Popular business myths

Some things science knows that business doesn’t

  1. One of the worst ways to hire the best people consistently is a face to face interview
  2. Customers do NOT know what they want
  3. The best enduring strategy is about being unique, not the best
  4. Humans are crazy, irrational, impulsive, emotionally driven beings but predictably so
  5. Feedback is one of the worst ways to affect positive change
  6. Team culture is more important than company culture
  7. Cognitively diverse teams consistently make better decisions
  8. Decisions are primarily emotional constructs that are rationalized after the fact
  9. Leadership is not a thing
  10. There is no such thing as well rounded people; there are well rounded teams
  11. Humans are poor raters of other people’s attributes
  12. Enhancing strengths trumps fixing weaknesses to achieve success
  13. Focus more on the beginning and the end less about the middle

When an entrepreneur starts a business, it is a wonderful thing however the odds of survival are long and even longer for prosperity. The data bears that out:

What is the survival rate for new firms? (Source: US Bureau of Labor, 2011)

2 years old – 70%
5 years old – 50%
10 years old – 34%
15 years old – 25%
25 years – 17%

That’s right! If you started a firm in 2002, you have less than a 25% chance of still being in business in 2020.  Please note that this does not mean you are thriving,  You are likely just getting by.

I encourage all of my readers to question why you do things the way you do in your business.  Many of them are based on conventional wisdom and singularities. The following are some ways to focus more on the science of successful businesses with some resources to learn more.

  • The average success rate for hiring is 50%.
  • Most products are overbuilt and fail
  • Southwest is the best performing public stock over 50 years. They focus mainly on one thing; getting planes in the air over almost everything else.
  • At the moment of decision, in an fMRI machine, our brain lights up mostly in the emotional center of the brain where there is no language. We make up the reasons after the fact.
  • People hate feedback, it is mostly used to correct behavior or skills and most do it poorly.
  • Company culture attracts, team culture is about sustainability, engagement and results.
  • Insight is driven by two or more disparate and loosely connected ideas coming together.  Diversity is key.  Inclusion precedes diversity which is preceded by having a growth mindset.
  • Followership is a thing.  All leaders have followers but they follow for different reasons. Vision and courage are often near the top.
  • When we rate others, it is more a reflection of ourselves than the other person.
  • Success is built on using our strengths more and less on fixing weaknesses.
  • Successful change is more about the beginning and the end; not the middle.

Good luck and please reach out if you have any questions or concerns.

Be exceptional!

Bill  – Certified Growth Coach, Foundations in NeuroLeadership certified, Predictive Index Certified Partner

For MA companies ONLY, as an approved Training and Development provider, Catalyst Growth Advisors can offer up to 50% off program fees.  Click here to see if you qualify.

Please click here to order a copy of my book Further, Faster – The Vital Few Steps that Take the Guesswork out of Growth or download the free pdf version.

Published by Bill Flynn

Gazelles Member Advisor and early stage startup specialist with a proven track record with 16 Boston-based startups (9 to date with 5 successful outcomes, advisor to 7 others); SMB to Fortune 500 companies. 20+ years of Senior Sales, Marketing and GM experience in industries including mobile advertising, security, digital advertising, e-commerce and IT. Core Competencies: Player/Coach, Metrics-driven, Execution-based philosophy, Life-long learner

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