A couple of years ago, I presented my synopsis of the book Blue Ocean Strategy to an energetic team at an in-demand marketing firm. At the end of the presentation, one man asked: “That’s all interesting. But, how do you successfully function in a red ocean?”
In other words, those few blue ocean opportunities are great, but rare. Most of us function in a pretty churned, highly competitive, red ocean.
I thought of that as I pondered the Peter Thiel line “You cannot build a great company on a flawed foundation.”
That’s pretty universal wisdom. You know, “the wise man built his house upon the rock” wisdom. And recently, I’ve been thinking about “cornerstones,” and “foundations,” and “anchors.” These thoughts were prompted by a sermon I heard on “Start with Why,” building on the great question of Simon Sinek.
But, for most of us, we are not starting something new; we were not there at the founding moments, the beginning of an exciting new endeavor; we did not get to lay the cornerstone.
So… what do we do if we work in company or organization has, in fact, a flawed foundation?
Here’s a possibility. Treat each new project, each new assignment, as another chance at a new beginning. Do this current new task just right – fully right. Do it well. Ask, “how can I lay the right foundation for this particular assignment?”
Either that, or go off and start your own, perfect, new company with an utterly flawless foundation.