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Business Success: Do You Have a Theory?

“Performance pay for our installers will increase profitability and department morale.”

A theory is not a foregone conclusion. It’s an explanation, given the data, intel and research you have to date. It’s incomplete therefore it begs for you to move forward.

It encourages one to keep striving, to keep bridge-building toward a stronger theory or fact.


Science looks at a theory as a substantiated explanation of something that is acquired via the scientific method.
  • Ask a question
  • Do research
  • Build an hypothesis
  • Test and experiment
  • Make observations
  • Analyze findings
  • Develop working theory
  • Continue process 

A Guiding Force

The act of developing a theory acts as a guiding force. The motivating part of this is that to be guided we must develop. As business people, our evolution is seriously hindered unless we continue to ask questions, do research, build hypothesis, test, experiment, observe, analyze and repeat.

A Mindset

Science works. One however, does not need a PhD to work through the scientific method and develop a theory. Whether it’s personal or business, think of this process as a mindset to fuel your journey of growth and development.

Your effort can remain private. Or enlist your coworkers and work on experiments together. Or, encourage your coworkers to develop theories of their own.

In Private

All you need is a notebook and or computer word program. Begin by asking questions and then continue on through the scientific method. Document your findings.

In June we asked, Why are you in business? 

Some of you know exactly why you’re in business and for others not so much. If you are struggling with the Why perhaps you need to develop a working theory first. A working theory helps to take the pressure off as you answer your Why. Unless you work through the scientific method or a process of your own, you’ll hit a roadblock. You cannot pluck a theory out of thin air without doing the work first.

Involve Others

Choose a company-wide goal, assemble a team and build a theory as to how you will achieve it. Or challenge your team to make one company improvement. Work on a theory together and pursue the outcome.

Coworker’s Theories

Ask your managers to develop a theory for their department. Here is Bob the service manager’s theory: Profits increase when service technicians know exactly what is expected of them and they have the proper tools and material to do their work. Bob feels strongly about this and is excited to prove it to you. On his way to building a case, Bob sharpens his management skills.

Just Like on TV

TV Crime scene investigators and scientists develop theories and then construct a case to prove them. Your alter ego would have arrived at the same conclusion as Catherine Willows of CSI. You know it. But deep down you think, “I’m not a trained investigator. I’m not a research scientist. I’m not qualified”

Contraire mon frere. As a company owner and or manager, just who exactly in your company is more qualified?

This isn’t about TV, make believe or your desire to appear in the Science journal. It’s about innovation, problem solving, growth and development. It’s about a mindset that keeps you a cut above your competition. In the end you might say performance pay improved morale, brought the team closer together or increased profits. While a theory is not a foregone conclusion, you certainly can make a conclusion from the effort you invest to prove one: You’ll innovate, problem solve, grow and develop.

Topics: Business Leadership

Posted by Dave Rothacker on Jul 17, 2016 5:00:00 AM

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