Simon Sinek in his famous and now widely viewed TED talk said that ‘People don’t buy what you do, people buy why you do what you do.” He infers that a person’s why derives from their fundamental beliefs, and that people will do business with those who believe what they believe. So it begs the question – What’s your Why? And what do you believe?
Because I’m broadcasting the question, I felt it important to make clear to you ‘My whys’.
I believe that people live to make a contribution to life in manifold ways. Where, when and how they do so are factors based on natural talent, inclination and individual purpose. But wherever and whenever they live and work, people’s innate talents need expression. There should be a natural fit between what a person wants to do/can do, with what a business needs to be done. But not constructed by a competence framework that seeks to make everyone do the same things in the same way. Rather, it should be by human beings relating to other people, listening, learning and understanding what people need to be able to thrive. When people thrive, work thrives, through increased enthusiasm, energy, motivation, creativity, innovation. People want to be their best and so give their best.
I believe that work should be honourable. I believe that work at its best, values people and enables them to express their talents and deliver their unique contribution for the betterment of the company and the customers they serve.
I believe that the work contract should benefit both employer and employee equally, that people should put into work what they get out of it and that the employer should pay fairly for the contribution that their employee makes to their work.
I believe that business should be honourable. It should provide products and services that deliver value to people that make our world a better place. A business should make a net contribution to life and take from the world less than it puts into it. Whilst businesses do that, they receive revenues that sustain and grow them. When they cease to deliver value that is appreciated by the world, their revenues shrink and they eventually cease operating.
I believe that businesses exist to benefit the customers that they serve; to provide opportunities to its employees to contribute their talents and to receive the inter-support of the suppliers that help them deliver their service.
I believe that businesses should do no harm to the environment and to the organic life that exists here. And where possible, it should do good, to leave the environment better because it existed and operated there.
I believe that a company must act in accordance with its purpose and professed beliefs, else it breaks its integrity and the trust that has been extended to it. When a company draws more from the world than what it contributes to the world, it grows abnormally like as a cancer, which eats up more and more healthy tissue around it; but ultimately, its toxicity is recognised. Some financial institutions have unfortunately become examples of this. Some fraudulent companies who profess to give value of a certain order and demand recompense on that basis, only to be discovered that they in fact did not deliver the value they said they did. When companies act dishonourably, support for their existence is withdrawn by people and over time, they diminish in revenues, in standing in the community and ultimately in existence.
- Why do you do what you do? What do you believe?
- Why does your company do what it does? What does it believe?
- What beliefs does your company demonstrate through its actions?
I believe that businesses should operate through human principles, such as Truth, Respect, Justice and Fairness, Integrity and Trust, because they are the principles that human beings naturally operate from. I use the term honourable here, to denote all of these principles, working together.
I use these principles in my life and as operational principles in my company, Corporate Alchemy. I promote the pragmatic and operational use of these principles to my clients in our work together.
I’d love to see what you think. Please leave your comments below.
28 June 2016