A can of beans over a hobo campfire

A POV workshop participant reminded me of something we all need to hear from time to time.

It takes more than one day to go from wherever you are now to the kind of life where a can of beans over a hobo campfire counts as a nice dinner. Disaster generally doesn’t happpen as the result of one decision.

Yes, you’ll see stuff in the news that makes you think this can happen, because the news loves both rags-to-riches stories and riches-to-rags stories.

And yes, things can get worse in life because of decisions and actions we choose. But the real world is a world complexity and feedback loops operating over the passage of time.

Business decisions are not bets that are decided by a mechanical roulette wheel of fate. Decisions select a course of action, and action generates information, and information informs subsequent decisions, which can lead into different action.

If you were kayaking from one side of a large lake to the other, how many opportunities would you have to make course corrections? That’s what most business decisions are like. They’re an initial decision to do something followed by action, new information as a result of that action, and then adjustments to the next action based on the new information.

Decisions have an implemention period, and are not really separate from that implementation period.

If you’re kayaking across Lake Mead, and you end up kayaking straight into one of the intakes for Hoover Dam, it’s because you ignored a TON of information that could have been used to refine your initial decision about your course vector. You’d get sucked into the intake[1] along with about 30,000 cubic feet per second of water because you screwed up the implementation of your decision, not because the decision was bad.

With specialization, it’s the same way. The risk of specializing is so low because during the implementation phase, which ranges from 3 months to 3 years, you get so much new information that — if you’re open to it — lets you refine your initial decision.

I’ve long wanted to design and deliver a workshop that emphasizes this aspect of specialization; the implementation aspect. Can’t nobody tell me no, so I’m doing it.

I’m going to promote this workshop a lot this month. It’ll begin next month, perhaps the second week of May. I think it’s the right workshop at the right time in history because it emphasizes interacting with the market as a way to validate or refine a specialization decision.

All my previous workshops on specialization have been inward focused. They’ve helped folks decide how to specialize using decision making inputs like identifying where you have the biggest head start, or where you have the deepest interest. They helped folks incorporate risk tolerance into the decision as well.

But the main risk with specialization is not the decision, it’s the implementation of that decsion. So my old approach to specialization workshops was incomplete.

This one will be better. We’ll quickly cover the fundamentals of how specialization works, and quickly generate a shortlist of specialization options for you. Then, we’ll carefully implement an experiment to see whether you can get the market to do something other than its default.

The market’s default is to ignore you.

If the market does anything other than ignore you — even if it criticizes or offers negative feedback — you’ve got a chance of your specialization working. You’ve de-risked your specialization decision by generating new information through action.

That’s what this workshop will be about.

More details soon.

-P

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Notes:

1: Yes, I know there are trash racks on the intake towers, which are certaintly designed to keep out both trash and kayakers who screw up the implementation phase of their decision to kayak across Lake Mead. 🙂 So you wouldn’t actually get sucked into the penstock on the Hoover Dam.