How to do Business

Hi Welcome to the How to do Business Club What do you mean how to do business? Isn’t it obvious? Well apparently not. We have two models of business really – the Gorilla’s game and the Monkey’s Game to borrow the terms coined by Geoffrey Moore in “Inside the Tornado”. The Gorilla seeks to dominate its niche, slim down its supply chain till it’s overly lean and own the rights to an area of human life. Like Tesco with Groceries, Microsoft with software and Monsanto with the world food supply. Alas this approach leads to unstable monocultures, tends to be overly dependent on cheap oil, treats people and suppliers as commodities and ultimately starts to subvert democratic process by “owning” the advice that governments get. Because it can. It’s not necessarily a conspiracy – it’s just what happens when the invisible hand grows to become a clunking fist. In the monkey’s world things tend to be more civilised – we depend on our reputation for knowing our stuff, delivering what we say and being courteous to deal with. Success depends on reciprocity – behaving like a grown up. In the other world success often depends on using your T’s and C’s to play Gotcha! with your customers. Punitive bank charges for being 30 seconds late. Insurance companies finding ways to avoid paying out. £8 charge for using a debit card etc. The reality is that if you’re reading this you’re almost certainly a monkey – unless you’re a Gorilla that wants to understand how monkeys tick. You may want to know what the rules of engagement are to sell whatever you produce into the Gorilla’s world but unless you’re going to create something that a Gorilla wants and then sell it to him you’re going to stay in the Monkey’s World. So How to do Business is really about sustainability. If you want people to perform either as customers, staff or suppliers treat them like grown-ups. It really is that fundamental. Obviously you have to have a product that people want to buy, promote it properly and deliver it through well designed robust systems. And you need to be always trying to remove cost but add quality and value into your business model. Putting all these things together into an elegant business with just enough structure to function (with enough redundancy to allow resilience) is what allows you to build a sustainable, resilient business which in the words of Emily Durrant will produce “lots of apples (or whatever) at a reasonable profit for a long time” I’ve been working on this for a long time through practice in our own businesses, through research and through developing training programmes for ICT companies and the government. If this is what you want to build I can help you. Join the club and let’s see what we can do together. Welcome Aboard Alan Latest club messages: *club_messages* Click here to edit it