Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success. – Henry Ford
Business is good … that is to say good business is good.
Business consumes, creates, exports and then, repeats the cycle. That’s just the way it is; the nature of business. To produce goods or deliver services requires meeting a need; to meet the need, something is created. Whether that something is a product or service, the solutions to meet the need require people.
Business consumes in order to create something the market will consume. A business is an organization engaged in the trade of goods, services, or both to consumers. Business is busy doing something that meets the market’s need. Notice three characteristics associated with a healthy business:
Profit: unless revenue exceeds expenses opportunity is missed, jobs are lost, improvements limited, expansion hindered, mission unfulfilled. And yes, profit increases the wealth of a “business owner”, the person or group taking the risk. Even non-profits must be profitable to succeed.
Purpose: the reason for existence beyond profit. Purpose allows people a place to connect and contribute their talent to the organization’s work.
People: the business of business IS people. Yes, we say, “People are our most important asset”. Yet, in my work with people, on the path to their next level, too often they are treated as “assets” or “cogs” instead of human beings.
When a business puts their people first and remains true to a higher purpose than profit, a profitable and healthy business can be created. This is good … good business and good for business.
A people-focused and purpose-driven business allows employees to contribute their best because there is more in the work than just the work.
Creating such a workplace is difficult, but it is the secret to creating a profitable business that also profits its employees as people.
What about Business eating people?
I began to explore this idea in my article What’s the Business of Business? The idea being that since by its very nature business consumes, it will consume whatever it is fed – including your life, if you allow it.
Here are the three steps I offered my readers to help them reflect on their “work-life balance” lest they over-feed the business or organization they work in …
- Clarify Values – What matters to you? What do you value? How well are your daily decisions guided by your values? Where is there conflict between competing values?
- Establish Priorities – What is important? What is most important?
- Set Boundaries – Do you know your limits? There comes a point when work crosses a line and becomes something else… when “being available” becomes “being driven… being a control freak… being a perfectionist…” — just fill in the blank.
By nature, business consumes and creates and exports and then must ask for more. It’s not right or wrong, just “the nature of the beast”.
As people, we are responsible for what we contribute and how much we contribute. Business will consume whatever you are willing to sacrifice.
In today’s economy the pressure to do more with less is great.
How much of you are you feeding the business?
Bring Back the 40 Hour Work Week
Recently, Allison Morris sent me the following Infographic. I share it as a thought provoker. While the information comes from accredited sources, I’m sure other sources present different views. But taken as a whole, what do you notice?
When does Business eat people? When the pressure and pace pushes us so hard we fail to take stock of how much we are feeding “work”. It becomes easy to lose sight of our values and life harmony is lost.
Business is good. We need great businesses. Great businesses and organizations require talented people who are engaged in meaningful work beyond merely making a profit. When we create such a workplace experience, profitability will be easier to achieve and in a healthy way.
What do you think? Please share your comments below.
Do know someone that this would interest, please forward to a friend or colleague or tweet to your followers.
Have you picked up your copy of my new book?
THE PEOPLE PROJECT:
Your Guide to Changing Behavior and Growing Your Influence as a Leader