Why is Business Likened to War?
The other day I was having a conversation with colleagues at one of the business development projects I advise. We were discussing the best way to help new-start businesses thrive and flourish into the world-changing enterprises they all want to be. The discussion turned to what these businesses need to know and skills they needed to develop.
One of the guys I work with then uttered the lamest sentence you can possibly say in these circumstances.
“Lets do a Boot Camp“, he said, uttered in such tones that suggested he was sharing something of value rather than indicating he shouldn’t be allowed to work with young businesses ever again.
What is it with business “Boot Camps”?
My job is helping people start and then build thriving businesses by turning their beautiful ideas into money.
How can that process be accomplished by a “Boot Camp”?
Just to remind you, a “Boot Camp” is the process by which the armed forces turn individuals into combat “units” that are as similar to each other as possible and will follow any order that they are given. They are uniform and predictable, but that is what you need when you are building an army.
Is that the process you want to subject yourself and your beautiful idea to?
And more importantly….
…is business even remotely like war?
War grows out of the desire of the individual to gain advantage at the expense of his fellow man.– Napoleon Hill
Is that how you see your business, is that the life you want to design for yourself?
Because the last time I checked, the purpose of war was to kill people, dominate your enemy and force them to do what you want?
What is your Business Like?
And, how do you describe your customers using the war metaphor? As targets?? We all know what usually happens to military targets. And as a customer ourselves, do we really want to think of ourselves as markets to be penetrated or dominated or conquered??
How we talk about things and the metaphors we use to describe them greatly effect how we see the world and the behaviour we use in order to succeed.
It’s time to move on from this primitive description of business as war…ask yourself:
- Do your customers want to be penetrated?…or helped?
- Do your customers want to be dominated?… really?
- What does this set of words say about you as a business and what you value?
War is the attempt, by might, to establish command and control over finite assets. War is a temporary process, you win and then you disband the army.
Are customers finite assets?
An emerging new model of business happening all around us that is collaborative rather than combative…even your competition can help you by building your market segment
What is your Metaphor For Business?
Rather than “Boot Camp” with its military suffering overtones, what if we thought about a business “Party“…where we create the most fun and entertaining event possible and then invited the whole world to celebrate with us?
What if we had a business “Space Exploration” where we bring a superbly designed vehicle, along with enough potent fuel, piloted by expert staff and thought of our customers as passengers?
Business could be seen as more like a “family”, an open ended commitment built on respect, mutual support and love. If you described your business like that, how would you treat your customers, your colleagues and even your competitors?
If you thought about your customers as guests or passengers, how differently do you think you might treat them compared with thinking of them as “targets”?
And more importantly…which one would you prefer to be thought of as?
Thank you for reading, I would be very interested in hearing how you think of your business and what metaphors you use to help you picture your success
Would you like a Miracle for your Business?
If you are interested in finding an effortless method to nurture your idea into a wild success, I am running an event in Preston, UK next week (22nd April) to help enterprising people at any stage of their business.
I would love to see you there.
Further details and tickets for my “Miracle Engine” Workshop can be found here