Saturday, October 31, 2009

Sharpen Your Axe

Once upon a time, there was a very strong woodcutter. He asked for a job from a timber merchant,and he got it. The pay was really good and so were the work conditions. For that reason the woodcutter was determined to do his best.

His boss gave him an axe and showed him the area where he was supposed to work.

The first day, the woodcutter brought down 18 trees. The Boss was very much impressed and said,"Congratulations keep it up!"
Very motivated by the words of the boss, the woodcutter tried harder the next day, but he only could bring down 15 trees.
The third day he tried even harder, but he only could bring down 10 trees. Day after day he was bringing down less and less trees.
"I must be losing my strength", the woodcutter thought to himself.
He went to the boss and apologized, saying that he could not understand what was going on.
"When was the last time you sharpened your Axe?" the boss asked.
"Sharpen? I had no time to sharpen my Axe. I have been very busy trying to cut trees.

The moral of the story:

Our lives are like that. We sometimes get so busy that we don't take time to sharpen the axe. In today's world, it seems that everyone is busier than ever, but less happy than ever. Why is that? Could it be that we have forgotten how to stay sharp?

There is nothing wrong with activity and hard work. But we should not get so busy that we neglect the truly important things in life, like our personal life, taking time to care for others, taking time to read,further developing and increasing our knowledge etc.

We all need time to relax, to think and meditate, to learn and grow. If we don't take time to sharpen the axe, we will become dull and lose our effectiveness.

So start from today, think about the ways by which you could do your job more effectively and add a lot of value to it.

Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.

Sharpening marketing skills to build competitive edge is essential to winning greater share of customers’ purchasing power in the months and years to come. In that context, Marketing has never been so important or under so much pressure to deliver growth, yet so ill-prepared to do so. In addition to recession, a raft of other challenges like globalisation, media fragmentation and the rise of digital media are combining with internal challenges like cost-cutting, organisational turmoil and loss of corporate memory to make marketing harder than ever.

Marketing capability development is a relatively young discipline yet it is a powerful one - helping an organisation sharpen up its operations and equipping it to excel at customer-centric marketing. It demands a practical approach to driving business growth that inspires tangible change, making marketers, and those around them who support marketing, better equipped so they can more effectively and more efficiently drive demand-led growth.

Unlike conventional training, marketing capability development tackles not just individual skills but the most important and weakest organisational marketing capabilities. By investing in marketing capability development, organisations can ensure that their marketing efforts are much more cost-effective, better leveraging skills and internal best practice and enhancing impact and performance externally.

Today, many world-class organisations are building marketing excellence strategically to better drive demand-led growth. For anyone with a rudimentary understanding of business, it is clearly not enough in these days of credit crunch and recession to look to spend your way out of trouble. Marketing capability development can make the difference between a performing and a failing organisation.

By focusing on sharpening marketing capabilities, companies can begin to build the competitive edge needed to deliver demand-led growth despite the challenging economic times in which we now live. Lets sharpen The AXE.