mindshift away from product marketing and toward the exploration and production of a new kind of meaning. The scope of debate is shrinking; it must expand. Consumerism is running uncontested; it must be challenged by other perspectives expressed, in part, through the visual languages and resources of design.
In 1964, 22 visual communicators signed the original call for our skills to be put to worthwhile use. With the explosive growth of global commercial culture, their message has only grown more urgent. Today, we renew their manifesto in expectation that no more decades will pass before it is taken to heart.
Jonathan Barnbrook
Nick Bell
Andrew Blauvelt
Hans Bockting
Irma Boom
Sheila Levrant de Bretteville
Max Bruinsma
Sian Cook
Linda van Deursen
Chris Dixon
William Drenttel
Gert Dumbar
Simon Esterson
Vince Frost
Ken Garland
Milton Glaser
Jessica Helfand
Steven Heller
Andrew Howard
Tibor Kalman
Jeffery Keedy
Zuzana Licko
Ellen Lupton
Katherine McCoy
Armand Mevis
J. Abbott Miller
Rick Poynor
Lucienne Roberts
Erik Spiekermann
Jan van Toorn
Teal Triggs
Rudy VanderLans
Bob Wilkinson

I may add myself to this. Federico Hernandez-Ruiz

Here’s the link to the original post: http://www.emigre.com/Editorial.php?sect=1&id=14

And a copy of the 164 manifesto written by Ken Garland along with 20 other artists.

http://www.designishistory.com/1960/first-things-first/

Imagen

Sarah Soule: Why Design Thinking Is an Effective Tool for Social Entrepreneurs | Via SBGS

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

 

A Stanford scholar discusses a collaborative, human-centered approach to solving some of the world’s most pressing problems.

Six years ago, a team of students at Stanford University used a problem-solving method called design thinking to develop a simple, portable device — a sort of sleeping bag for newborns — that so far has helped 22,000 low-birth-weight babies around the world stay warm.

The Embrace Baby Warmer, which includes a phase-change material that maintains its temperature for six hours after heating, is an amazing innovation. Had it not been for a crucial shift in the way the students were thinking, the warmer might never have existed. Their story is highlighted in Creative Confidence, the new book by IDEO founder and Stanford d.school creator David Kelley and his brother Tom Kelley, IDEO partner, about unleashing creativity.

Rahul Panicker, Jane Chen, Linus Liang and Naganand Murty had been building a low-cost incubator for their class project. But fieldwork in Nepal, where they had a chance to speak with families, showed them that incubators wouldn’t do any good. Low-birth-weight babies often develop fatal hypothermia in homes, many of which lack electricity. The students turned to a different goal, which they wrote on a whiteboard in their workspace at the Stanford d.school: How might we create a baby-warming device that helps parents in remote villages give their dying infants a chance to survive?

The students approached this challenge from the perspective of design thinking, a concept popular in the corporate world for the past decade or more to develop products — think Apple’s iPod and Herman Miller’s Aeron chair — that is now also being used in the world of social innovation.

What is design thinking? It’s a method of problem solving that is fundamentally different from other ways of meeting challenges because it is human-centered. The Stanford students made a crucial shift by focusing not on their own needs but on those of the people who would be using the solution.

Here’s an example of the way design thinking might work to improve nutrition and alleviate hunger among the most needy people in the United States. The methodology begins with an explicit attempt to deeply understand the person or people for whom we are designing a solution. Design thinkers start with a “designer” — an executive, an entrepreneur, or any team member — observing, interviewing, and engaging with people who might feasibly use the solution. So, we might begin by sending teams to work in food pantries and soup kitchens, where we can readily observe the way these services are used, and the way users make choices about what they eat and what they take home. We would pay close attention not only to the things they say and do, but also to their emotions and body language.

Design thinking involves an explicit attempt to engage with both typical and atypical users, so we develop a deeper understanding of how our solution will touch many types of users. Depending on the location of a food pantry and the organization running it, the typical user may be a homeless man in his mid-40s. But we would want to talk to and observe the behavior of atypical users, such as single mothers, elderly widowers, or employed fathers, to keep their needs in mind, as well.

