The Big Idea with Ron Davis
Unleashing Your Creativity
I was going to call Miller and ask him to expand on his idea when it suddenly hit me that once studied, his idea can have a great impact.
It reminded me of George Gunning’s great idea (see the March 2008 issue), and this certainly deserves a more in-depth analysis.
When you surrounded yourself with quality people and make use of their thinking, it can force you to unleash the power that’s within your mind in creative thought.
When I formed the “Graybeards,” the idea was to bring together a bunch of knowledgeable experts in all of the various disciplines of running a business and provide an advisory board service for independent alarm dealers. These experts would meet and review the business plans of alarm dealers that had subscribed to the Graybeards service, which is now by the wayside.
However, when Miller talks about his board of directors, he also identifies his wife, Debby, as his partner in virtually everything he does, and his mother, Ruth. This is not just false modesty; it is a deep understanding of the value that these people add to his decision-making process.
A Practical Application
If you think about the typical alarm company, the business components that make up virtually any company in this industry are the administrative side, legal side, financial side, sales and marketing side, and operations side of the business.
Now, think about which of those areas have been historically weak for you, or conversely, which of those areas you want to continue to build upon. Then form a group that will be involved through structured meetings in helping you plan your business. They do not necessarily have to be a legal board of directors.
Where do you find these experts? First, look around you. Your family, friends, suppliers, professional associates or people you have met in the industry can be a great addition to your board of advisors. Ask the kinds of people whom you respect and admire to join this board, and then for your first meeting, put together an agenda. A typical agenda might look like this:
- Opening with a statement of purpose for the advisory board
- Discussion points of plans that you have made for the future in each of the various business disciplines
- Opinions from board members
- Conclusions that you have tentatively reached
- Potential discussion points for future meetings
- Open discussion of how your board views your business
Miller's big idea is one that all of us can use. Apply it to your business and use it in your day-to-day practices.
Ron Davis is Security Sales & Integration's "What's the Big Idea?" columnist and contributing market analyst. He is president of Davis Group, a full-service consulting firm serving the security industry, which also includes GraybeardsRus. He has 35 years of industry experience, including founding Security Associates International in the 1980s.