The Business Model of the Future is People-to-People

The Business Model of the Future is People-to-People

Before the development of the marketing concept as a management philosophy in the 1950s, marketing was defined essentially as selling. The traditional view of marketing up to that time was that marketing was responsible for creating demand for what farms, factories, forests, fishing, and mines could produce.

Marketing has also been viewed in the past as the function responsible for creating a satisfied customer and for keeping the entire organization focused on the customer.

Focusing attention on the company’s strategy for the delivery of superior value to customers is crucial. Superior marketing defined as customer-focused problem solving and the delivery of superior value to customers is a more sustainable source of competitive advantage than product technology per se.

In the final analysis, only the customer can decide whether the company has created value and whether it will survive in the hyper-competitive global marketplace.

More recently, the dominant business competence appears to be business flexibility. Significant competence is brought together within a flexible business network of inter-organizational arrangements. This is why the cloud is growing so fast, because it allows companies to be nimble in changing the moving parts sort of speak in an efficient way and with agility.

The conflict between the demands of the present and the requirements of the future lies at the heart of why a strategic shift in context and focus is needed. The environment in which tomorrow’s success will be earned is likely to be quite different from the environment that confronts organizations today.

To succeed in the new environment of tomorrow, the organization itself must undergo a significant and radical change from the traditional B2B, or B2C, or B2B2C, to become a people-to-people business.

By focusing on people, companies can outcompete and outperform everyone else because to serve people you have to know and own why you exist. Why you exist is tied to your values. The reasons that compel you to do what you do.

When you stand for something that matters, others with similar values want to be a part of it. Rather than just customers, you end up building an unshakable culture and community.

This is a key point of distinction. The most successful companies in the world build communities and serve those communities with focus and purpose.

Being everything to everyone is the quickest way to have the least loyal customers, employees, and relationships. It’s like being a business without a soul. A zombie business.

To be truly disruptive is to reshape your company so that others can’t compete with you. Today that requires a more radical approach, centered on people.

Build a Radical Brand

Why you exist trumps what you do and how you do it. Why you exist also ties to the purpose for your existence as a brand. If you exist simply to make money, then your value is making money. You would be best served by attracting people who only care about making money.

There is nothing wrong with that value, but it’s not heart based. What is the memorable experience you are creating for customers if your focus is only to make money? There is no relationship there. Everything is simply a transaction. Every day you have to start fresh and earn each customer — there is no stickiness in that business model.

The best way I can describe a heart base value is to share a recent dialogue I had with the CEO of a company seeking to get into the US marketplace from Europe.

I asked the CEO what business they are in, and he went on to describe his inventions and products for sustainable energy. I then proceeded to ask why he is in business, and he explained to me his desire to save the planet. Super noble cause, but everyone wants to save the planet or make the world a better place. 

You need to go deeper to understand the root of the why you exist.

In this case the company exists to save the planet. The next question I asked was to understand the values the founders hold near and dear to their heart, which prompted the desire to save the planet.

After several rounds of answers, and further digging in, it became clear that what he valued as the founder and CEO are respect for people, respect for the environment, and a moral obligation to future generation.

The company wants to save the planet, because it cares about people, it cares about the environment, and it feels a moral obligation to future generations. 

“Your values give more weight and meaning to the why you exist.”

In the case of this company, it does not matter if you care about sustainable energy or not. If you care about people, the planet, your children, and their children — you can connect to what this company is doing and will want to participate.

“Your values attract like-minded employees, partners, and customers, turning them into a community.”

This brings me to another important reason for understanding not only the why you exist as a business, but the values that pushed you into creating your business. Your focus becomes about enabling emotionally charged experiences, not selling a transaction.

Building your company as a people centric business culture will outlast, outcompete, and outperform anything else because you end up creating a community of interest with your employees, partners, vendors, investors and customers.

It’s a basic human need and desire to belong. Historically people looked to civic groups, religion, or other organized efforts to achieve this basic need to belong. Today, companies who understand the importance of creating community, understand that people still have a desire to belong and be part of something greater than themselves.