The methodology also involves generating a great number of possible solutions. Ideally, our team of designers, with different backgrounds and training, has developed a deep understanding of the users and the problem. This team collectively brainstorms to generate many solutions. Some might seem impossible; we put them on the table, anyway.

The ambitious goal is to produce a solution that captures the hearts and minds of everyone on the team and the users of the solution.

Design thinking also stresses the need to rapidly prototype the solution so that the designers can get feedback as quickly as possible. In the case of the food pantry, perhaps we notice how many people seem ashamed or embarrassed about being in need. We might use this observation to design a program in which users volunteer at the food pantry; the program would allow them access to the food, while preserving their sense of dignity. We would speedily try the program at the pantry.

Finally, design thinking requires testing of the prototype. Once we have received some quick feedback on our program, we would brainstorm again so that we can refine the prototype, or develop an entirely new one, and then seek more feedback. All along the way, we willingly throw our notions out the window and readjust our thinking again and again if our first ideas prove weak.

Design thinking can be a particularly valuable tool for social entrepreneurs. Sometimes, our passion is wasted on ideas that, for reasons that may never be entirely clear to any of us, wither away. The obstacles to adoption may be too high, the end user may not fully understand the solution, or the problem may have been wrongly framed in the first place. Design thinking offers a way to discover the right problem and a way to overcome the obstacles to adoption before the solution is final.

Solutions, whether they are products, services, processes or teams, that have come about through design thinking are more likely to be adopted quickly, because they have been created with the end users in mind. When it comes to social problems, time is of the essence. Take the case of the baby warmers: 20 million low-birth-weight babies are born every year; 450 die every hour.

Design thinking is not easy. It requires constant creativity and the willingness to adapt on the fly. Even people who have been practicing design thinking for years need the rigor of the process.

The human-centered focus, and the rigor and creativity required to maintain that focus over the entire course of the work, sets design thinking apart from other methods of problem solving. In the hands of social entrepreneurs, design thinking offers a better chance to solve the world’s most pressing problems.

Sarah A. Soule is the Morgridge Professor of Organizational Behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business. She is a member of the board of advisors to the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (the Stanford d.school) Fellowship program and this spring will direct the Executive Program in Social Entrepreneurship, which will have a substantial design thinking component.

– 
Sarah Soule
 
Link to original source: https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/news/headlines/sarah-soule-why-design-thinking-effective-tool-social-entrepreneurs

Ten guidelines for effective front-panel design. Via: PackWorld

While there are no hard-and-fast rules in front-panel package design, here are some guidelines to help you define your brand on today’s cluttered retail shelves.

PrintEmailShare
FILED IN:  Package designGraphic  >
By Ron Romanik, Contributing Editor

Branding, marketing, and advertising all converge on the front panel of a retail package. Dedicated package designers would argue a package does all of that and more, and that nothing represents the brand more than the retail package. That’s because the package is the last place the consumer interacts with the brand prior to making a purchase decision.There are certainly no hard-and-fast rules in front-panel package design, and some categories have much more freedom to experiment. But here are some guidelines that will help you define your brand on the front panels of packages on today’s cluttered retail shelves.

1. Determine the brand “position.” Know your company and your brand and your core values. Ask the hard questions again and again, and don’t underestimate the savvy of today’s consumers. Is there a unique value proposition? What is the primary product benefit, lifestyle advantage, or convenience gain? For a new brand or brand extension, remember that getting noticed is often the most important goal.

2. Explore the competitive environment. Use differentiation in a category for one goal—giving consumers a reason to pick up the package. Go to the retail environments where the package will live, and ask these questions from the perspective of the brand:
• Who am I? Do I represent something tangible? Do I inspire trust?
• What makes me special? Where do I fit in among competitors?
• Why would they buy me? What’s the most important benefit or advantage?

ADVERTISEMENT

• How can I connect with consumers emotionally? What cues can I use?

