Important Application Questions

The path to success begins with curiosity. Here’s a handful of questions to get you thinking about your business.

1. Is your photography business prepared to Innovate or Evaporate?
2. Are you prepared to see what’s right in front of you or instead what you expect to see?
3. Are you trapped in the past, tempted to “fossilize” your business model or past practices at the expense of making necessary changes?
4. Do you have a defined written long-term goal for your company?
5. How well positioned is your business to achieve the long-term goal you have in mind?
6. Is your business in alignment?
7. How capable is your company to respond to change and uncertainty?
8. Is your photography business also a true sales organization? Can you prove it?
9. Do you know what types of sales people you have – Hunters or Gatherers?
10. When you lose a school can you identify the reason why and what do you do with that information?
11. How are you responding to what the consumer wants, when and how she wants it?
12. Do  you know if your business has the cash to survive a down turn?
13. As owners and executives we need to ask ourselves, “How many dollars are spent to make one dollar of profit?”
14. Are you a Systems Thinker or the perpetuator of myths that avoid accountability?

The purpose of strategy is to create the capability to respond to uncertainty.

Mark's Axioms

1. Be curious. Ask questions. You can’t change what you don’t understand.
2. You are neither too big nor too small to fail. No one is guaranteed Survival Rights.
3. We are prepared to see what we expect to see, even if there is a gorilla staring us in the face.
4. Complacency is the best reason for a lack of innovation.
5. Fight the temptation to fossilize your business. Fossils are for the dead.
6. You can’t let go of assumptions you don’t know you are making and those assumptions could be  deadly.
7. We do not have the time to learn the same thing 3 times before we “truly” get it or decide to believe it.
8. Owners and executive; your values are central to the business and should not be left to chance.
9. Strategy is about being approximately right. The only certainty in life is uncertainty.
10. The purpose of strategy is to create the capability to respond to uncertainty.
11. In the midst of sameness it is the people we choose to lead, sell, photograph, and serve that makes the difference. The difference is people.
12. The good news about lost accounts is that the reasons are within our control. The bad news about lost accounts is that the reasons were within our control.
13. If we don’t innovate and we ignore the shift to mobile and if we don’t improve and we ignore the fundamentals, we’ll evaporate.
14. The appearance of success can evaporate. A steady diet of cash flow discipline may seem boring but can tell you if your business is evaporating.
15. Resources tend to be disproportionately allocated to low result activities … not to those with the highest profit or greatest potential.
16. Don’t leave your business to chance. Whether you have or have not defined a process, a way of doing something, someone in your business has.
17. Past performance indicates future performance under similar circumstances.