Friday, September 03, 2010

Mr Bone Knows Why

In Tokyo now, miles away in mind from Australia - only the paper lists keep it living.

This week a small class organised by Ikuo Nishioka, the ex-Chairman of the Intel Corporation of Japan, at his Business schools in Roppongi for some middle level executives from large Japanese corporations. I gave a quick powerpoint, then lots of demonstrations to my now accustomed looks of surprise, wonder and joy. I manage to throw in a mention of Victorinox's 40% productivity increase through AT—that got noticed. And there were the obligatory one or two doubters, looking through a cocked head wondering what my trick must be…

Of course nature's the trick—the wonderful capacity we have for natural movement, pain free. It is always the first surprise I love the most: the way the pain vanishes, the way nothing happens to make the pain vanish "What did you do?" It was a shock, wrote one participant after the evening, to learn that there is "nothing to do." I understand that. It is a huge shock. In these days of power yoga and body control pilates (there is even yogalates now) to learn to do less is almost heretical. Of course exercise is great, tone is necessary, flexibility takes movement—but the point of our work is not any of that. It is not even about release. The pain thing, as spectacular as it can be, is just a side show, and a distracting one at that.

No—the real thing is the evolution of human consciousness, and FM's discovery is a powerful factor in encouraging its development. Of course there are no shortage of other modalities working at the same goal, but none bring with them the concrete reality of using information on how our bones range themselves around joints to calibrate the state of consciousness, in a remarkably reliable and consistent manner. Mr Bone Knows It. Mr Bone Is It.

So BodyChance Japan is working on Gold Membership from April 2011. We seek the time-challenged market, not the financially-challenged market. My overwhelming concern right now is profit. Without a bottom line PL profit—who will invest in BodyChance? Who would lend us money to expand? I have to figure that out, and going up market seems the only way, otherwise we will remain stuck as a one centre marvel, slowly going tacky.

There's only five ways to make money in a business: cut costs, raise prices, sell more to each customer, sell to more customers or sell the business. Being a service industry, and selling our time for money, makes it hard to cut costs, although we try. And as I don't plan to sell BodyChance anytime soon, that leaves just three ways to make more.

Michael Masterson wrote a brilliant book—a text book really—about the 4 stages of a business. "Ready, Fire, Aim" He based it each stage on revenue. 1st is zero to one million in sales (that's us); next is one million to ten million (that's next). Stage two is all about increasing services, offering more variety. My other constant companion is—we need products, not just services. For our work, the obvious product is an information product. So I am dead keen on the development of that. Keep watching our website (if you can read Japanese).

As for new services, well there's the Gold Membership, although there's no gold members yet. Plan to launch that next April. We are also embarking on niche marketing campaigns—currently katakori (like sore/frozen shoulders, a big thing in Japan), presentation and (wonderfully left of field) stuttering. Sales growing at 30%, but still growing.

And my life is sculptured every hour these days—breaks are scheduled like everything else. Not that I have many, but it's the life I choose. I get overwhelmed sometimes at how profoundly small we are. I sit in the bullet train as building after building whizzes by, thinking "We are no bigger than half a floor of that building over there." And there are SO MANY MORE. When we ever be able to make a significant impact socially….?

If I'm lucky I've got 25, maybe 30 years of productive working life left. Then it's all over for me. My deep wish is to leave something that lives independently, that carries on. I think we have that in Japan now. I aim to have it in as many places as possible before the end. Sydney next. Oh Sydney. Don't start me on that…

2 comments:

  1. You mention a "40% productivity increase" at Victorinox. Would that be the same 40% decrease in absenteeism that is reported elsewhere?

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  2. You are right. When I listened to the person from the company that spoke as part of the international Congress in Lugano on this topic, I seem to remember him characterising it as a productivity increase - but thank you for putting it into a truer context.

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