3. Settle on a hierarchy. Information organization is a critical element of front-panel design. Broadly, the importance of the information hierarchy goes: 1) brand; 2) product; 3) variety; and 4) benefit(s). Analyze all the messages you want to convey and put them in order of importance. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll be in that order, top to bottom, on the package, but it’s a good reference point to start with. Having a very organized, consistent information hierarchy across multiple product varieties helps your customer find the variety they desire and allows for a satisfying experience. Saving the shopper time in picking out a product should always be a priority.

4. Make one element the hero. Is the personality of the brand strong enough to stand on its own? Determine what is the most important single idea to communicate about your product. If you’re going to “own” something, what is that something? Align secondary brand messages under the primary umbrella message. If your brand is the hero, consider “locking in” a tagline with the logo. But make sure you’re committed to that tagline for the long haul. Otherwise, look for inspiration outside the category, which can often lead to breakout design. Use shapes, colors, illustrations, and photographs to reinforce the hero of your brand story. Above all else, make it easy for repeat buyers to find you the next time.

5. Keep it simple. Less is often more—communication-wise. Be succinct, both verbally and visually. Three main visual cues are all that the typical eye will tolerate. Successful package design is often an exercise in constraint. Remove overloaded messages on the front panel. Limit marketing claims and benefit statements. Any more than two or three, and the points will be counterproductive. Too many benefits will dilute the core brand message, and it will actually cause the consumer lose interest in the store aisle. Remember, most packages have secondary panels for more information. That’s where shoppers look when they want to learn more. Use the secondary panels, but don’t skimp on design for those either. If secondary panels are unavailable, consider a hangtag to tell a deeper brand story.

6. Manage stakeholder expectations. Expect some stakeholders to want to put all the information or marketing claims they have on the front panel. Remind them that a package is not an advertisement. Be prepared for the counter-arguments by having a repeatable design development process. Back the process up with checkpoints and transparency and show progress with visual aids. Explain how the process is both expansion and contraction, and have everyone sign off on the process before starting. Quickly develop three to five options so you can establish a common language to talk about the objectives. Be prepared with questions and suggestions should a stakeholder come to you with a printer or converter already in mind before design begins.

7. Communicate value visually. Of course, having a transparent window that shows the product inside is almost never a bad idea. Consumers want visual confirmation of the choices they make. Aside from that, you can say things non-verbally with shapes, design, graphics, and colors. Use the elements that will best communicate attributes and equities, sensations and feelings, emotional associations, and textures. Create an association with a sense of place. Suggest use occasions with graphics that have the elements of that use occasion. Involve a lifestyle. Today’s consumers judge products in relation to how the values of that brand fit into their values and lifestyle. Create a singular “reason to believe” that is capable of closing the sale in isolation.

8. Be mindful of category-specific rules. Each retail category has its own conventions. Some should be followed religiously. Some are important because bucking the convention can set a newcomer brand apart. For food products, however, the product itself should almost always be the hero. Spend the money on production and printing to create a photorealistic representation of the ideal serving suggestion. Conversely, for pharmaceutical products, the brand and product’s physical characteristics can be secondary—sometimes even unnecessary. The parent brand logo may not need to be on the front panel. Instead, emphasize the name of the product and what it does. Across all categories, though, it’s advisable to err on the side of less clutter on the front panel.

9. Don’t forget findability and shopability. Learn how consumers shop the particular category you’re in. Make sure they won’t be confused by the format or the information hierarchy. Remember, cognitively and psychologically, colors communicate ahead of everything else. Next come shapes. Words matter, but mostly as a support role. Words and typography are for reinforcement, not high-level brand communication.

Findability can be either about having a brand-first strategy or about creating a “blocking” element in the store aisle that draws shoppers in. Shopability is about having a consistent system of colors, shapes, materials, or front-panel hierarchy that guide both new and repeat shoppers in finding the specific product and variety he or she desires. If there are multiple lines under a parent brand, consider good/better/best strategies that indicate each value proposition clearly and succinctly. For instance, the relative strengths of different products in a line can be indicated by “strengths,” or relative saturations, of color.

