I just commented on Michael Gannotti’s latest post “The Adventure Begins… Productivity Adventures” about how Indiana Jones had a lot of good business lessons. I decided I could probably expand that into a short blog post in case someone out there finds this stuff interesting.
So what sort of lessons, or tips can Indiana Jones teach us that are related to achieving a successful SharePoint?
- You have to have the courage to take on something challenging.
Indiana Jones never ran away from a Challenge (well not the ones that mattered). It’s important to first be ready and dedicated to accomplishing a goal. SharePoint is a very challenging thing to implement successfully, and the business problems it helps solve are even more daunting. Courage always helps.
- Know your limits and what your good at.
Remember that scene when Indiana Jones is being chased by that giant unstoppable boulder? While courage is important you still need to know your limits and when it makes sense to ‘run away’. Or in a business sense cut your losses. Sometimes things are unstoppable and we have to be ready to admit it to ourselves to help us survive (hopefully with lots of lessons learned so we don’t do it again). Not every idea you come up with is going to work. SharePoint certainly has limits of it’s own and you also need to understand these.
- Simplicity is often the best option. (Gun vs Sword)
There is a scene, Gun vs Sword, where a scary bad guy is waving his sword around and there is a build up where you expect a big fight. Instead Indy pulls out his gun and just shoots the guy. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DzcOCyHDqc) Sometimes the solution to something is simple and there is no need to make it more complicated. This is especially important for SharePoint as complexity often leads to bad choices being made, especially when it’s unnecessary.
- You need to know your stuff and be ready to learn.
Indy is a super subject matter expert and professor in his field with plenty of knowledge about history, archeology and foreign lands. If you are diving into something like SharePoint you should hit the books first, and will need to learn a ton. Not only about the technical aspects but also about the business, and business processes you will be effecting by your SharePoint implementation.
- You don’t have to be a superhero.
Indiana Jones was more or less an ordinary guy who did extraordinary things. We can all be just as extraordinary as Indy. Anyone can implement SharePoint successfully. I mean that.
- Some things never change.
Indy uses pretty old fashioned methods, and techniques often and they work. There is no need to reinvent the wheel if something works. Think about even the traps he faces, most of these are extremely ancient, but still serve their purpose (albeit they aren’t up to the daunting task of taking out Indy). In SharePoint the challenges we face aren’t new. They aren’t unique either.
- Know what your are afraid of, or bad at and let other people help.
Indy was afraid of snakes. He knew it, and we all knew it (because he shared that openly). As a result it is much easier to work around the fears.
- You can’t do it alone.
He also wasn’t the best at everything, and without the help of other people could never have achieved all that he did. Implementing SharePoint successfully is absolutely a team effort and involves many people working hard and effectively together.
- You have to believe in yourself and it doesn’t hurt to be unique or have your own image.
Indiana Jones has a very unique outfit and look. When you see it, it tells you a lot about him and his style, personality and attitude. Your own portal should also have a brand, it’s own attitude even. You also have to believe in it, and get other people to as well. If you don’t think SharePoint is a good thing, then why should anyone else?
- You have to see things through and stay focused.
Indiana Jones always stayed focused on the treasure or end goal. Constantly moving towards it regardless of significant obstacles. It’s a long difficult journey or adventure to that treasure of an effective SharePoint implementation, but when you get there it is absolutely worth it.
This was fun and I hope you enjoyed it or got something out of it,