“When you shift your business mindset to people serving people, and instead of building a customer base you focus on building community, nothing can stop you.”

The future of work is people centric. In order to attract the right people, you have to be clear on your own values, and how those values compel you to do what you do, day in and day out. 

This self-awareness can further help you define the purpose for your business because the purpose or the why your business exists, becomes tied to your values. 

“The people centric approach to building a brand focused on values, guarantees you a strategic competitive advantage.”

You simply can’t compete long term with values like respect, integrity, honesty, abundance, acceptance, accountability, achievement, adventure, appreciation, autonomy, balance, benevolence, calmness, charity, cheerfulness, commitment, compassion, cooperation, collaboration, consistency, contribution, creativity, credibility, curiosity, decisiveness, dedication, dependability, diversity, empathy, encouragement, enthusiasm, ethics, excellence, fairness, family, friendship, flexibility, generosity, grace, flexibility, happiness, humility, inclusiveness, joy, kindness, leadership, love, loyalty, mindfulness, passion, proactivity professionalism, punctuality, recognition, relationships, reliability, resilience, resourcefulness, responsibility, responsiveness, security, stability, teamwork, thankfulness, thoughtfulness, trustworthiness, usefulness, wisdom, empowerment, and freedom.

The future of business is people focused based on values that create a lasting and fulfilling sense of community.

The Impact of Self-Awareness on Goals

The Impact of Self-Awareness on Goals

Remember as a kid when you purchased a puzzle and started putting it together? Some had 100s of pieces, some as many as a thousand. The more majestic the picture, the more complex the puzzle.

What came first, the puzzle or the picture? The picture of course.

The fun was putting the fragmented picture together so as to recreate it. You knew all the pieces fit together in a specific way, but you had to discover which way.

When it got really hard to put the puzzle together, it led me to give up on the puzzle till I was ready to try again. Sometimes I never tried again because I believed the pieces were wrong and gave up trying.

We can have the same experience in achieving our goals. We may have the end picture of what could be in mind, but in the process of assembling all the pieces of the puzzle together, we begin to have doubts and give up.

“The bigger the goal, the more majestic the outcome, the more complex the puzzle, requiring patience, perseverance and certainty.”

When doubt creeps in you can imagine a room wired with electricity. What happens when you flip the switch on? The electricity is there, the wiring is in place, the bulb works… you just take the action of flipping the switch and the room lights up.

The result of anything you wish to manifest in life is already in place. It is up to you to take the necessary steps, and actions to see it through.

“The outcome and process towards a goal exists before the thought, you just need to persevere in putting it all together”.

Focus is Key

Before a problem comes up, so does the solution and the process to solve it. The same holds true with goals. The outcome and the process to achieving a goal exists before we even commit to it.

In a potential state, the process is fragmented like the pieces of a puzzle.

Focus plays an important role in achieving our goals. Without focus, actions don’t come together to form the end picture. Just like a puzzle, without focus actions towards a goal are like moving puzzle pieces around without purpose.

“To manifest life’s goals, we have to defragment all the pieces that go into it.”

Imagine what would happen if the order of the universe was off by even a nano-fraction of a second. If the Universe decided to stop focusing, it would be disastrous. With order and with the right focus we can create amazing values and achieve our goals.

Take something as simple as a chair. The chair was consciously designed out of the desire for something to sit on, but the composition of a chair required the conscious integration and use of nature’s resources (wood or metal), individual need (I want something to sit on), global benefits (everyone needs something to sit on), and business outcome (everyone will buy a chair).

What gave birth to the chair is the conscious integration of all four values: Personal, Business, Global, and Universal.

Self-Reflection

Life experiences can often shape how we perceive ourselves as a piece of the puzzle and how we fit in the bigger picture called humanity. We can’t see how all the pieces DO FIT TOGETHER, when we are fragmented within ourselves.

Fragmentation outside of us (chaos), is because of the fragmentation within ourselves (internal conflict).

How does one break free of internal conflicts that get in the way of achieving goals?

