The anatomy of a dinosaur business

anatomy of a dinosaur business right brain thinking

The meteor that will wipe out dinosaur thinking in today’s world has already hit. And just like the crisis that befell the dinosaurs 60 million years ago, whatever it was, it didn’t wipe them all out overnight. There was an extinction phase during which a few species waddled on before finally becoming extinct and known only to us in the fossil record.

We are living in a new extinction phase now. How can we survive and thrive in this rapidly changing landscape? How can we stand out, add more value, cope with different expectations and be remarkable?

To survive, our creativity needs to be unlocked and applied in new and challenging ways. Only the agile and the warm-blooded innovators will make it. Those that are inflexible and dogmatic will not. We all need to step out of the imagined boundaries that keep us small and embrace our true creative potential.

But what is a dinosaur business? Here are the main characteristics shared by both the extinct giant reptiles and the soon-to-be-extinct businesses:

Dinosaur businesses are:

Designed to perform only one task, to hunt in one particular way.

They’ll never be able to truly embrace social media, new technology, relationship marketing and selling.

Lack of vision: Unable to see the big picture.

They may have great systems, but the constituent parts don’t always work as a coherent whole, all working together for a common aim. There’s no inspiring vision or direction. They’re focused solely on the bottom line, never looking up to see how their purpose may need to change.

Low I.Q. due to small nerve centre.

Decisions are made by a small group of people, usually all the same type of people from the same type of background who come up with the same ideas. They don’t seem able to inspire ideas from the rest of the workforce, let alone trust and implement any of them.

Cannot hear advice and unable to process and respond quickly to new information.

With operation systems being so inflexible and out-of-date, they’re unable to make changes due to new data, cultural changes, economic changes, market or attitude changes.

Incapable of manipulating situations and people in a delicate and personal manner.

They can’t inspire people to do their best, don’t share in a vision and treat people as a ‘resource’ that is nameless, stripping people of their personality and individuality. In return they get a bland workforce who work to live rather than live to work and couldn’t care less about the business, watching the clock to see when they can get away to do something worthwhile.

Needs to consume a lot of resources just to stay alive.

They’re so heavily loaded with personnel, buildings and plant that it takes a fortune just to keep the doors open. They probably waste a lot of resources too. Lean is not a word they have heard of.

Slow moving.  Unable to change direction quickly.

The momentum of their operations is so old fashioned and set in stone that they struggle to modify anything even when they see the need to.

Can’t regulate internal temperature, not totally self governing. Reliant on external bodies.

They’re often reliant on banks, investors and shareholders who can limit their movement and changes. Often a change in a law can throw a massive spanner in the works.

Powerful and strong but ungainly and cannot function without causing damage to the environment.

From massive energy usage, having to heat and cool large offices, fuel for large fleets of vehicles, unnecessary round the world shipping right down to departmental waste and individuals not caring about spend, they waste resources and create massive environmental footprints.

Cold bloodied, lack of care or compassion

From the extremes of environmental pollution and slave labour to careless health and safety measures, they caee about the bottom line over and above everything else, including people and communities (and often the law).

Cannot function without being destructive and competitive. The only strategy is to attack and consume.

Collaborate and share are words they don’t recognise. Their purpose is the be the last one standing and don’t care who or what get’s in their way. It’s war.

Don't tell the dinosaurs - right brain marketing for business

You may think those attributes are found only in massive and long established businesses. But you have a think. Do any of them apply to you too? If so, shake off the dinosaur and embrace the quick thinking vitality of the creatures that will very soon inherit the Earth, making it a better place in the process.

If you’re in a business, you might like to take a look at this masterclass about this topic, available as in-house training as well as for CEO groups.

Ayd works with people and businesses to explore and unlock their creative ideas in ways they may never have thought possible, to inspire innovation.

Book Ayd to deliver an innovation workshop in your business or CEO group or to speak about the Power of ‘What If?’ and Inspiration for Innovation at your conference.

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Blow your own trumpet

Ayd Instone trumpet

My new trumpet

I followed someone recently on Twitter whose description included ‘award winning…”. Subconsciously I was impressed. I didn’t know the nature of the award, it could have been anything. I could have been irrelevant. They could have made it up. And yet in that split second my opinion of this unknown quantity was different had that phrase not been there. I even thought, just for a nano second, ‘I wish I was award winning’ before realising a moment later that I am.

But I never told anyone.


Ayd Instone Sunmakers Awards Business Wealth Club PSA creative marketing

My Awards

I work on marketing and branding for all sorts of companies and individuals including some global campaigns, to spread their message and expertise far and wide and yet when it comes to my own marketing I leave out some of the most important features. With so many of my clients I discover some secret fact, some achievement or accolade that they themselves have forgotten about, don’t value anymore or are too modest to shout about.

Here’s the secret to successful marketing; you have to blow your own trumpet. No-one else is going to blow it for you.

So pictured below are some of my recent awards. Two of them are actually for marketing, from The Business Wealth Club.

