Sunday, July 13, 2008

The new business agenda: Is your mission big enough to be your business strategy?

A few years ago, I read the book "Mavericks at Work: Why the most original minds in business win." So I was delighted to see co-author and Fast Company co-founder Bill Taylor on the Maximum Impact simulcast in May as I wanted to hear what this business futurist had up his sleeve.

While his message didn't stray too much from the book, his passion and belief about originality was about as authentic as I've seen... Strategy and ideas -- implemented of course -- reshape organizations. Companies with the clearest sense of purpose are the ones that win. Those with a distinctive mission have a very different kind of impact. Strategy as advocacy -- not just a company but a cause. The only sense of sustaining leadership is thought leadership. Not to be different but to have a mission that becomes the company's strategy. Success is much more than price, features, product or a service -- it is about passion, emotion, identity, being memorable even with the small touches...being human. This is the side of the business that will make the most difference in both growth and sustainability. Being not just problem solvers but solutions finders for our customers and clients.

So what is it about our businesses that people find memorable? What will make them stick when competition or the economy is tough? How do we rise above and find opportunities amidst the chaos?

Bill reminds us that ideas can come from anywhere and any person in the world. We shouldn't feel like we need to be the smartest person in the "room" -- it's o.k. to tap the hidden genius and the collective genius in our organizations and beyond.
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