10. Plan for future brand extensions. A brand that is flexible enough to extend to other categories also has a core brand identity that it owns. After that, a successful brand platform is one that can grow by adding product varieties or lines, or extending outside its original category. Test the versatility of a front panel’s design by applying it to new products and to new categories. Look at a wide swath of imaginary products and extensions, not just the flagship variety. Make sure they all work together, united as a brand but easily understood as separate offerings.

Even plan for future redesigns of your core product line. Don’t inhibit the future growth of your brand by creating a platform that is not both extendable and flexible.

- See more at: http://www.packworld.com/package-design/graphic/ten-guidelines-effective-front-panel-design?&spMailingID=6667563&spUserID=MTkxNzUxMTcxOTUS1&spJobID=81221223&spReportId=ODEyMjEyMjMS1#sthash.76fMOFjk.dpuf

FDA Proposes Most Significant Update to Nutrition Facts Labeling in 20 Year

FDA Proposes Most Significant Update to Nutrition Facts Labeling in 20 Year

The nutrition facts label as you know it will likely be changing soon, thanks to significant changes supported by the Obama administration:

“Our guiding principle here is very simple: that you as a parent and a consumer should be able to walk into your local grocery store, pick up an item off the shelf, and be able to tell whether it’s good for your family. So this is a big deal, and it’s going to make a big difference for families all across this country.”

- First Lady Michelle Obama

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today proposed to update the Nutrition Facts label for packaged foods to reflect the latest scientific information, including the link between diet and chronic diseases such as obesity and heart disease. The proposed label also would replace out-of-date serving sizes to better align with how much people really eat, and it would feature a fresh design to highlight key parts of the label such as calories and serving sizes.”

- FDA Announcement

 
 
“For 20 years consumers have come to rely on the iconic nutrition label to help them make healthier food choices. To remain relevant, the FDA’s newly proposed Nutrition Facts label incorporates the latest in nutrition science as more has been learned about the connection between what we eat and the development of serious chronic diseases impacting millions of Americans.”

— FDA Commissioner Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D.
NutritionLabels-01.png
NutritionLabels-02.png

Some of the changes to the label the FDA proposed today would:

  • Require information about the amount of “added sugars” in a food product. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans states that intake of added sugar is too high in the U.S. population and should be reduced. The FDA proposes to include “added sugars” on the label to help consumers know how much sugar has been added to the product.
  • Update serving size requirements to reflect the amounts people currently eat. What and how much people eat and drink has changed since the serving sizes were first put in place in 1994. By law, serving sizes must be based on what people actually eat, not on what people “should” be eating. Present calorie and nutrition information for the whole package of certain food products that could be consumed in one sitting.
  • Present “dual column” labels to indicate both “per serving” and “per package” calorie and nutrition information for larger packages that could be consumed in one sitting or multiple sittings.
  • Require the declaration of potassium and vitamin D, nutrients that some in the U.S. population are not getting enough of, which puts them at higher risk for chronic disease. Vitamin D is important for its role in bone health. Potassium is beneficial in lowering blood pressure. Vitamins A and C would no longer be required on the label, though manufacturers could declare them voluntarily.
  • Revise the Daily Values for a variety of nutrients such as sodium, dietary fiber and Vitamin D. Daily Values are used to calculate the Percent Daily Value on the label, which helps consumers understand the nutrition information in the context of a total daily diet.
  • While continuing to require “Total Fat,” “Saturated Fat,” and “TransFat” on the label, “Calories from Fat” would be removed because research shows the type of fat is more important than the amount.
  • Refresh the format to emphasize certain elements, such as calories, serving sizes and Percent Daily Value, which are important in addressing current public health problems like obesity and heart disease.

“The proposed updates reflect new dietary recommendations, consensus reports, and national survey data, such as the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, nutrient intake recommendations from the Institute of Medicine, and intake data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). The FDA also considered extensive input and comments from a wide range of stakeholders.”