Ayd Instone Business Wealth Club Sunmakers Marketeer of the Year Award 2010 creative marketing

WOW Marketeer of the Year 2010

The picture at the top is my own trumpet. Every year I learn a new musical instrument and for my birthday I received this wonderful instrument. Nothing’s going to happen if I leave it in its box, it won’t make a sound. No-one will notice it there. It needs to be taken out and it needs to be blown.

And you need to do the same…

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Why your business needs to enter the Total Perspective Vortex

Zaphod Beeblebrox

Zaphod Beeblebrox

Here’s one of the secret processes that you (and your business) needs to go through if your expertise branding and your marketing plan is to be a success.

You need to face the Total Perspective Vortex. According to The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy (by Douglas Adams) it is the most horrible torture device to which a sentient being can be subjected:

“When you are put into the Vortex, you are given just one momentary glimpse of the entire unimaginable infinity of creation, and somewhere in it a tiny mark, a microscopic dot on a microscopic dot, which says, “You are here”.”

It was said to be invented by Trin Tagula in order to annoy his wife because she was forever nagging him for having no sense of proportion. So he decided to show her what having a sense of proportion really meant. Unfortunately the shock of being placed in the Vortex destroyed her brain, but Tagula’s grief was tempered by the knowledge that he had been right and she had been wrong.

It is only by contemplating how utterly insignificant and redundant our worthless and meaningless skills, products, services, expertise and lives appear when compared to the whole of creation that we can (if we survive the shock) begin to create a plan to stand out, emphasis our worth, promote our expertise and offer meaning to a certain section of creation.

It reminds us that we can’t afford to be all things to all beings. We can’t reach out and market to the whole of existence.

It also reminds us that we often think we are more popular and powerfully influential than we actually are. This is why marketing campaigns fail and businesses go out of business. This is why no-one turns up to our events and no-one buys our products.

We haven’t put it all into perspective. We’ve set off with an erroneous view that what we’re doing is good enough when it usually isn’t.

After a glimpse of the Total Perspective Vortex (don’t stay there too long) we’re empowered to to do better. It forces us to search for ways that make us unique and important to others. We can then begin to package what we do to perhaps just a tiny portion of our galaxy and not bother wasting time on those people from Andromeda who don’t appreciate what we do anyway. It tells us to concentrate on what we do best and leave the rest.

In the mind-blowing infinity of the universe, being just a regular kind of guy, an average Ford, may help you to hitch a ride on Vogon Constructor ships, sneak onto mythical planet building worlds and get you a free lunch at the Restaurant at the End of the Universe. But it won’t make you President of the Galaxy or help you sell your products and services.

To survive and thrive in business you need to stand out. You can either get yourself an extra head and a spare arm. Or you can focus on what’s already unique about you and let people know about it.

Answer these questions:

What can you (or your business) do that few others can – what are you really good at?

What do you know that few others know?

What are you really passionate about (and don’t say ‘serving our customers’ or some other tosh. What would you still do if you didn’t get paid for it? In fact, what would you still do even if you had to pay to do it? That’s where the passion is: what would you die for, what do you live for?)

And finally, what was the turning point that made you able to be you? What was the event that changed your destiny? Your uniqueness will be wrapped up within that story.

By answering those questions you will have survived the Total Perspective Vortex by actually defining your place in creation.

Don’t Panic.

And if you liked this article, please Share and Enjoy.

See more stuff on my website here.

(Note: Only Zaphod Beeblebrox is reported to have survived total immersion in the Vortex as he incorrectly assumed that the sign ‘You are here’ pointed to the fact that he was the most important being in the universe.)

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Are you doing all you can?

The media has been full of doom and gloom stories about the economic situation with phrases like ‘global recession’ being bandied about. I’ve spoken to a hundred small to medium businesses this year already and a fair proportion of them have caught some sort of scarcity lurgy that has made them believe that the outside world situation is causing an uncontrollable loss of sales for them. perhaps it is to some extent but you can only be certain and blame the outside world when you know for a fact that you are doing all you can.

Most businesses are running with sloppy sales and marketing, don’t follow ideas through and don’t have excellent customer service. They’re very good at hosting their own little pity parties (Zig Ziglar said “I feel like bring some cheese to make it a cheese and whine party”).

One excuse is that “people aren’t buying”. Then why are ASDA creating 7,000 new jobs in 14 new stores and the extension of 15 existing ones? “Oh, but that’s food etc, our service is a non-essential one”. If that’s true then why is BSkB creating 1000 new job?

“Yes, but we are a real luxury, quality, high end product/service”. Yes, and so is Apple Inc. No-one really needs to by a Mac – there are much cheaper PCs on the market yet they sold 2.5 million in the last 3 months (up 9% on last year). No-one needs an iPod but they sold 23 million in the last 3 months (up 3% on last year). No-one really needs an iPhone but they sold 4.4 million in 3 months (up 88% on last year). Apple made their best ever profit in the last 3 months of $1.61 billion. Read that again a PROFIT of £1.61 BILLION!. Turnover was $10.7bn.

How did they do it? Read more here.

Are you doing all you can?

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