You have to be willing to see and re-trace where the fragmentation started. The purpose of becoming fully self-aware is so you can understand how to put the pieces together based on reality. It’s not work you can do alone.

Work with a friend, a mentor, a coach, a therapist… someone you trust to help you see aspects of yourself that are blocked.

“Stop for a moment focusing on being great and try to see the garbage you are holding on to that blocks you from being magnificent.”

A decade ago, I spent seven weeks with one of my mentors, teacher and friend retracing where I gave away sparks of my own magnificence. I listed 40 life events that had a profound negative impact on my life, dating back to as early as the age of two.

I wrote how they made me feel, and then one by one, I discussed them and relived them with the intention to understand any negative beliefs I created that shaped my future. In re-experiencing all those events, I began to see the sparks of my essence I gave away.

Using some neuroscience brain-hacking techniques, I took those sparks back. The benefit of retracing everything was in becoming more self-aware of the mental jail cell I had created for myself. I had replaced my sparks of magnificence with limiting beliefs in an effort to protect myself.

I often hear people talk about being afraid to be vulnerable as a defense mechanism. Often all we are doing is keeping ourselves locked into a mind prison.

“You can’t be bold and play life in a big way without being vulnerable.”

Being self-aware requires being able to see when we wear masks that manifest in a vicious cycle of self-sabotage. This isn’t work that can be done alone.

This kind of self-reflection is like removing arrows that have wounded you. It is dirty work requiring help from others who have already done the work, or are willing to get into the weeds with you.

The theme that emerged at the end of those seven long weeks, was that to achieve my life goals I have to be willing to give more than I receive in life. That can’t be done if you are afraid to be vulnerable.

Give More than Received

To achieve anything in life, you must be willing to give all you have to it and shift your narrative from being attached to the outcomes, to finding joy in the process.

“The fun of a puzzle is the challenge in putting together all the pieces.”

By detaching from the outcomes we can focus on giving for the sake of giving. We can find joy in the state of giving more, and in the journey. This vulnerable state of being opens your heart.

An open heart allows the individual to see the puzzle pieces clearly, un-fragmented and that is one of the secrets to succeeding at anything.

The Impact of Self-Awareness on Relationships

The Impact of Self-Awareness on Relationships

Earlier in my career I had the work persona, and the at home persona. Even a DISC assessment revealed this duality. My natural state is someone who drives things forward and who uses encouragement, or influence to bolster support. My adaptive state is someone who plays by the rules, complies, and is boring as heck.

I discovered over the years that my adaptive state was a proactive way for me to play smaller, so that my bosses could feel better about themselves, or feel less threatened.

My natural state would eventually emerge and that’s when conflict with the command and control bosses would start. At least that is what I told myself based on the level of self-awareness at the time.

Later I came to realize the role relationships can have in everything we do in life.

Some work environments really suck, and there are some really awful bosses out there. The question is why would anyone manifest such a work environment to begin with? Why do we stay in such an environment?

I don’t miss working in those environments. As a matter of fact, the reason I became a founding member of Radicals is because I am pretty sure most of you reading this, don’t like controls, and being dominated, or marginalized either.

It’s easy to point fingers and say that the system is setup to be command and control, and we are essentially all forced to comply, but the reason such systems like patriarchy or matriarch (both command and control paradigms) exist is because we allow it. Not only do we allow it, we create it in our state of consciousness, or lack thereof.

Integrate or Suffer

Most people do not integrate their work with their life, as a result many despise their work life, they cannot wait for the weekend, and they dread the arrival of Monday.

Because of this lack of integration, a lot of people today get their sense of self-esteem, self-worth, and identity from what they do in their spare time versus what they do in their career while producing values.

This sad and unfortunate limitation encourages dishonesty, and in some cases the duality is so bad that it makes people turn to escapes like alcohol, drug use, and other addictions that end up causing neurosis.

When people turn to external sources such as alcohol, drugs, happy hour, parties, spectator sports, and hobbies in order to get short “one-shot” blasts of self-esteem, self-worth, pleasure, and happiness, it creates a void inside our state of being.

