Write it down!

If you’re not documenting what you do, you’re setting the stage for failure.

There are 2 grocery stores in my neighborhood. I mainly go to one, due to fast service. But sometimes the shop is out of stock.

I asked the shopkeeper why he doesn’t keep stock all the time. He said he does the purchasing only when the need arises.

So, I told him that he could keep track of his inventory by writing down the quantities of each item sold every week, allowing him to make purchases ahead of time so that he doesn’t lose customers.

And that should also allow him to forecast demand as well as identify fast moving items, which ultimately allows him to plan a budget and calculate profit/loss.

He was very excited about the suggestion. Hopefully he implements it and benefits from this.

Ant & Bee Stories #2

Some employees are good at taking initiative, while some aren’t.

So, how do you get them to learn to take initiative with the least damage to the company? Since mistakes are bound to happen in the process.

Setting up systems that act as training wheels is the best way to do it. That way, constant oversight is minimized while task autonomy is grown.

Well, how does one go about setting up the systems?

That’s a story for another time.

Gain More by Giving More

Recently, I was teaching about social influence and the 6 types of social power. The students wanted to know how to differentiate between Expert and Informational Power.

I explained to them that information is like a pail of water and the expert is the well it’s drawn from. Once drawn out, and used, the water is no longer useful. The well, on the other hand, retains its usefulness. An expert always has knowledge, and is more powerful as a result.

To help them understand why informational power is transient, i gave them the following example:

Teacher A holds access to website resources and keeps it a guarded secret. Once the students figure out where she gets her materials from, then the power shifts away.

On the other hand, teacher B, who shares her resources, doesn’t depend on them for power. Rather, her’s is based on experience and wisdom in teaching that subject, which no student can figure out. Her power lies in knowing how to guide the students for the exam.

In life, we tend to hold on to information which are treated as currency. In reality, though, this attitude only highlights the inadequacy/inexperience of a person. A true professional will always be like the well. The more people benefit from you the more valuable, indispensable you become.