“By revamping the Nutrition Facts label, FDA wants to make it easier than ever for consumers to make better informed food choices that will support a healthy diet. To help address obesity, one of the most important public health problems facing our country, the proposed label would drive attention to calories and serving sizes.”

— Michael R. Taylor, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine

“The Nutrition Facts label has been required on food packages for 20 years, helping consumers better understand the nutritional value of foods so they can make healthy choices for themselves and their families. The label has not changed significantly since 2006 when information on trans fat had to be declared on the label, prompting manufacturers to reduce partially hydrogenated oils, the main source oftrans fat, in many of their products.

The changes proposed today affect all packaged foods except certain meat, poultry and processed egg products, which are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.

The FDA is also proposing to make corresponding updates to the Supplement Facts label on dietary supplements where applicable.

The agency is accepting public comment on the proposed changes for 90 days.”

Via: http://www.thedieline.com/blog/2014/2/27/fda-proposes-most-significant-update-to-nutrition-facts-labeling-in-20-years?utm_source=The+Wrap&utm_campaign=586a3a2c8e-The_Wrap_Weekly_03_03_14&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_f0d332d430-586a3a2c8e-230013793

Is This Startup Ready For Investment? Via: steveblank Blog

ᔥ Posted on  by steveblank

Since 2005 startup accelerators have provided cohorts of startups with mentoring, pitch practice and product focus. However, accelerator Demo Days are a combination of the graduation ceremony and pitch contest, with the uncomfortable feel of a swimsuit competition. Other than “I’ll know it when I see it”, there’s no formal way for an investor attending Demo Day to assess project maturity or quantify risks. Other than measuring engineering progress, there’s no standard language to communicate progress.

Corporations running internal incubators face many of the same selection issues as startup investors, plus they must grapple with the issues of integrating new ideas into existing P&L-driven functions or business units.

What’s been missing for everyone is:

  • a common language for investors to communicate objectives to startups
  • a language corporate innovation groups can use to communicate to business units and finance
  • data that investors, accelerators and incubators can use to inform selection

While it doesn’t eliminate great investor judgment, pattern recognition skills and mentoring, we’ve developed an Investment Readiness Level tool that fills in these missing pieces.

—-

Investment Readiness Level (IRL) for Corporations and Investors
The startups in our Lean LaunchPad classes and the NSF I-Corps incubator use LaunchPad Central to collect a continuous stream of data across all the teams. Over 10 weeks each team gets out of the building talking to 100 customers to test their hypotheses across all 9 boxes in the business model canvas.

We track each team’s progress as they test their business model hypotheses. We collect the complete narrative of what they discovered talking to customers as well as aggregate interviews, hypotheses to test, invalidated hypotheses and mentor and instructor engagements. This data gives innovation managers and investors a feel for the evidence and trajectory of the cohort as a whole and a top-level view of each teams progress. The software rolls all the data into an Investment Readiness Level score.

(Take a quick read of the post on the Investment Readiness Level – it’s short. Or watch the video here.)

The Power of the Investment Readiness Level: Different Metrics for Different Industry Segments
Recently we ran a Lean LaunchPad for Life Sciences class with 26 teams of clinicians and researchers at UCSF.  The teams developed businesses in 4 different areas– therapeutics, diagnostics, medical devices and digital health.  To understand the power of this tool, look at how the VC overseeing each market segment modified the Investment Readiness Level so that it reflected metrics relevant to their particular industry.

Medical Devices
Allan May of Life Science Angels modified the standard Investment Readiness Level to include metrics that were specific for medical device startups. These included; identification of a compelling clinical need, large enough market, intellectual property, regulatory issues, and reimbursement, and whether there was a plausible exit.

In the pictures below, note that all the thermometers are visual proxies for the more detailed evaluation criteria that lie behind them.

