Poking the Box

Entrepreneurial spirits have a need to make things happen. I finally finished reading ‘Poke the Box’ by Seth Godin last night and I loved it. Poking the Box is about our ability to see unique opportunities and develop a decision based plan and strategy for action. Most of us have a very hard time thinking outside of the box, never mind being brave enough to actually poke it! I must confess…I like to poke the it. Poking the box requires us to make what are sometimes risky decisions, and must be a required skill set of any leader involved in innovative change. Inherent in an entrepreneurial spirit is the ability to incorporate the wisdom of past failures, coupled with an understanding of human behavior, to make decisions seemingly on the fly. I call it gutstinct.


The best opportunity for success for the entrepreneurial leaders of today will be in those that have develop a business acumen that includes the ability to make quick decisions using good judgment for the benefit of moving organizations in their desired direction. The strategic decision making process from a entrepreneurial standpoint is pressured by the need for action, short decision windows, a willingness to assume risk, and few constituencies and has a short time span in terms of opportunity commitment. (Hisrich, 2005) It is through this strategic decision making process that entrepreneurial leaders maximize their resources to get the job done.

We all know that making good decisions vs. a wrong choice can be a game changer for organizations. So how do you make good decisions? Sir Richard Branson is a master of this process. In an article on the topic (Mayr’s, 3.13.13) he offers four tips that have helped his decision making. First is to trust your instincts, second is to focus on your customers rather than your critics, third it to always support your team, lastly and perhaps most important is always knowing when to say goodbye. This week as you look for a box to poke, remember the tips as well as the adage “no decision is a decision”. Learning to make decisions and to try innovative new approaches is the only way to move in the direction of your goals and dreams. Go ahead…this week and every week…..poke the box.


Godin, S. (2011) Poke the Box. The Domino Project, 1 ed.

Hisrich, PhD, Robert D., Michael P. Peters, PhD and Dean A. Shepard, PhD. Entrepreneurship. 6 ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2005.

Mayr’s Organizational Management (3.15.13) Entrepreneurial Decision Making. Learning the fine art of management. http://www.mayrsom.com.

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