Tag Archives: advice

My Advice on Giving Advice

My Advice on Giving Advice

GUEST POST from Arlen Meyers

One way to put a toe in the water of physician entrepreneurship is to become an advisor to a startup founder or client or simply someone who wants your opinion. However, being an advisor that creates value means you have to deliver the 7Ms. You will have to deliver the value that startup CEOs are looking for: money, marketing, making something, management, manpower, mentors, monitoring the environment and mergers and acquisitions.

The same is true if someone asks you to be their mentor. The problem is often that people don’t know how to find a mentor, be a mentor or establish a relationship. The following eight steps can help.

When you get that gig, though, you will have to learn when and how to give advice and how much to give. You also have to deal with founders who have founders syndrome and those who suffer from other entrepreneurial syndromes. In short, many won’t take your advice and you will be left with the feeling that you have wasted your time.

Here’s some advice on giving advice:

  1. When you sign on, clarify expectations about when, how and how often are the best ways to communicate-face to face, email, text or phone, videochat?
  2. Have an agenda focusing on the next critical success factor you need to help achieve. Is it finding money? How about helping to recruit talent to execute the plan and scale?
  3. Avoid having to spend time giving the same advice over and over again by authoring a blog, post or eBook, like this one. Like the flipped classroom, read the assignment and then let’s discuss in class.
  4. If you get ghosted (you haven’t heard from the person who hired you in a while), don’t take it personally. Instead, talk about whether there is a problem, recalibrating your advisory role and whether it should be changed or eliminated.
  5. Use technology to block your time and synchronize schedules
  6. Understand your role as an advisor v a mentor, coach or sponsor. The expectations are different for each.
  7. Don’t work with people you can’t trust, like those who don’t pay you what and when they promised to do so, those who bad mouth you behind your back or those who make you feel unappreciated or ignored or won’t lead when there is inevitable team conflict.
  8. Focus on adding continuous value and delivering results
  9. Assign as much credit for results to others on the team
  10. Here are some tips on how to give advice.

At some point, you have probably noticed that you’re wiser when giving advice to others than you are in making decisions for yourself. You’re not alone. In psychology, it’s called Solomon’s paradox, and it often happens because we have more distance from other people’s problems than our own.

Both the advisee and the advisor have responsibilities so be careful how you pick someone’s brain.

Remember Socrates who said “I cannot teach anybody anything. I can only make them think.” By it’s very nature, advice is just that and can be accepted or ignored. Make it personal, just don’t take it personally when it’s the latter.

Image credit: Pixabay

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Ten Reasons You Might Suck at Innovation

Ten Reasons You Might Suck at InnovationIn a popular previous article we looked at the Top 10 Reasons Not to Innovate. In this article we will look at Ten Reasons You Might Suck at Innovation as we explore the following question:

Do you need an innovation intervention?

Unless you feel that your innovation program is a runaway success and exceeding your expectations, the answer might very well be…


Ten Reasons You Might Suck at Innovation

  1. Nobody can articulate your definition of innovation (or you don’t have one)
  2. Nobody can articulate your innovation vision/strategy/goals (or you don’t have them)
  3. People struggle to tell the story of one or more innovations launched to wide adoption by the organization
  4. Most of what passes as innovation inside the organization would actually be classified as improvements (not innovation) by people outside the organization
  5. The organization no longer makes external innovation perspectives available to a wide audience
  6. Nobody takes the time to participate in our innovation efforts anymore
  7. Your organization is unable to accept insights and ideas from outside the organization and develop them into concepts that can be scaled to wide adoption
  8. Innovation program leadership has difficulty getting time on the CEO’s calendar any more
  9. Your innovation team is trying to do all of the innovating instead of helping to accelerate the innovation efforts of others
  10. Your pace of innovation is slower than the organizations you compete with for market share, donations, votes, etc.

What is an innovation intervention?

An innovation intervention is a professionally directed, education process resulting in a face to face meeting of consultants, leaders and/or managers with the organization in trouble with innovation. People who struggle with innovation are often in denial about their situation and unwilling to seek treatment. They may not recognize the negative effects their behavior has on themselves and others. Intervention helps the person make the connection between their use of innovation and the problems in their organization. The goal of intervention is to present the innovation user with a structured opportunity to accept help and to make changes before things get even worse.

This may be a somewhat tongue in cheek adaptation of a definition from the substance abuse context*, but it’s almost scary how much I didn’t have to change in the switching of contexts. To make it easier for people to accept help, I came up with the Ten Reasons You Might Suck at Innovation above, and a service offering to hopefully fit within your purchasing authority and your budget (especially if you split it up into two installments of $4,999.99).

Purchasing an Innovation Intervention for $9,999.98 + expenses (or two payments of $4,999.99 + expenses) will get you a three day engagement including:

  • A cross-functional and/or cross-site innovation maturity study using my 50 question innovation audit, including analysis of the results, and presentation of the findings
  • One or two days on-site:
    • Seeing where and how your innovation happens
    • Conducting interviews to understand the structure of your innovation programs, processes, and other key elements of your innovation infrastructure
    • Walking through past innovation successes and failures
  • The balance of the three days will then be spent analyzing the on-site observations and creating a set of actionable recommendations
  • Up to five (5) copies of my book Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire for you and your leadership team
  • Up to ten (10) sets of my Nine Innovation Roles cards for you and your leadership team
  • Up to five (5) copies of my book Charting Change for you and your leadership team
  • A 10% discount on any future keynote speeches or innovation training sessions for your organization
  • A 10% discount on any Change Planning Toolkit™ site license purchases for your organization
  • A 10% discount on any Disruptive Innovation Toolkit™ site license purchases for your organization

Together we’ll get your innovation efforts back on track towards success and build a foundation capable of sustaining continuous innovation. Forward-thinking organizations that haven’t begun an innovation program or a focus on innovation and want to get off to a strong start will be able to leverage the Innovation Intervention service too.

Free Consultation with Braden Kelley

Image credit: calbaptist.edu

*Thanks to the NCADD (National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc.) for the inspiration

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