Device IRL

Investment Readiness Level for Medical Devices

You can watch the entire presentation here

Therapeutics
Karl Handelsman of CMEA Capital modified the standard Investment Readiness Level (IRL) for teams developing therapeutics to include identifying clinical problems, and agreeing on a timeline to pre-clinical and clinical data, cost and value of data points, what quality data to deliver to a company, and building a Key Opinion Leader (KOL) network. The heart of the therapeutics IRL also required “Proof of relevance” – was there a path to revenues fully articulated, an operational plan defined. Finally, did the team understand the key therapeutic liabilities, have data proving on-target activity and evidence of a therapeutic effect.

Therapeutics IRL

You can see the entire presentation here

Digital Health
For teams developing Digital Health solutions, Abhas Gupta of MDV noted that the Investment Readiness Level was closest to the standard web/mobile/cloud model with the addition of reimbursement and technical validation.

Digital Health

Diagnostics
Todd Morrill wanted teams developing Diagnostics to have a reimbursement strategy fully documented, the necessary IP in place, regulation and technical validation (clinical trial) regime understood and described and the cost structure and financing needs well documented.

Diagnostics IRL

You can see the entire presentation here

For their final presentations, each team explained how they tested and validated their business model (value proposition, customer segment, channel, customer relationships, revenue, costs, activities, resources and partners.) But they also scored themselves using the Investment Readiness Level criteria for their  market. After the teams reported the results of their self-evaluation, the  VC’s then told them how they actually scored.  We were fascinated to see that the team scores and the VC scores were almost the same.

Lessons Learned

  • The Investment Readiness Level provides a “how are we doing” set of metrics
  • It also creates a common language and metrics that investors, corporate innovation groups and entrepreneurs can share
  • It’s flexible enough to be modified for industry-specific business models
  • It’s part of a much larger suite of tools for those who manage corporate innovation, accelerators and incubators

P.S. if you want to learn more abut the IRL and other tools, we teach a 2-day class for corporate innovation, accelerators and incubators. Info here

Link to Original Steve Blank blog post:

Is This Startup Ready For Investment?.

 

Intenciones y capacidades del emprendedor y empresario

Por Federico Hernández Ruiz*

Crear valor + Captura de valor = Estrategia

Crear valor + Captura de valor = Estrategia

Los emprendedores y los empresarios comparten una característica muy especial: su capacidad para hacer e iniciar.

Iniciar para ellos no es problema. Después de muchos años de trabajar con empresarios y con emprendedores me he dado cuenta que ambos tienen esa capacidad que muchos desearían. Iniciar es como ese momento que describen los artistas al enfrentarse al lienzo en blanco, o los escritores al ver la hoja. ¿Cómo iniciar? Qué debe ser primero, qué debemos de tener o contar para iniciar.

Para muchos esta pregunta puede llevarles años. Hacen planes, desarrollan investigaciones de mercado, crean un plan de negocio y para otros se convierten en ese sueño inalcanzable donde iniciar está muy lejos y además cuesta mucho dinero.

Para los emprendedores y para muchos empresarios ese no es el problema. Los emprendedores y empresarios tienen ese poder de comenzar con lo que hay, con lo que tienen a la mano, con esa idea hecha ímpetu y se arrancan. No hay tiempo que perder. Nada ni nadie los detendrá.

En ese momento los emprendedores y los empresarios que han arrancado, tienen la claridad en el objetivo y la visión se convierte en misión. Todo ha quedado alineado con un propósito y tal vez esa condición sea la más importante. El contexto que crea el propósito hace que todas las acciones creen las condiciones necesarias para actuar. Ese primer equipo lleno de ímpetu y ganas, hará todo lo necesario para resolver cualquier imprevisto. Todo el equipo sabe que no hay reto infranqueable. En ese momento el emprendedor o empresario sabe que cuenta con su equipo y ellos saben que cuentan con claridad en el propósito.

Aquel momento inicial finalmente termina y la empresa avanza, enfrentándose a nuevos retos; los mismos que presenta cualquier organización.

