In English, Observation

Why Do You Want It?

I spent about half an hour this afternoon talking about the merits of a management accounting system. This system can help track expenses and costs, and can bring higher degree of control of financial and operational performance.

“Just tag anything you do with a code generated by the system, and you can track everything. From hours spent to pennies expended on a project,” I said (or might have said something to that effect; my sense of self importance inflates when uttering big, complicated words that it is difficult for me to remember everything verbatim).

And our Sales Manager said, “I don’t know if our sales team can be expected to work with codes and transactions.”

Which brings the point to the underlying principle of utility: something will not do any good if it does not possess any of the following properties:
1. Ease of use
2. Convenience
3. Benefit

Why would anyone want a system that is difficult to use, inconvenient, and is not directly beneficial?

To be completely honest, if I am a salesperson, I may not find the idea to be palatable, based on those criteria. For whom exactly the system would bring ease of use, convenience and benefit? Mostly for the finance people who must analyze data and prepare reports to management. For the salespeople and other staff members who must remember to enter codes every time they need to do something, it will be a different case altogether.

The only way this system can be brought across to the users is if there is a way to help all of its users to work easier, better and more profitably.

So back to the drawing board!

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In English, Observation, Passion

Passion, Business and Time

I read an article featuring an interview with Karl Lagerfeld. The article was closed with an interesting question.

Interviewer: Have you ever thought of having your own fashion label?
Lagerfeld: No. I love what I’m doing now. I don’t want to be a businessman. I want my business to run smoothly, but I don’t want to be responsible for the business. I want to be completely free.

Kompas daily newspaper, Sunday, May 15, 2011.

Many people think that you must make a business out of your talent and passion. Nothing wrong with that. There is a great advantage of owning and running a business. You can have full control on your income, and you get to call all the shots. It is a big responsibility, and it may require a majority of your time. When the business side begins to take the lion’s share time, your passion will suffer. And eventually, it will impact your business as well.

On the other hand, there is always a choice of not having to control everything. Like Lagerfeld, you can go freelance, and limit your influence on what you do and love best. Or have a balance of both. Make it a business, but hire the best people you can trust to run the business.

Both ways need you to develop strong relationships and alliances all around you. The key point is to have as many good people around you to enable you to keep as much of your time free for your passion as possible.

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