User login

Where Are You Coming From?

(October 2012) posted on Wed Oct 17, 2012

This discussion evaluates the power of why in your business.

click an image below to view slideshow

By Mark A. Coudray

The most famous and relevant commercial example is Apple Computer. Using this approach, they have redefined the way we do business with them and, in the process, have become the highest valued company in the world. They have the highest brand loyalty and highest profit margins of any company. Their retail stores have a higher ROI per square foot than any other retail store, including companies like Tiffany & Co. or Cartier. They lead every performance index that is measured. But that’s not all.

What really got me excited about this concept was that what you make and how you do it can change. The why does not. As long as you are clear on why you’re in business and what your core values really are, you can easily adapt to new products, markets, and services.

This is incredibly important as we morph our way into the new digital economy. Apple started off making computers, but now that part of the company’s business is a small proportion of its total revenue. Today, Apple makes computers, iPads, iPhones, iPods, iTunes, iCloud, and a host of other services, software programs, and hardware. Steve Jobs was absolutely driven, and brilliant, in his use of why.

So far, I have been able to identify nine different whys. You can be motivated by more than one, but most people will easily identify with a primary motivator. Here is the short list of the nine:

1. To do it the right way. No shortcuts. Follow a path of successful outcome. This is often about being driven by the concept of mastery at what you choose to do. It is often frustrating because those around you do not share that same appreciation. They just don’t get it.

2. To find a better way and share it. There is always room for improvement and there are always options to make any given situation better. This is the basis for continuous improvement.

3. To simplify. This is about making the complex as simple as possible. It is about making it as easy as possible to do business with you or to use your website.

4. To create clarity for the benefit of others. This is about creating an environment where everyone is understood and the full picture is seen by all. This has special meaning for those of us in the communication business.


Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to the magazine.