A través de los años he visto ese enfrentamiento entre el emprendedor y su empresa. Pareciera como si aquella persona que inició ya se le hubiera pasado el ímpetu y ahora estuviera tranquilo y enfocado con los retos del día a día. La verdad es que no es así. Aquel empresario debe tomar los retos cotidianos como nuevas pequeñas empresas o comenzar a tratar de acomodarse en ese nuevo estatus. Puede dejar de ser el pequeño negocio y pasar a ser una empresa con vida propia, más allá de su fundador; o bien se estanca y se paraliza en muchos sentidos.

Lo cierto es que no siempre el emprendedor y el empresario están preparados para darle seguimiento al crecimiento de la empresa, en consecuencia la empresa no ha construido una estructura que aproveche el talento de su fundador.

Mucho se habla de la poca movilidad que tienen las grandes empresas y todos reconocen la extraordinaria dinámica que pueden ejercer las pequeñas empresas. Esto no es otra cosa que la manera en que se conciben y se recrean los espacios, el contexto en el que se desenvuelve la empresa, su fundador, director, gerentes y empleados.

Aunque se habla de esas diferencias, en México se hace poco para cambiar las cosas. Muchos de nosotros al ser los fundadores creemos que por haber llegado a donde estamos no debemos dejar el poder. Pero también nos frustra mucho que la empresa no crezca al ritmo que creemos, que no tenga la fuerza o estructura necesaria para tener un mayor impacto en la industria. Nos gusta ganar muy bien y nos dedicamos a crear una distancia enorme entre lo que nosotros ganamos, nuestras habilidades y conocimientos vs. el lugar donde se encuentra el equipo que dirigimos o que nos acompaña. Esa distancia en realidad nos paraliza de sobremanera, se convierte en un lastre que no nos deja avanzar mejor. Eso sí, nos recompensa haciéndonos creer que tenemos el poder y que todo depende de nosotros. Nos justificamos y creemos que sin nosotros nada podría suceder.

Cierto es que muchos de nosotros como emprendedores y empresarios somos muy buenos para iniciar, arrancar y dar ese gran paso. También es cierto que esas habilidades no son las mismas para dar continuidad a la empresa, gestionarla, administrarla y se requiere que las desarrollemos. Ahí, justo ahí se genera un gran dilema. Dejamos de lado ese ímpetu característico por un bien mayor o bien no soltamos a pesar de frenar inconscientemente el desarrollo de la empresa.

Visto así la respuesta no es sencilla. Por lo menos emocionalmente no es sencilla y racionalmente puede ser que no haya información interna que nos ayude a tomar la decisión. Si quienes dirigimos no estamos capacitados para soltar el control, entonces no habrá plan, información o capacitación que nos haga cambiar de opinión. Más aun, sabemos que somos exitosos y por eso estamos donde estamos.

La verdad es que esas características para emprender y hacer nacer una empresa son muy valiosas dentro de la misma. Son el sentido que necesitan todas las empresas para mantenerse ágil y veloz frente al cambio, dispuestos para innovar.

Como empresario dejar la gestión general no significa soltar la empresa, significa que podemos seguir siendo los líderes y visionarios exigentes de mejores resultados.

Para mí, el principal reto que tenemos como empresarios es nuestro ego, es pensar que lo podemos todo y que sabemos como resolverlo y aún cuándo así sea, el tiempo no nos alcanza.

Apoyarnos en un equipo talentoso, bien preparado y capaz de representar nuestros intereses se hace cada vez más necesario. Disminuir la distancia intelectual y de preparación entre nosotros y el siguiente escalón al mando es fundamental.

No es raro encontrar empresas que facturan millones de dólares. Donde el empresario lleva a cuesta toda la operación y sus subalternos son un conjunto de ejecutantes sin voz ni voto. Cuando este empresario falta o tiene que ausentarse, la operación entera decae. Difícilmente saldrá adelante. En cambio, si aquel emprendedor o empresario, entendió que el valor está en su pasión, su conocimiento y su entrega para crear y resolver cualquier empresa; y que su equipo está a la altura para establecer un diálogo cierto y confiable, entonces ese empresario logrará trascender su momento, creando una estrategia clara, consistente, capaz de conquistar espacios y mercados que tal vez no había considerando antes.