I don’t have anything against having a good time, as long as it’s not a need to escape.

“When you escape, you only get a momentary boost, and then you are worse off than when you started.”

Everything with the right consciousness and self-awareness can have amazing merit, however one-shot blasts are un-integrated, so they do not last. Escapes do not contribute to one’s net long-term happiness — one’s happiness bank account.

Still, in order to feel “good”, or to feel “happy”, people are driven to continually seek one-shot blasts. This usually leads to a life of wasted superfluous activities and dishonesty.

How much genuine pride and self-esteem can be earned by being the world’s best sports fan? Or by being the best television watcher? Or by being the best drinker? Or being super popular on Instagram and having lots of followers.

One need only take these activities to its maximum achievement-capacity conclusion to see the honest value of them. It then becomes obvious, for example, that being the best at watching television, or the best sports fan, or the best drinker is of little or no value to long term self-development.

However, being the best in one’s career will lead to great values for yourself, and society. All genuine happiness can be derived through the creation of values, as discussed in a previous blog, and by being your authentic self.

“When we begin to integrate who we are in all we do, we begin to grow in self-confidence, in self-respect, and begin to live fully self-aware.”

Self-Awareness is Key

The sad thing about the command and control paradigm we’ve been under for millenniums is that it causes people to think they are victims. If you are not in charge, then you are not responsible right?

Wrong.

This is the biggest problem of allowing the command and control paradigm to continue. The problem is that it does not foster self-awareness. Without self-awareness one cannot achieve fulfillment. This makes people turn to one shot blast of happiness.

From a societal point of view, we start to focus more on pointing fingers at what’s wrong with others, instead of identifying our own growth opportunities. We get energy from blaming people, from anger… it’s amazing energy. The problem is, just like the one-shot blasts we discussed, that energy doesn’t last. It’s not sustainable.

In order for us to achieve a sustainable sense of fulfillment, we must take 100% full responsibility for ourselves and we must begin to be authentic in all our relationships.

The Person in the Mirror

Instead of thinking about our lives in compartments, my work life, my family life, my leisure life, my secret life. What if we simply focused on our relationships?

When you begin to focus on relationships, you start with yourself. You can start by asking yourself:

Who am I? What do I stand for? What do I believe? What is my truth? Do I love myself? Do I have gratitude for my life? Do I believe in myself? Do I respect myself? Do I value who I am? Am I fulfilled? Do I accept myself as I am?

The answers will reveal to you your most important relationship. The relationship with yourself. Then we can begin to relate with others in a more genuine and authentic way.

If you don’t love yourself so much, you won’t be able to love other’s either. If you don’t have gratitude for your life, you won’t respect other people’s lives either. If you don’t accept yourself as you are, you won’t be able to extend the same courtesy to others.

“Any disconnect we have with the relationship we have with ourselves, will cause a disconnect with the relationship we have with others.”

For years I used to think that my separation of work life, personal life, family life, spiritual life and so on, was justified. The DISC assessment validated my desire to fit in, so that I would survive. That wasn’t living fully present my friends.

Eventually I had to come to grip with the importance of having a better relationship with myself, and how that would extend to all those areas in my life that simply became my complete life.

Today, I have the pleasure of not having to separate anything. I work at Nearsoft, where being yourself is encouraged. I get to just be fully me all the time.

The more we work and focus on relationships, the less power we will give external command and controls. Start with the person in the mirror.

A lot of people make affirmations about themselves on a regular basis that they love themselves. There is a way to validate if you are being honest with yourself or not.

How often do the actions of other people upset you? Do you find yourself blaming other people for who they are? Do you find yourself getting angry at situations, or people in your life?

If you find yourself blaming, cursing, angry, disgusted, uneasy by things and people outside yourself, chances are you still maintain judgement and unease feelings about the most important relationship in your life. The person in the mirror. You.

Maybe it’s time to forgive yourself? The world will be a better place for it if we all started with simply giving ourselves a break for being human. How about we give each other a break, and practice more self-awareness?

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