Citizenship as a more beautiful way to engage
I was recently invited to talk at a CHOW meeting. For those of you not in the know this is a lunchtime event organised by Business Connect that takes place at Church House On Wednesday (CHOW)
Here is David's talk at the CHOW lunch:
The title of the panel discussion was quite esoteric "What makes a business beautiful?". My immediate reaction probably like most was “what kind of a question is that?” However as one reflects upon those few very simple words, it dawns that this is a much more complex question than one might first think. In fact I would go as far as to say it’s possibly the first question most individuals in business should ask…..”what makes our business beautiful?”
It’s a “ying and yang” type of question. On the one hand you have the aesthetic of beauty and on the other the pragmatism of business. The numbers matter, but you can’t achieve the numbers unless you have customers who are prepared to purchase your product or service. In an ever increasingly competitive world what is your USP? For some it’ll be purely transactional, are you cheap enough? For others it’ll be a myriad of factors. How you answer the ‘phone, the speed of service, the quality of product. It’s that “x” factor and as with Beauty it can simply be something in the eye of the beholder or in the case of business “user experience”.
In business we talk a lot about “stakeholders”. They are anything from investors, to employees, to customers. I think business should increasingly think about “citizenship”, their place in the community. You can dress it up as a mission statement, a set of values but it’s so much more. Citizenship is not simply about the local, it’s about the global. Looking outward as well as inward.