Seventhman Blog

  1. Three Inconvenient Truths About IT and Business

    "it business challenge"If there’s one thing we have learned throughout these years, it’s this:  Business is no longer confined to a single territory.  Thanks to robust applications and new technology, growing your very own business these days is less costly and a tad simpler.  To be a leader in your niche is something that many of us are still trying to figure out and together with the digital revolution comes the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle… and most of us are no closer to solving the pieces that will determine our very own success.  What went wrong?

    Exploring the Nemesis Within

    To quote from this lively discussion in Linkedin, it’s mentioned that ‘25% of businesses fail within their first year and an astonishing 70% of businesses fail within ten years…’ Perhaps, if we can explore the truth behind this statement, then, we may be able to come up with realistic solutions that will address which factors will lead to our business success or failure.  I would like to start off with these issues as seen from the eyes of a software developer and an entrepreneur:

    Three Inconvenient Truths that IT and Business Leaders Need to Face

    Truth #1  You’re Not Looking in the Right Place

    An idea, no matter how brilliant, is useless unless it is turned into a working model.  Problem is, we have always asked ourselves why we haven’t thought of that.. as we read news about this new product that became a huge, overnight success.  If you have asked the geniuses behind these wonders, they will tell you that they have never thought of making a profit firsthand.. instead, they wanted to solve this problem they have in their own life.  That’s just half of the equation though.  The other half is being open to change.  Your love for your idea may keep you blinded from better opportunities out there.

    Truth #2  Invasion of Privacy

    With the convergence of cloud, social and mobile comes a new era where companies are starting to breathe life into their social business.  While there are many benefits to be had when you connect with customers in new ways, the price gets higher this time as companies follow closely the online activities of their target market so they can up their chances of selling something, with the hopes that there will be less room to say no to that offer.  In a perfect world, IT objectives support business goals.  But with this new threat to data security, the risk is simply higher.  Improving IT compliance can be a long and windy road to take, and minimizing risk is all but a perception.

    Truth #3  Do we really need data scientists?

    With all the buzz that big data is creating, most of us are lost on whether we should base our every business decision from data analytics alone.  For the reason that you can’t improve what you can’t measure, we swim deeper into the murky pool of tools in our hunt for the next business intelligence which will help us gain our competitive edge.  In the process of doing so, creativity-driven decisions are set aside and businesses start to lose sight of the real context of what they see in their enterprise data.  As sheer volume of data is collected, you forgot to ask better questions on how to improve your business.

    I believe that when we start to address these inconvenient truths, then that’s the time that we can really create the most productive approach in handling business and IT issues altogether.

    …and the devil is in the details?

  2. 2013 Business Insights: Adding the Extra to Ordinary

    "2013 business trends"What if 2013 marks the year where no rules apply to doing business?  I wonder how it will look like, especially when people can’t stop talking about going over the fiscal cliff.  No matter what bracket you belong to, one thing’s for sure: Taxes are on the rise.  Perhaps, it isn’t time to quit things yet.  How about going with the flow of this change and starting a new business all over?  Bottom line is, that it’s the only realistic option there is where many are already pinching pennies.  No matter how you look at it, your business is an investment and a risk; something has to give.

    Hitting the Brakes on Trends

    I have been following lots of articles and news talking about business and technology trends this 2013.  The thing is, there’s no way of knowing if that new shiny object is the real thing you need.  I guess, at one point, you’re all too tired of the endless gimmicks brands place, here and there, that you wonder whatever happened to good ol’ customer service experience.  Let’s take for example those QR codes you see on packaging, on stores and so on.  Does everyone even know how to use them?  Maybe not.  Making things complicated won’t work, no matter how trending it may be.  This may also hold true for the many buzzwords we hear like big data when you just don’t know what to do with all that noise.. and gamification that dies as soon as the spark ignited.  You may want to invest for the long run this time.