Muchos consultores al trabajar con los empresarios se enfrentan a esta situación y hablan de la importancia de una estrategia y con mucha razón. Otros hablan de la importancia de mejorar la operación continuamente, lo cual también es muy necesaria pero que el empresario piense y acepte en cómo va a estructurar su empresa para soltarla un día, o incluso consideré venderla en un futuro es otra cosa.

No querer soltar o vender nuestras empresas puede ser un síntoma de nuestra cultura en la que no nos gusta soltar por obtener un sentido de éxito, de poder y reconocimiento por el que pensamos que solo deben ser nuestras, de nuestras familias, pero de nadie más. La realidad es que debemos dar un paso hacia adelante y retar la manera en la que nos venimos conduciendo para competir en nuestra región, país y por qué no, en otros mercados internacionales.

Retarnos de nuevo para lograr una empresa en donde se encuentran bien integradas la pasión con la administración es lo que nos hará imparables. Si logramos tener un equipo que juegue unido con un mismo sentido, con claridad en su razón de ser y objetivos, reconociendo que su motor radica en su capacidad creadora, entonces sí, la estrategia y la táctica construirán una identidad única. Una identidad auténtica capaz de entregar a sus clientes y  consumidores los productos y servicios que valoran.

México necesita de muchos emprendedores y empresarios. También requiere que las empresas actuales sean más competentes para ser generadoras de riqueza, creadores de valor. Pero sobre todo requiere que todos sean capaces de integrar y desarrollar las fortalezas que les hacen falta. Dejarse ayudar o acompañar hoy, más que nunca, se hace necesario. Apoyarse en centros de talento como lo es la comisión de consultores de Coparmex en Querétaro es actualmente una necesidad que no puede dejarse pasar. Este centro con sus asociados, nos ofrece alternativas para ampliar nuestra visión y el número de oportunidades.

No perdamos de vista nuestras capacidades y dónde y cómo aportamos valor a nuestra operación. Reconocer que hay mejores alternativas, más creativas, rentables y eficientes requiere de madurez y ambición.

Los emprendedores y empresarios en México tenemos un gran reto en frente. El país, nuestras regiones y familias nos están demandando mejorar. Mejorar no solo es que llevemos más dinero a casa. Mejorar significa crear las empresas y organizaciones que darán cauce al país por mucho tiempo.

El reto está en nuestras manos.

D.G. Federico Hernández Ruiz

Socio fundador y Consultor en Identidad estratégica en asimetagraf y representante para la CGTFL en México de Duraznos, Nectarinas y Ciruelas California a demás de ser miembro del equipo Set4Success.

Como consultor se destaca en la creación de sistemas de identidad especializado en productos de consumos. Su trayectoria cuenta con más de 25 años de experiencia y ha colabora desde grandes transnacionales hasta pequeñas y micro empresas. Algunas de éstas son: Kellogg’s, Heinz, La Perla, Bimbo, Grupo Pando, entre otros.

Para conocer más de asimetagraf y Set4Success y sus propuestas, favor de entrar a: http://www.asimetagraf.com  http://www.s4s.com.mx
o envíale un correo a
federico@asimetagraf.com síguelo en Twitter en: @idocare4design

 

Para contactar a Federico y conocer más sobre su trayectoria, entrar a: http://www.linkedin.com/in/federicohernandezrui

some thoughts about “making things” & the internet Via Adam J. Kurtz’s Blog

ImagenImagen

some thoughts about “making things” & the internet

http://www.adamjkurtz.com

Here’s the link to the origibal post: http://jkjkjkjkjkjkjkjkjkjk.com/post/74766180941/some-thoughts-about-making-things-the-internet?utm_source=swissmiss&utm_campaign=8cad475930-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_2660ad4d17-8cad475930-393310379