Cleverist purchasing incorporates elements of minimalism, lean thinking and reflection.
Kyle Westaway recently wrote “Minimalism isn’t about missing out it’s about having just enough“. So if you’re acquiring something new how do you know if it’s ‘just enough’. In the Cleverist approach to acquisition I seek to understand the influences. Influences because they are interdependent and therefore subject to change. The influences I consider are: Purpose, Place and Person.
We recently needed to acquire a new couch. Purpose had evolved from the old one. An understanding of purpose allows you to identify what you’ve fulfilled, be accepting of what you haven’t and make conscious trade offs.
Desirable in our couch; deep comfortable seats for snuggling with the kids, a surface tolerant of toddlers, short term availability, budget friendly and earthy colours.
Without understanding purpose your perception will be that purchases never quite measure up. As true for couches to hiring staff. To teach yourself, write down the purposes you’re seeking to fulfill.
Understand their relative priorities. And be prepared to change priority based on their influence on one another throughout the journey.
Place comprises of 3 elements:
- Where is the acquisition coming from?
- Where is it going in the short and long term?
- How will it get there?
For furniture, secondhand is environmentally sound, but can challenge timeframes contributing to typically reprioritising purpose. Then…I found it, a brand we trusted for longevity. The challenge? My budget was 4 times what my partner had in mind. On reviewing the priority & purposes I changed the budget range. With my search criteria refined, I struck supple tan leather. At this budget confidence in longevity became less relevant. Although purposes should be prioritized they are also interdependent. A trailer and help from a friend was required.
The Person was my partner. He played a key role as the critical voice challenging the budget and contributing to the success of this acquisition. For each purpose and its priority there will be a critical voice. Seek them out. Have them sit on the contoured leather cushions. These voices should provide perspective, challenge assumptions and partner in constructively and creatively moving towards a solution. In business as in life these people are likely to be close by but not directly involved. Bring them closer. Listen with the intent of understanding and a willingness to incorporate their thinking. This will ensure they’re comfortable sharing their voice.
Purpose is the key to avoiding disappointment and distinguishing between want and need when acquiring anything. Place and people ensure the assessment is pragmatic and considered. This process shouldn’t be laborious and in my experience is best conducted from your favourite position on the couch.
Now that you’ve gone through your influences, you’re ready to acquire a couch, comfortably!