What is Really the Matter With Your Business? Thoughts for CEOs

Business is hard.

Companies face a never-ending stream of challenges.

Ask a CEO, “What’s the matter?”, and he or she is likely to talk anxiously about stalled growth, employee lethargy, lagging innovation, disgruntled customers, growing competition, the threat of commoditization, investor concerns, and a litany of other issues.

These are real issues and concerns.

They are often complex issues that are difficult and expensive to address.

And, try as they may, many CEOs have trouble implementing the changes needed to counter these disruptive and destructive ailments.

Why?

Quite simply, it’s because the people who are in a position to resolve a business issue simply don’t care enough about the business to do what it needs them to do.

They don’t care enough to help your business prosper, to work with greater energy and purpose, to bring you new ideas, to buy more of your products instead of your competitor’s, to see your business as uniquely relevant, to invest more money in your concern, and so on.

Sure, they know your business.

But does it matter to them?

When your business matters to people, they will act in ways that will help your business prosper and thrive. They will feel that they have valid reasons to do so. They will believe that you both share common values and goals. They will want to see your business do well, and will take the steps you need them to take in order for that to happen.

How can you get people to care about your business?

How can you get your business to matter to them?

How can you get people on your business’s side?

Start by stepping back from the issues that currently occupy you.

Start thinking about the people who are standing behind each of those issues: your customers, your employees, your partners, your suppliers, your investors, and so on.

Think about the changes they’ve been undergoing as society moves from the Age of Opulence to the Age of Meaning.

Then, ask yourself:

“What truly matters to these people?”

“How can we align our business more to what they care about?”

“How can we change the way they think and feel about us so that we’re more important to them, both rationally and emotionally?”

“How can we develop a purpose that they can connect to, embrace, and co-own with us?”

“How can we change the experience of dealing with our business to make it have a more meaningful impact on people?”

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