Roger Harty: Fear And Modern Business

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rsz_roger_hartyTHERE is a saying about a train that even though ‘it is on the right track it should keep moving’.

The reason for this is obvious because if it doesn’t keep moving it runs the risk of getting derailed by another train coming up behind.

This might seem like a very simplified analogy but it is exactly the same for any business in the modern world if it wants to be successful – it has to change and adapt to changes that are happening in the world around it or else it runs the risk of being derailed.

This is a simple truism for any business, be it large or small.

Like any good ‘Rule’ there is always an exception and let’s get that out of the way straight away.

An example of this would be Jess McCarthy’s Bar in Tralee which is a great example of how old traditional pubs should be run and maintained – its uniqueness is its connection with the past and this should be valued in itself – but that sort of example aside, it is the lifeblood of any business to keep moving forward.

Continued below…

Streat Ad ladies lunch

You might well ask ‘what is the connection between this and fear?’ Well the answer is very simple. Any time we implement change and move into new territory we experience some sort of fear.

The reason for this is that we are moving out of our steady comfort zone (see article on that here) into new areas where more business becomes available (rich pickings).

Of course any form of serious change involves a slight bit of risk (fear) and the saying goes ‘the greater the risk the greater the reward’.

Any great entrepreneur worth his salt will tell you that it is ‘part and parcel’ of any successful business to take measured risks on a regular basis.

I use the word measured as it is essential to weigh up the pros and cons of any venture, but it is just as essential to eventually take the risk and move forward. This is where the saying ‘he who hesitates is lost’ comes from.

This is true in business, sport, health and life in general. Take sport for instance – Donegal have developed a new strategy of playing football – like it or loath it, ‘it works’ because it brought them mind boggling success against the Dubs (who unfortunately didn’t have a plan B when the long range points weren’t working).

We have to applaud Donegal for it but the best thing that Kerry can do is first observe and analyse what they did and they now have two weeks to come up with a counter measure, i.e. take another form of analysed risk which may include sticking to their own game without fear.

Many, many books have been written on this matter and it is an intrinsic part of any large business to have what is called a research and development section (R and D). This is a huge area of employment in its own right where industry tests and measures new areas for potential growth.

The Japanese industry has recognised this for many years and it has been the hallmark of success for companies like Toyota. In fact they have developed this whole area into a whole business philosophy and a have even given it a name in it’s own right.

It is called the art of ‘kaizen’ (this is the policy of continuous effort at incremental improvement – Google it!) and as I said can be applied to all aspects of life.

An obvious example of this is the whole area of computers. Forty years ago the idea of a fax message was mind boggling but nowadays emails and social media messages are moving all over the world like ’snuff at a wake’.

Every business has had to buy into this change – media, doctors, solicitors, hotels, journalists, opticians, dentists, insurance banking etc etc and if you don’t keep up to date you will very quickly become lost (look at the amount of social media training that is now available).

They say that the modern smart phone now has more power capacity than the original computer that sent man to the moon!

• Next week I am going to write about the connection between ‘Fear and Health’

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