A Business and Management Lesson from the 2013 Masters

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As rain pounded down for the concluding round of the Masters, a number of wonderful story lines were being watered as well.

Adam Scott wins for himself and an entire nation.

Angel Cabrera makes a spectacular shot on the 18th to force a playoff.

With clients in both Australia and Argentina we say CONGRATS to both!

Beyond the winners and almost winners, the rain became a story in itself.

The greens, always slippery and treacherous, had become a little slower but still very tricky.

One of the TV commentators stated (paraphrased), ‘the players are aware of the rain, they just haven’t adjusted to the rain’.

I actually paused my live TV, hit the 7 second rewind and listened again.

They were AWARE, but hadn’t ADJUSTED.

They knew it was raining. It was obvious. Golf towels and gloves dangling from the branches of the umbrella’s inner dome.

Rain pounding down as the players stepped out from the dry confines to take a shot.

They knew.

However, the mental connection to be able to hit a shot 10 or 20% harder did not kick in for many.

They could not get their brains to push that putt harder because they hadn’t ADJUSTED to the rain.

How many times has this happened in our businesses?

It’s raining…i.e. sales are falling, customer issues are mounting…we KNOW it’s raining.

However, we struggle to mentally adjust so we play the same shot.

Playing the same shot in different weather conditions will lead to different results!! What was successful in the sun may not work so well in the rain.

They were AWARE but hadn’t ADJUSTED.

Where are you with your business?


Escalation of Commitment – don’t be afraid to start again.

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Start again.

Easier said than done.

I was painting a room in my house and the colour was somewhere between mustard and green pea baby food.

It had looked ok on the 2″ paint chip, but was not looking so good on the wall.

However…given the 2 hours of labour already invested and the investment in the paint, I convinced myself that it looked ok.

My wife in a moment of pity also agreed that it looked ok and so I invested 5 more hours in painting the entire room.

When I was done I knew it looked bad, but aimed to convince myself otherwise.

My wife knew it looked bad, but also knew I was a little stubborn about buying paint twice so she ‘thought she could live with it’.

We had escalated our commitment.

Even though the project was doomed for failure, we convinced ourselves it would be ok and that conviction grew with time.

It wasn’t ok.

Several weeks later I called in a painting crew, changed the colour and spent the money to fix the problem.

Would it have been easier to change course early on?


Would it have been a better decision to change course early on?


It is one of the hardest things to do in our businesses.

Rip it up and start again.  These are the exact words from a recent Richard Branson post which echo the same sentiments.

We must be willing to change course.

We must be willing to say the idea we had fully supported needs to be changed.

The earlier we can make that decision the better.

Avoid the escalation of commitment!


Eggs, baskets and economic diversity

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Rachel Mendleson has put together an excellent article for the Huffington Post.

Of note is Canada’s shift towards oil, gas and mining as a key driver of the economy.

The chart below (via Huffington) shows the decline of manufacturing as a percent of GDP and the increase of the natural resource sector over an 11 year period.

So is this a bad thing?

Too many eggs in one basket?

Doom and gloom?


Business is simply going where Business goes.

As the US continues it’s economic sputter, China has become a source of real opportunity.

Working with private business across the world, we see this situation Canada faces reflected in individual businesses again and again.  Do I follow the money trail?  Do I stay with what has brought us this far?

The answer is usually a diversified approach.

Completely abandoning a product or even a strategic direction may make sense in some cases, but many times a mixed approach of retaining a company’s history, customer base and core while pursuing a new opportunity is the best recipe.

To read more about Canada’s shifting direction read the full article from the Huffinton Post here.

To analyze your own business strength take the Wardell Business Strength Test. (free, online and private)




Letting go for entrepreneurs…in several easy steps!?

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The Globe and Mail ran a great story all about entrepreneurs reaching the point in their business when growth and success forces decisions.

How much can the entrepreneur continue to do on his/her own?

If I am going to bring in help, how do I decide who or even which areas in my business I should begin with?

Can working with a business advisor help these transitions without having to fully commit payroll to a specific area?

See what the experts say including Werner Knittel who works with Wardell.

Click here for the article.

To test how your business is doing, you can take the simple 30 question Business Strength Test.

It’s instant, free and anonymous.  If you score less than 50% in any category (leadership, management, marketing, operations, finance or sales), you may have reached the point where looking for assistance makes sense.

There are many places and organizations that can help.

If we can offer some guidance, don’t hesitate to connect.

A shout out to all entrepreneurs helping to make Canada and the world a better place…one business success at a time!

CanadaONE Article: The 3 Most Common Customer Service Cracks. Sew what?

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Article by Mark Wardell

Read Mark Wardell’s latest article on the customer service case of Mason Sewing Machines at canadaone.com