I keep coming back to this cartoon by Hugh.
This says something that is becoming clearer every day to me.
For every aspect of business, believing in “it” is critical. For the customer, for the prospect, for the employee, the president, EVERYONE needs to believe in what you, they, we are doing.
The problem I see is there is a disconnect between this thought process/way of living and many of the companies that are out there now. Too many of the companies that we work for are stuck in the “old” world of business. You know it.
This is how it’s always been.
This is how we do it.
We’ll tell people what to like.
We have to perform for the stockholders.
Am I against companies making money, performing for stockholders, etc? Absolutely not. That opportunity is what makes this country so great and drives our economy. It’s when the sole focus of business becomes making money that we have a problem. The love of money is the root of all evil. (Seems to me I’ve heard that somewhere!)
In this month’s Business 2.0, there’s a fake interview with Michael Scott from The Office about motivation. Basically, he says he motivates because he’s the boss and he tells people what to do…by any means necessary. While that’s fictional (or supposed to be!) it’s all too common. People work and work to get to a position of “power” and then just tell people what to do because they control that person’s future (or think they do).
What would it look like if motivation came from the source that really motivates…belief. What if companies strived to create something that their employees, customers and markets could get behind because they believed in it? Not because it was a little better than the guy up the street, but because they TRULY believed in what the company stood for. What if companies actually stood for something instead of “performing well for the shareholders.”
With the open communication of social media etc, also comes responsibility. That responsibility is working our asses off to stand for something. No communication tool, new or old can do ANYTHING for a company without a great message to communicate. Otherwise it’s just white noise. This starts from building something that excites the people who are charged with managing, communicating, nurturing it.
They say that “love is the killer app,” but how do you love something you don’t believe in?