Fish Where the Fish Are

Runoff season is about over in the Front Range of Colorado as I write this, so fly-fishing season is ramping up. My recent feeble attempts at fishing the big water (when the snowmelt comes screaming down the canyons) were mostly frustrating. Trying to maintain my balance in the raging water when casting to a relatively quiet spot near the far bank (with little luck) I thought, This is like trying to play tennis in a snowstorm.

Trout dislike fast water. They have to swim like hell just to stay still and wait for food to come by — literally swimming upstream. They do, however, like quiet spots near fast-moving water where they can snatch up food moving downstream without expending much energy. Sort of the equivalent of having your sweetie grab you a beer and nachos while you sit on the couch.

OK, here it comes — the transition from fish, beer and nachos to business. Too many of us try to lead our businesses by swimming midstream, expending more metaphorical calories trying to move ahead (or even stay still!) than we’re finding from the food available. Yup, we’re dumber than fish!

If you’re looking for great ideas to grow your business by swimming in midstream, try finding the transition between the fast water (commoditized market) and the quiet pool of innovation and adjacencies.

Strategy is about being different, not swimming harder.

Recent Comments

  • Lisa Hamaker

    Hi Todd. Another good one! How very Zen as well. In addition we create chaos (fast water) by worrying about things that don’t matter, changing things that work fine for something marginally better, not sticking with our strategic outline, or changing for sake of change.

    Thanks! Lisa

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