Reward for Effort


Don’t confuse activity with achievement.

This sporting cliché has a lot of relevance and application for businesses and communities at present.
Much time, thought and organisation are currently being committed to address an enveloping, challenging marketplace, with disappointing consequences.
Commonly, what is apparent is the lack or inadequacy of money, resources and risk tolerance.
Economic and market realities dictate the need to think and to do, BIG.
Understated endeavours do minimise the risk of failure, enable progressive development over a period of, say, 2 to 3 years, and they signal that many entities and people are stretched.  They also make little impression and, seemingly, fail to recognise and respond to the dynamic nature of life, commerce and politics.
The formation of local community groups to integrate and stimulate activity, in pursuit of generating additional revenue and visitations is laudable.  It is also, too often, lamentable because of the absence of a budget and access to appropriate resources.
Some people are driven to “talk-through” issues, have the time to attend meeting (often repeatedly), and seek to be both involved and recognised.  For what purposes?
Many, so called not-for-profit organisations suffer from the same fundamental flaws.  They often successfully seek recognition and sympathy ... and achieve little.
Individuals and collective benefits and advantages are typically attained and sustained from major, attention-grabbing and creative initiatives.
Look no further than charities throughout Australia.  The total number of official and government-recognised charities exceeds 63,000, few of which achieve widespread public recognition, support and respect.
Local communities, most of which have tourism committees, reflect similar trends and characteristics.  Many have full annual calendars of activities, limited in scope because of miniscule financial backing.  Accordingly, they attract little attention.
Interestingly, the state of Western Australia presents a similar case study.  It is located in one of the most active earthquake-belts on the planet.  However, almost all quakes register small readings on the Richter Scale and are therefore an imperceptible presence.
There are few attention-arresting media headlines as a consequence of such regular activities.
So the essential message is to make a noise, create movement, have impact and above all else, MAKE A STATEMENT.
Key Action Points:  

  • Carefully detail quantitative and qualitative outcomes
  • Set specific time horizons
  • Be focused, limit activities
  • Establish a viable and achievable budget
  • Determine and marshal sufficient resources
  • Delegate authority and responsibility to those who will be accountable
  • Strive for success, but do not fear failure ... and then remember the words of the late Steve Jobs, founder of Apple:
                                                    Fail Big, Fail Often, Fail Fast

Barry Urquhart


Barry Urquhart, MD Marketing Focus, Perth, is the author of Australia's top two selling books on customer service and is an internationally recognised authority on consumer behaviour and creative visual marketing.

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