    Real Change Starts With You

    What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger, but what if you are the very knife that makes your business bleed?  As the year is coming to an end and we’re about to face the new year, it’s time for honest conversations, careful analysis and introspections.  Your leadership may be put on hot waters.  Scary?  Yes.  The thought of undergoing change? Scarier.  Only the brave dare go beyond the walls of their false egos and conquer the unknown.  This is why we only have a very few percentage of successful people in their niche.  You must learn to separate fact from intuition and ask yourself if you’re really looking at real problems.  Your faith will determine your fate… and real solutions will come to surface.

    The Culture of Thriving

    I have always said it, time and again, that your people are the greatest asset your business can ever have.  Your competitors can always hire the best talents out there, but without a strong culture, it’s simply a waste.  You are in the business of listening to your team and your customers.  For this reason, it is crucial to hire those who feel connected with your values and goals.  You can train anyone new skills, but only attitude makes for a winning team.  Sadly, many are left in the old way of doing business that they find it hard to adapt in a changing market.  There is a fine line between managing and leading .  In the end, your company culture will be your greatest competitive advantage – if you manage things right and lead the right things.

    This 2013.. Are you willing to take the risk and reinvent the wheel?

  3. The Hidden Power of Introverts: A Great Leader in the Making

    "power of introvert"What makes a great leader these days?  Does it have something to do with the willingness to take risks and invest in dreams?  Is it calculated by works of innovation?  Surely, there’s more to a great leader than what many dictionaries, blogs and online articles can ever define.  While great leaders harness the power of their dreams in making it a reality, perhaps, it’s that attitude that got them to the hall of fame.  More than just the willingness to work non-stop to achieving their goals, it may have something to do with the attitude.  This now comes down to a question:  Who makes great leaders: Introverts or Extroverts?

    Putting an Introvert in Charge

    Recently, I’ve watched a talk by Susan Cain on the Power of Introverts (as shared below ).  What struck me is that in this digital age, we live in a world of ceaseless noise and most often, the way to beat everyone else is to make sure that you are louder.  In this extroverted business world, just how can the silent ones survive and thrive?  Being outspoken and sociable is a must as we connect with each other, offline and online.  Still, what’s surprising is that research shows most of the thought leaders in their field are introverts, even in this era of social collaboration.  Perhaps, introverts make better leaders because of one thing: They’re more likely to listen and pay attention.  Those who everyone sees as a quiet and shy person may possess that reticent mind tailored to success.

    Introverted Leaders: A Diamond in the Rough

    Those who are not outspoken doesn’t mean they are dumb.  It’s an oversimplification.  On the other hand, if someone is quieter, that person may be more focused in doing his/her job well, making sure that everything is done properly.  This quietness is their strength because they know how to think first, before talking later.  Unlike extroverts, they learn through listening and their calm demeanor can help them become more focused on finding the best solutions.  These types are more likely to dig deeper in solving issues before moving on to new ones.  Whenever things go wrong or arguments heat up, they exude that calm confidence that makes them speak slowly, but reassuringly.  They may not be great at talking, but they take time composing their thoughts to come up with the best words to articulate what they have in mind.  In the long run, this kind of clarity helps an introverted leader gain more trust from his/her team – paving the road to great leadership.

    Stomping Out the Extroversion Bias

    Unfortunately, introversion is treated like some type of disease that children need to be treated from.  Our society even encourages us to take on the extrovert ideal, of becoming a charismatic, outspoken ( and nearly narcissistic ) person.  Being bold and gregarious has been our way of survival ever since the first humans lived.  Even in our modern offices, we conduct brainstorming sessions and encourage everyone to think loud.. and most often, the one who did the loudest gets the favor of the group.  Because of this bias, many introverts feel that there’s something wrong with them and they try their best to pass as extroverts.  They willingly give up time to spend in quiet, worthwhile activities so they can attend social events instead.  I have nothing against extroversion though, and I believe that a balance between the two is like Yin and Yang; also, introverts shouldn’t be put on a bad light just because they prefer to spend more time at home.

    Because introverts are at their best when they are solitary, the next time someone marked you as one, just smile and be proud… You have the makings of a great leader!