Tuesday, April 8, 2008

50/50, 70/30, 25/75, 80/20, 0 - What's in a number?

I'm sitting onboard a United Airlines flight from Savannah back to DC after an assignment down South. I was catching up on my BusinessWeek reading, and ran across a series of advertisements from Accenture. These are great ads featuring Tiger Woods. Interestingly, each ad runs double-truck, full bleed, with a single message point - one message point per entire issue. Since I read several during the flight, I've got five to share/discuss/dissect for your consideration.

The message points apply equally to photographers in business as well as those that the ad is targeting.

The message points are:

(Continued after the Jump)

Their first message point:
50% seeing things simply, 50% seeing things fully I.e. Combine razor sharp focus with a through command of the details.
How does this apply to you? It is akin to being driven to be (or remain) a photographer, but realizing, for example, that you need to be skilled in things like image management systems, resources for the various toners and inks and why UDMA is the next step in throughput.

Their second message point:
70% plan, 30% backup plan. Distinguish yourself not only through the astuteness of your strategy but also by your readiness to nimbly change course should circumstances dictate.
Today, on our assignment, we had a plan, and a backup plan, and then a backup to the backup. One other way to put it - from a military perspective, is "no plan survives first contact with the enemy." Knowing, for example, what you will do if your equipment misses the flight, or minimizing flights that are connecting and chosing non-stop flights will decrease the chance that the gear will miss the connection when there is a flight delay. And lastly, where can you rent your lighting once in your destination location if the gear still is missing come shoot day.

Further, I almost NEVER book the last flight anywhere. I always have the ability to catch the next flight if something goes wrong with my current flight. This happened last week on a flight from Oakland to Los Angeles for an assignment, and I needed to engage my backup plan. Thankfully, my assistants, whom I had left in Las Vegas, has the same separate experience, and knew enough to do the same thing enroute LA.

Their third message point:
25% risk, reward 75%. Continually recalibrate the balance of opportunity and threat for your enterprise.
Do you take the more frequent lower paying jobs, or do you "hold out a little" for the bigger fish? What risk level are you comfortable with?

Their fourth message point:
80% improving yourself, 20% proving yourself. High performers aren't defined by what they do to reach the top but what they do to stay there.
This is akin to the notion of reinventing yourself, don't rest on your laurels, don't get complacent, and so forth. This suggests continuing your education and learn - be coached, seek those smarter than you.

Their fifth message point:
0% distractions. Peripheral issues may divert the attention of some competitors, high performers maintain unrelenting focus on their highest priority goals no matter how tumultuous the business landscape. Check their research- http://www.accenture.com/research.
I can say that I have seen more than my fair share of distractions, and it's a challenge to avert my eyes and focus on what's most important.

These are well tested messaging points, and Accenture certainly should be commended for their efforts. What you should take away from these is a rededicated effort to focus on business - all aspects of it.

Please post your comments by clicking the link below. If you've got questions, please pose them in our Photo Business Forum Flickr Group Discussion Threads.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

is it just me or this guy is a publicity whore? all he talks about on his blog is about himself and how great he is.
One question: where are is awards ?
who are his so called clients ?
does he make more money with this blog than his pictures ?

Peter Cull said...

Dear John

Another interesting post. I've learnt a great deal from reading your blog, viewing your video clips and your book.

I hope my experience is the majority experience and that your previous poster represents the minority viewpoint.

John Harrington said...

Anonymous -

That's three questions.

-- John

Anonymous said...

Anonymous sounds awfully bored, so to entertain him I'll offer my perspective: I don't see John talking about himself, nor about how great he is. Rather, I see him talking about his approach to the business, and encouraging others to learn from both his successes and failures. the end result is a more knowledgeable pool of photographers in the world, which keeps pricing and demand for quality service a much more tidy house for all of us who choose to follow.

I could give a sh** if John wins any awards at all. Last time I even had the time to enter a contest, I was 9 and in a swimming pool at teh YMCA. What does that prove? That he's not good at his business? I'd love to see that proven in a 500 word essay.

Who are his clients? If he's as much a braggart as you say he is, I'm sure he'd flaunt their identities.

Thanks for the post, John, as usual. Diligent thoughts in it, and damn fine advice - especially re booking last flights of the day.

Nodded at the idea of "first contact with the enemy." On the pre-scout with a mag editor Monday, the fellow told me the gym we were in would be sealed and empty. Upon arrival the next day, ten guys were in there pumping iron, with no one to tell them to give us an hour - including the editor, standing there with his hands in his pockets. Lighting scheme? Trashed. Dangerous wires all over the place? Taped for safety for an additional 15min prep time not predicted. Take-down? A nightmare. Safe haven for gear while second set outside set up? Gone.

Ken Lopez Photo said...

Thanks again for the inspiration, John. There are many things that I love about this blog, but my two favorites are 1)The Information is ALWAYS relevant to today's working photographer and 2)There is always at least one coward who posts a retarded comment anonymously. I always get a laugh out of those uneducated apes. Thanks, Jon!

-Ken

Anonymous said...

There are two kinds of photographers who drive some photographers crazy with anger or rage: photographers who charge more and photographers who charge less. Sounds like the first anonymous poster is angry, and I wonder if that's why. It *is* just him.

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Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! thanks a lot! ^^

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