22 June 2012

Stage 3 Waiting for the Next Big Thing - Insights from I-Ching

Opportunity is only seen by those who are watching and seized by those that are well prepared. I-Ching shows us how to really wait. Waiting is not idling but a very busy and noisy affair. Sometime it is about taking cover and waiting for the dawn to break. Sometime it is picking the right focus to concentrate our resources and strength for the breakthrough. Here are the details...

"Eureka! Eureka!" (I found it!) only happened to those people who are looking for it. Many apples on people's heads, but only Newton discovered the law of gravity. It was simply because Newton was thinking about it. When Steve Jobs said he was waiting for the next big thing, I doubted that he was idly around. Many possibilities and scenarios of various kinds must have passed through his mind. He was looking for problems to solve. This 'waiting' for the right time business is not a quiet and idly time as I-Ching will show us. Here are three insights represented by 3 hexagrams.

W1 Wait for the Time Rightly - #05 需 Needs
Waiting begins with preparation and getting ready for the opportunity. The hexagram picture is clouds above the sky and you are waiting for the rain to come. Imagining that what you expect will happen and how should you get ready for it. There are a few scenarios that you have to play through. I-Ching tells us we begin at the vast wilderness. See Learning from I-Ching Part 10 5 需 Needs - Wait for the Right Time for the details. I-Ching warns us first of complains from our internal staff. They have been with us working and are discouraged and so make some noises. You must know how to encourage them to continue. You need to have fun and to celebrate small progress or successes to keep the morale high. As you get closer, there will be sabotages from the external. When the opportunity comes and you quickly move to seize the opportunity, you are to expect some 'blood-shed' of difficulty and challenges to overcome. But if you carry on and is able to overcome the challenges, then you are in for great success. 

W2 Wait for the Dawn - #36 明夷 Darkening
Waiting is also like watching in the night and waiting for the dawn to break. In the night, there is darkness and it is difficult to figure out what to do. Even so, I-Ching advice is to stay in the path of righteousness and integrity. We must be clear of the real unique value proposition that we are offering. We shall not take any short-cut or to be with like the others competitors that break the laws or harm the environment in order to provide cheaper offerings and still make profits. In the highly competitive business environment of today, the temptations to take short cut to make a profit to survive is very tempting. Many succumb to it. But such are not sustainable and the consequences could be costly. The milk powder poisoning affairs in China caused much problems and bad reputations for many China companies. I-Ching tells us to keep our integrity no matter what. We must also be careful not to pre-announce things. We should hide our strengths until the right time.
When we continue in integrity and strength, there will come a tipping point when our effort will result in great changes in the market or the situation we are in. The dawn has broken and the light begins to shine brightly on us!

W3 Wait & Move on Focused Strength - #39 蹇 Lame 
The title for the hexagram is "Lame", yet we still move on. Lame shows that we have weaknesses but we can still move on. How to do that? The answer are:

  1. wait for the right time .... when we have wind and other support that comes to us.
  2. focus our resources. Pick the right direction and the niche market where we can concentrate our resources to move to.
  3. get support, talents, and advice. Since we are weak, it is better to ask and get help. 
The principle is that despite our lameness, if we focus and get help, we can move on and accomplish much. Don't make lame excuses for not trying!

More teaching of the various hexagrams can be found in Manage Change with I-Ching (registration is required.)

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Lim Liat (C) 22 June 2012

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