I try to

The over complicated makes for stressful situations. Are too many people involved? Too many tasks? Too many targets? If so, you’ll spend more time managing problems than solving problems. At the start of a task, break it down to its essentials. Decide what is vital and what isn’t. Everything else will fall into place.

Imagine this: You’ve just been made redundant, but an opportunity to start a recycling operation has just popped into your inbox.
You know zero about recycling, but somehow (in this fun, hypothetical scenario) you’re going to make it work. What do you think the top 10 rules of being a successful recycler are?

Here’s my attempt to answer

  • Decide your niche – are perfectly retrievable items going from households to landfill because it is too difficult for people to do anything else with them? You’ll want to have a focused service offering.
  • A good Source of your chosen waste material. At this point, you should consider what type of recyclable waste is readily available within your area.
  • Have a market of manufacturers that are sourcing for recyclable waste for use in their manufacturing processes. 
  • Planning & Legal issues research. All kinds of waste disposal and recycling initiatives are subject to licences, stringent rules, and regulatory requirements.
  • Detailed knowledge of government policies – with governmental and Europe-led policies such as the Waste Framework Directive making green targets concrete, and pressure rising on commercial organisations to manage their waste responsibly).
  • Build a website – People need to know exactly what you do.
  • Space for storage or a workshop.
  • Machinery for processing or manufacturing.
  • Skilled staff.
  • A fleet of vehicles.  Your operations will involve collecting waste material, transporting it, sorting, processing, storing, and finally selling it to your clients. Most of these stages will require investing in trucks for transportation.

In researching the points above, I’ll know the relevant information, expertise, and practical understanding required to make things happen.
You can do the same exercise for salmon farming, running a shoe shop, a pencil factory, or any other business.

Do something, fail, learn, adapt, try again, fail, learn, adapt, try again and succeed.
Doing something new means making mistakes. The trick is to learn from those mistakes. If you don’t learn you’ll just look increasingly stupid.

This is a structured review or debriefing process for analysing

  • What was supposed to happen?
  • What did happen?
  • Why was there a difference?
  • What can we learn?

This is not about regret and apportioning blame. AARs are for learning lessons quickly and moving on. If you want to shout, do it outside and then come back in and make calm decisions.
These calm decisions will involve setting priorities and schedules; developing systems and protocols; and equipping and empowering teams to take on tasks.

You can contact me at neil@neilleslie.com and/or connect with me on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/neilleslieenterpriseeducation.