Practice

by Rebecca Cochran

practiceWhat did you practice today?

Practicing isn’t just for musicians. Or ballerinas. Or Olympic athletes.

We all need to practice in order to improve. In order to learn. In order to ingrain strong habits within ourselves.

Practice enables us to do things. Even simple things like cooking. Or gardening. Or blogging. Practice also enables us to do things well.

The act of regular practice helps us to get better at innovating within our companies. Practicing innovation skills such as questioning, observing, networking, experimenting and associating, can enable us to effect change within our organizations.

Practice doesn’t have to be complicated or even time-consuming. Any of us can do it. The key to accomplishing anything is to establish a practice routine. Your routine may be weekly, semi-weekly, daily or whatever. The important thing is to carve out time on your calendar to engage in regular practice of the activities or skills that are important to you.

I think we all need to practice practicing. Or, as Aristotle so adeptly put it, “For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them.”

4 Quick Steps to Effective Marketing

Profits.jpgToday, effective marketing is more about brains than it is about budget. Whether you’re a start-up or an established company, you’ve no excuse not to jump into the fray. Here are 4 quick steps to finding your marketing sweet spot:

  1. Prototype like crazy. Faster experiments mean better results.
  2. Measure, but don’t over-measure. Use your gut, too.
  3. Re-tool and correct. Adaptability is key.
  4. Repeat.

The bottom line? Just get started. Today’s pace doesn’t allow for stragglers.

A Personal Experiment

by Rebecca Cochran

As 2016 emerges, rather than setting resolutions, I’ve embarked upon a personal experiment. I’m calling it My Year of Bach.

This particular experiment is very near and dear to my heart. As a flutist, for as long as I can remember, Johann Sebastian Bach has been my favorite composer. I’ve written about Bach several times here in this space.

My experiment, or challenge, was partially inspired by Austin Kleon, a writer who draws. I heard Austin speak at the Hopscotch Design Festival in Raleigh last summer. I’ve since read his books, Steal Like An Artist and Show Your Work! His suggestions to “share something small every day,” “send out a daily dispatch” and “share like an artist” immediately resonated with me.

With My Year of Bach, I haven’t set too many rules for myself. Like I said, this is an experiment, and I think we all need to experiment more.

My goals for this experiment are:

  • Post daily
  • Learn as I go
  • Share what I learn
  • Enjoy myself

So, here goes!