Before you read this response you might want to check out the original post here:
My friend Tim, a retired regional VP for a large health imaging business, who inspired the original article, responded to me with the following. You’ll get some amazing insights from him. He is a thorough and well-read researcher, critical and deep thinker, with a wealth of knowledge. Enjoy…
Like all of your blogs I was impressed. I’m not on Facebook so will respond the old fashioned e-mail way.
I think that a good business strategy must be empirical but also philosophical to a certain extent. My strategic business acumen would now be considered BCE but I made a few observations.
I would sum up my views with 16 bullet points but I hate bullet points with a passion…if one hasn’t got time to understand the context how can one understand the tweet?
- Know your market, customers and competition well
- Know your products
- Have a vision
- Plan carefully (strategically and financially)
- Execute carefully and manage risk
- Change the plan to coincide with market conditions
- Choose good intelligent and personable people as employees
- Continually train them with precision
- Trust them and do not micro-manage
- Give them reasonable goals and don’t pit them against each other
- Treat them as gold because they are
- Treat your customers as gold because they are and don’t forget to tell them that all the time
- Reward good customers and loyal customers not new customers just to get the business
- Provide legionary customer service
- Have a business brain, heart and soul…Believe in your business, employees, products, services
- Take your profits to the bank and reinvest part of it in your business and employees
Remember not to allow success to go to your head…it can change in a Nano second, too much pride and complacency is the devil.
I loved your analogy of the fish in and out of the fish bowl and also your theme of “The more we learn the less we know”…a very philosophical idiom which is often stated as “The more we know the more we don’t know”. Topped-off with Al Einstein’s quote was a nice touch.
I have my own definition of philosophy in the search for why. …that you have two voices with which you speak: your Mind-Voice and your Soul-Voice. I believe these voices are continually speaking to us.
Most will argue that we must sometimes listen and speak with the mind and sometimes listen and speak from the heart or soul. I say we must listen and speak with both. I say that because facts and reason without experience and wisdom doesn’t get anyone anywhere.
I see that in the many of the corporations today. They do not seem to learn the lessons of the past. Their business strategy ‘all’ comes from the mind and nothing from the heart…corporations like United Healthcare, Comcast and Bank of America with one focus only…Profit. I refer to them as “Ferengi” of Star Trek fame. However, they are not too big to fail and you know what will bring them down…not listening or speaking with their heart and soul (I’m not sure they have either).
Customers and employees also have minds and souls…heads that remind them how they are treated and souls that recognize greed when they see it.
So, I guess what I’m saying is a good business strategy must be empirical when it comes to planning and execution but it must also have heart…w/o good customers, profit will vanish in time. Oriental thinking and strategy contains both reason and wisdom and plans not one year to the next but for years to come. That would be my advice to a fledging new business enterprise. You can become an MBA and learn finance and business strategy but wisdom and morality can’t be easily taught in school.
I like the manner in which you employed your Global Warming political analogy…although that one must be handled very carefully. I think what most climate deniers miss is…what if they are wrong? You can be right but also ‘dead’ right.
I think most men and women with children and grandchildren would prefer not to leave their children worse off than they were. If by chance the deniers are wrong then why not hedge the bet and do something to mitigate what science believes to be the cause. To reason otherwise is to throw the baby out with the bath water or in short doing something is better than doing nothing.
The point being that if science is right and we don’t do anything about it then we have nowhere to escape? I think Maslow would agree…don’t mess with my food and shelter…planet earth.
I think the global warming analogy is also in concert with what I said above. The opinions of many climate deniers (but not all) partially conclude that to take definitive actions to curb greenhouse gases would have dire consequences on our economy because it would mean more regulations, no more reliance on fossil fuels…increasing overall cost adversely hurting industry and large corporations as if that ‘trumps’ (excuse the pun) the obvious cost of the effects of global warming…how many billions did Katrina or the NE storm cost?
Now if one wants to put their head in the sand arguing well…global warming had nothing to do with it then once again why take the risk? If anyone denies that ‘something’ isn’t going on they are blind. Sure it could be the beginning of a new ice-age but that is not what science says…why do we rely on science for everything else other than their conclusion on climate change?
These folks have a mind and soul but they are not listening to either… let them explain it to their grandchildren. Big and small business alike must bear tremendous responsibility not only to themselves employees, shareholders but customers and humanity at large. They must remove their Ferengi costumes and learn that profit w/o heart is a snowball heading to hell.
Mike, please, please put me back into the fishbowl…its getting hard to breathe with all this smog and pollution around me. There is no lead in the water is there? 🙂
Love you man…keep up the good work.
Tim covered a lot of ground. But let it sink in. Maybe re-read some sections. If you’re looking to build or improve an existing business, definitely read and absorb his 16 bullet points.
If you’re on one or the other side of the climate change fence, there are things to think about there as well.
And if you’re just into deep, metaphysical thinking…or Star Trek…there’s something for you too.
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Thank you again Tim for sharing your insights.