12Faces is a buffet of distilled business wisdom presented in a manner that allows the business owner to quickly review what they do and don't know about a particular issue they are facing and then 'drill down' to solutions to your problem.
The solutions presented are ever evolving distillations of the huge range of business advice confronting, and often overwhelming, the business operator.
We don't sell any particular "quick fix" solutions. Rather, we aim to give you a taste of the business wisdom on the topics out there so you can decide if you want more of that particular topic - and then point you to further resources you can follow.
Layers of Wisdom
Not all management wisdom will have the same impact on your business.
And some wisdom is best understood and implemented before other wisdom is used extensively.
We envisage these layers as a pyramid.
First, Where To
At the very top is the knowledge that contributes to developing a sense of the direction that the business is to take. This is classically the goals of the business. There seems no real point in running a business if you don't know where you want to take it. There is no guiding sense of "where to" to let you make sensible decisions about alternative management paths.
For this reason, most of our Menus (our suggested sequence of steps to address an issue) always start with a Goal Setting step so that all the work to follow in the process is focused on taking the business in the agreed direction.
The second layer in our pyramid is to 'tune' or optimise what you already have operating. By optimisation, we mean determining how best to reach the goals defining the business' preferred direction.
We have some standard optimising tools grouped under the 'optimisation' heading including:
- Time Management Tool
- The Amazing 80/20 Rule Ingredient
- Multitasking Tool
- Theory of Constraints (TOC)
Once again, we argue that there is little point in implementing management systems until what you already have is operating as efficiently as possible.
Then Cover the Essentials
Once these two steps are done, you can start to implement improvements and systems drawn from the various essentials required to run any business including such things as:
- Accounting and financial planning.
- Sales & Marketing.
- The specialised industry skills necessary in your business (e.g. plumbing, tax accounting, clothing retail etc).
As a smaller business operator, and particularly if you own the business, you need to have some understanding of every one of these specialisations - because no one else is likely to know and care as much about your business as you!
Finally, the techniques
These are specific actions and topics within the essential areas of your business you must cover.
For example, if you are improving your HR area, you might use various techniques to;
- apply a bonus strategy
- recruit better staff
- motivate staff
In 12Faces, you will tend to access these techniques via the KnowledgeBase and searching for the topic or using a 12Faces Menu to draw you to the information you need.
Controlling the Flow
Sending you information by way of a book is simple. You start at the start and read till the end.
It's also very inefficient.
Often you are reading stuff you already know so you have to waste a lot of precious time to sieve a lot of "chaff" to get to the required "wheat".
12Faces wants to point you quickly and efficiently at the information you need.
This is a little more complex than you might think.
You are probably familiar with the matrix:
|I know what I know||I know what I don't know|
|I don't know what I know||I don't know what I don't know|
12Faces has three main goals.
First, when you "know what you don't know" it will help you drill down to the answers to your questions.
Second, when you "don't know what you don't know", it will present a menu of things you can do that are designed to show you some of the hidden issues that, when addressed, will make your business operate more effectively.
Third, we know that there is plenty of business wisdom available but it is no good at all if you don't implement whatever wisdom you feel is relevant. So our mission goes beyond just showing you what can be done. We want to also show you how to actually do whatever you find valuable.
We started out with the goal to distill out the "nuggets" of information that a time-poor business operator needed asap.
Along the way, we realised we could give you access to this mixture of information in the same efficient way a good restaurant does.
We were so taken by the concept of "all the business wisdom you can eat" that we called the website 12Faces after the real world dining equivalent.
Information sliced and diced
So you never have to read the same information twice, we capture information as Tools, Appetisers, Sauces or Recipes. Just like cooking, these are the basic elements of (in our case) knowledge. They are linked to from all over 12Faces . So, if you are reading one thing and come across a reference to something you don't know about, you can click on the link and it gets parked in a new browser tab where it stays till you get to read it. If you already know that information, you can safely ignore that link. This means no more repetition in your reading!
Because there will be knowledge that you should be aware of but aren't yet, (the "don't know what you don't know group"), we steer you towards what else you might need via Menus, "Belts" and Industries.
The break up of management knowledge we have developed to speed up your access is:
- Belts are our indication of how advanced the topic content is; Yellow, Blue or Black Belt.
- Industries are the various types of industry like services, manufacturing and professions: the equivalent of 'French', 'Italian' and 'Vegetarian' for example.
- Menus are collections of recipes arranged into groups equivalent to entrees, mains and dessert. They give a subset of the available recipes that might be useful in a particular activity like a Tuneup of your business and imply the best order to tap into them.
- Tools are the basic components of knowledge used widely throughout the Recipes. A very profound example is the The Amazing 80/20 Rule Tool - demo. Food Tools are things like bread and meat widely used in many recipes.
- Recipes, in turn, are a distillation of the wisdom on a particular topic that can be applied to improve your business. Examples include website design, inventory management and the sales funnel.
- Appetisers are collections of mini-topics not presently big enough to warrant their own Recipe or Tool article though they might one day. These morsels are drawn together in a single Appetiser on that general subject.
- Sauces give flavour and zest and are spread all over your meal. Our equivalents are people, information and money.
- If you already know what you want, try the Search function in the top right-hand corner on every page.
It doesn't matter too much where you start the search process 12Faces will direct you to a solution.
More of the same
Our mission is to alert you to your alternatives so our information is heavily summarised. Inevitably there will be topics that you would like more detail about.
At the end of each article, we suggest further web, video and reading resources that we have reviewed to efficiently direct you to useful resources.
You can read more about our approach at 12Faces Leads Sustainable Business Success