How to apply the stunning power of ‘in’ versus ‘on’

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How to apply the stunning power of ‘in’ versus ‘on’

Even in difficult times, approximately 10% of people, teams and organizations become more successful than ever. The remaining 90% are floating, treading water, or about to go under. The little secret of this high performing 10% is the ability to shift time, energy and resources from working in their business, career or organization, to working on their business, career or organization. How does this work?

Imagine you are a little hamster and one day you decide that your goal in life is to spin your little hamster wheel as fast possible. So you go on a diet, exercise well and practice day in and day out to run in your wheel as fast as possible. However, at a certain moment you reach a plateau, where further improvements are small and difficult to achieve. We know this process as ‘working in your business:’ becoming better and more efficient in the activities which you are already doing. This is how businesses, careers and organizations get stuck.

The concept of ‘working on your business’ is very different though. Imagine you are the same hamster, with the same goal of spinning your hamster wheel as fast as possible. However, one day you take a step back and decide to become strategic. You go online and order a little electrical motor. When the motor arrives, you connect it to your hamster wheel and all of a sudden it spins ten times faster then you could ever have achieved before. This is ‘working on your business’ and this approach can have a profound impact on your business, career and organizational results.

Becoming strategic and starting to work on your business, career or organization is triggered by two questions

‘Which goal, if I had achieved it right now, would have the biggest positive effect on my business, career or organization?’

‘What is the main reason why I haven’t achieved this goal yet?’

These two questions uncover the key goal and the key constraint which prevent you from seriously improving your condition.

Once you have answered these questions, focus on completing the third key question:

‘The solution to overcome this constraint is to install a system, which [specify what exactly the system is supposed to do.]’

This statement clarifies the precise design of the solution and as of this moment you can start working on your business and build a system according to this design.

Systematically applying these three questions will help you to achieve more in the next six months, then you have achieved in the past six years. This is the stunning power of ‘in‘ versus ‘on.’

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