In a lot of cases, for most aspects of the business, I know just enough to be dangerous. Finance, Operations, Project Management, Instructional Design, Analytics, the list goes on – none of them areas of expertise, but ones that I know enough about that I’m comfortable jumping in and “figuring out the rest later”. Which, when I was working on my own, was probably a good thing. I could get the ball rolling and learn through doing.
But now we have a team – a team of experts in their respective fields, and me “jumping in” can cause as much confusion as it can benefit the company. So I need to slow down; something that doesn’t come naturally after 5 years of bootstrapping and clawing out an existence. My solution, so far, is to actually distance myself from the areas where I think I know something (be available for support/historical insight, but not leading), and instead to focus on areas that are a complete unknown.
Take translation, for instance. As we continue to grow, larger clients – national clients – are asking for bilingual versions of Workshops. Starting something new – something I can comfortably admit no knowledge or experience over – allows (forces?) me to give myself more time. Time to ask a lot of questions. Time to slow down and do things right, with a view for the long term. It doesn’t hurt that I have a team looking over my shoulder for “best practices” on new program initiatives. I need to act as I’d hope they would act. Which requires breaking a lot of bad habits.
I’m looking forward to exploring more of the unknown in the months to come.
For those interested, French translation of a select group of Workshops and all Workshops functionality is slated for release early December. You can hold me to that 😉