Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve written about the practical skills that any entrepreneur needs to develop, acquire, or hire into their business. Practical Entrepreneurship, Part 1 and Practical Entrepreneurship, Part 2. I wrote about the first six, which are listed below, and provided recommended resources. I’ve since refined that list and added one more: Turnkey Systemization.

 

 

  1. Time and Productivity Management
  2. Storytelling
  3. Marketing
  4. Selling
  5. Business Financial Management, including interpreting financial statements
  6. Verbal Presentation Skills
  7. Written Presentation Skills
  8. Visual Presentations Skills
  9. Lifelong Learning and Application Skills
  10. Team-Building, Collaboration, and Network Development Skills
  11. Turnkey Systemization

Today, I’m going to describe the remaining three critical skillsets:

  1. Lifelong Learning and Application Skills
  2. Team-Building, Collaboration, and Network Development Skills
  3. Turnkey Systemization

Lifelong Learning and Application Skills
Today, there are more resources than ever before in the history of mankind for obtaining information: the internet, Amazon, Audible.com, TED talks, and so on.

But all the information in the world has never made any difference. A few years ago, I wrote a blog called “Information Is Interesting, but…

My point of the post is that information and knowledge are NOT power. That’s a myth. Information is, well, information. It’s what you do with the information that makes any difference at all.

Here’s my advice when it comes to reading books, listening to podcasts, viewing videos, and attending workshops, seminars, and trainings: Ask yourself, “How can I practically apply this information?” What do I need by way of resources to be able to apply this information?”

And if you are a provider of information, ask yourself: “How can I make the information, knowledge, and wisdom I have easier for others to learn and implement for themselves?” While I don’t have a specific resource for you here, try adopting this mantra:

“Information is interesting, but application means everything.”


Team-Building, Collaboration, and Network Development Skills

A lot has been written about “team-building,” “leadership,” and “networking.” But in this section, when I refer to “team-building, collaboration, and network development skills,” I’m referring to a new paradigm, one yet to be created and innovated.

A while back, I wrote an article called “The Collaborative Advantage.” In the article, I described how collaboration among kindergartens was more effective than the attempts of high schoolers to work together.

If you recall the adage that “necessity is the mother of invention,” we now have the presence of compelling necessity for mothering invention. And in the emerging “new global economy,” it’s the responsibility of entrepreneurs such as ourselves to innovate new solutions for solving the multi-faceted problems that we face today.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a practical recommendation for a resource that blends “team-building, collaboration, and network development.” But I’m currently involved in a collaborative project where we’re developing a program designed to catalyze various models of collaboration. If you’re interested in learning more as we progress, I invite you to add yourself to the Collaboration Catalyst Special Interest List

Turnkey Systemization
A lot of people, including “gurus” write and talk about business systems. But it’s a “wastebasket,” nebulous term that has lost its meaning.

I’m curious: What’s your own definition of a business system?

This is my working description of a business system:
A business system is a collection of steps, procedures, and processes. (In case you’re wondering, a procedure is a collection of steps and a process is a collection of procedures). In addition, a system provides a framework for producing reliable, repeatable results. A system must be documented with enough detail and clarity so that someone with a baseline level of experience, skill, knowledge, and expertise can follow the system and produce acceptable results. The system must be readily accessible and documented with sufficient detail that minimizes the effort required to learn the system and for developers to support the training on the system.

Still with me? So here’s the problem. When I ask most entrepreneurs what percentage of their business is systemized, they don’t really know, but a lot of them have told me it’s upwards of 50%. And when I’ve asked these numerous people where the system documentation resides, they sheepishly point to their heads. Enough said.

“Turnkey systemization” means that you’ve documented the critical aspects of your business – the areas that are most critical for the sustainability and profitability of your business.

I’ve read a lot of material about the theory and concepts of systemization. But I’ve rarely seen any programs that truly teach you the “how-to’s” of systemization. Unfortunately again, I don’t have a readily available resource to recommend here.

However, I’m currently involved in a collaborative endeavor where we are currently developing a “Turnkey Systemization Toolkit for Entrepreneurs.” If you’re interested in being one of the first to hear about it, once we’re ready to release it, put your name on the Special Interest list here:

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In case you missed it, here are the links to “Practical Entrepreneurship, Part 1” and “Practical Entrepreneurship, Part 2.” I hope you’ve enjoyed this series on “Practical Entrepreneurship.” If you have any other areas that you think are practical skills that entrepreneurs need to develop, please post a comment and let’s share in our collective wisdom.