Thursday, July 1, 2010

The meaning of (On Canada Day)

 I read this article put out by Steve Denning  on his blog "The leaders Guide to Radical Management" and I thought this could also be about life.

Steve is taking about how business set compelling goals and at one point he says:  "The solution is simple.  In 1973, Peter Drucker provided a clue as to where to look: 'There is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a customer. . . . It is the customer who determines what a business is. It is the customer alone whose willingness to pay for a good or for a service converts economic resources into wealth, things into goods. . . . The customer is the foundation of a business and keeps it in existence.'

The shift in focus from things to people is a first step, but by itself, it’s not enough to constitute a compelling goal today. In 1973, it might have been enough for an organization to have a customer—someone who is willing to pay for the good or service. In today’s more intensively competitive world, merely having a customer who is willing to pay for the good or service is a precarious existence for any firm. The key to an enduring future is to have a customer who is willing to buy goods and services both today and tomorrow. It’s not about a transaction; it’s about forging a relationship. For this to happen, it isn’t enough that the customer be passively satisfied. The customer must be delighted.

Delighting customers is not only a requirement of business survival; it also offers a solution to the dilemma of how to articulate a morally worthwhile and inspiring goal that is closely related to what the organization does. That’s because delighting other people is inherently motivating. It leads to an understanding of the meaning of work, which relates to people, not things.

The meaning of work isn’t in the bread that we’re baking: it’s in the enjoyment the customers get from eating the bread.

The meaning of work isn’t in the words the actor is reciting; it’s in the response of the audience to those words.

The meaning of work isn’t in the toy that we’re putting together; it’s in the smile on the face of the child.

The meaning of work isn’t in the bricks and mortar of the house we’re building; it’s in the happiness we generate in a family with a house that precisely meets their needs.

The meaning of work isn’t in the words or the musical notes of the song that we’re writing; it’s in the feeling of yearning we generate in the heart of the listener.

The meaning of work isn’t in the paper and print of the insurance policy we’ve issued; it’s in the security that we’re providing to the spouse and the children.

The meaning of the boutique hotel that we’re running isn’t in the rooms and the physical facilities; it’s in the feeling of being at home away from home that we generate in people who stay there.

The meaning of the software we’re coding doesn’t lie in bits and bytes; it’s in the cool things that users can do with the software.

The meaning that we see in work resides in the responses of the people for whom we are doing the work.

What would happen if we apply this concept to our lives as well as our business. Make it our goal to delight those with whom we have relationships. Make it your mission that the meaning of your life resides in the responses of the people that are in relationships with us. Think of the fun and joy you would bring to your life and to others..

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