December 1, 2023

A business is what a business does – part 2

What a business does, is what it needs to do to fulfill its the primary activity of making and keeping its Promise to the people it serves:

When it does that activity  well, customers come back for more, and even refer other people to it:

But no business that I know of sells an unchanging product or service. Not even Coca-Cola or Chanel No. 5.

So even if you only promise ‘one thing’, how you package that thing is going to change, because the people you serve are going to change, and the environment around your business is going to change.

Firstly, because the people you serve are human – they are complex evolving systems in their own right – each and every one of them. Secondly because actually, everything is a complex evolving system. Everything is a process. And it’s always changing.

So, in order to keep making and keeping its Promise well, a business needs to consciously and actively collect feedback from its primary activity, and use that feedback to improve how it Packages, Shares and Keeps its Promise. 

It does this through a separate activity that runs in parallel with the first: 

In this way a business can ensure its primary activity stays aligned both with the wants and needs of the people it serves and with its fundamental Promise.

And so our business has become a system – a set of interacting processes.

It has found the form that ‘best suits its external purpose’ of making and keeping promises to the people it serves.

A form that is universal to all businesses – indeed any kind of organisation – that can also be infinitely customised to reflect each individual business’s uniqueness.

A form that means you can grow your business without ever having to ‘go corporate’.

More next time.