No matter who we are and what we do with our lives, there is always something that guides our steps. At Why-Story, we invite people in organizations to become aware of their guiding forces so they can understand and own them. But to be able to begin, we first must become aware of what is driving us today.
What drives you?
Is it your bottom line?
If your business driver is money, you are setting yourself up for a lot of pain. Customers can sense your endgame and your brand officially stands for nothing but the quick sale and inherent greed. There is zero loyalty and sales only happen through discounted or low pricing, inventory and overwhelming promotional effort. At some point, it will crumble.
Is it transactional growth?
If you are growth obsessed, you see your business through the lens of metrics. The problem is that numbers don’t reflect the essence of an organization- its impact, its relevance and its social value. By ignoring that, you reduce your brand. Sacrificing human factors for growth means sacrificing humanness. Like money, growth is the consequence of a mindset, not the reason for it. You will experience low employee retention, self-induced stress, poor decision making based on growth anxiety and eventually systemic failure or collapse.
Is it reaching a goal?
If you are driven by goals hanging above your head, they give you something to fight for, but they also make you blind to the currents of dynamic systems, which businesses ultimately are. We tend to forget that the mindset that creates the goal is more important than the goal itself. If we can regard goals as a general direction built upon a strong mission, we have something that pushes everyone working under that goal forward. Work hard on your goals, work harder on your goal mindset. Regard goals as movable, flexible elements that help bring your mission to life.
Is it increasing your impact?
If we agree that we ultimately want to create impact with the value we offer, we have a metric for our success. We acknowledge that we don’t just serve ourselves and that we have created a system that brings value to the outside. This requires a mindset of sharing and generosity that is not part of traditional management. To make the goal of an organization a continuous effort towards impact, rather than an increase in transactions, is a giant step towards sustainable success, brand relevance, employee happiness and customer loyalty.
Is it increasing customer transformation?
If we can take the impact mindset a step further, we start caring about the quality of impact we have on the people we serve. Impact can be anything from low to high, motivational to transformational. If you can develop a mindset and culture of wanting to see your customers transform, you secure your relevance, happiness and your people’s love- what we should all aspire to achieve.
You might have noticed, I did not once mention products or services, nor financial gain or stakeholder value. Because these “things” are outcomes on balance sheets. They are the consequence of a value-oriented, confident and focused mindset, not drivers for it.