The 7 P's of doing business in the 21st century

Recently I attended a workshop down in the West Country which has been the subject of a different Blog Post, and even more recent than that +Kate Griffiths has been developing a workshop for the 'Open Source' Link4Skills initiative in Link4Growth which was delivered for the first time at the beginning of November and has been the catalyst for this blog.

The old (and tired) marketing P's were Product, Price, Place and Promotion and this has been taught around the world in various guises for eons. It is however, also, all about competition which stimulates scarcity thinking, focusses more acutely on money and the idea that if you throw enough marketing out there, some will stick and product will sell...

Whereas in some case the above still holds water, we are on the journey to a new era of doing business, fuelled for the most part by the Internet which is revolutionising the very fabric of how we live and work.

The 7 P's of doing business are as follows... and I will be going through their relevance briefly in the paragraphs that follow :-
  1. People
  2. Principles
  3. Profit
  4. Planet
  5. Purpose
  6. Passion
  7. Performance
1. People

In the old models of doing business, it was the business first and then after the people who work there. The rise in social media platforms and the ensuing connectivity with others that this has brought about enabled us to manage relationships at another level.

This can be likened to the evolution of computers, which went from computer power at the company level back in the 70's and 80's and then with the advent of the PC everyone had their own computer on the desk, the amount of information being created exploded.  Without the Internet we could not possibly manage and connect with the volume of people that we do now. No one could record and store the information available about us, we have to do it... and by sharing that information with others we make new connections with those that have things  in common with us. But they are connections between people not companies!

This has changed the map of business. It is no longer the Business leading but people leading. And the more connected we are, the more interesting we are, and the more passionate we are about our expertise, the more likely we are to attract people to us who want to know more... The words, 'People buy people first' has never been more true than it is today.

Today we are each the central figure in our lives, not who we work for or what we do. Instead we collect labels during our journey each representing a period of time in our life when we had a different role. Often how we can serve others best that we talk to, is not in our capacity today, but in the experience we have had at sometime in the past.

2. Principles

The Internet has been responsible for speeding up the availability of information. News travels around the globe at lightening speed these days, and can go viral in just a matter of hours. Couple this with 'People power'... all of us effectively able to 'break the news' about any subject, the need to be operating in a more principled and ethical manner is emerging.

We only have to look at recent events such as the 'Expenses scandal', 'Bank rate fixing' and 'Phone tapping' to understand that authenticity, integrity and other principles have to be upheld or the consequences can be extreme.

As it is with ourselves and our businesses. If we are operating from a 'Values based model' then people will know what they are buying into, what they can expect and transparency is a fundamental part of that. When a business is built where the principles run through everything the business does and the people in it understand and believe them too... congruency is delivered... a solid foundation for any business...

3. Profit

As we move into a more nurturing and supportive environment, with our values firmly attached, it is easy to forget that we all have to eat. Valuing our own gifts and making a profit is not a sin. There is a difference between the old marketing model which was 'more of everything' to a 21st century approach which is about 'the concept of enough' ... there is enough for us all... greed, excess, power, control, manipulation and the love of money is not the road to happiness... Doing what we love doing and being rewarded accordingly is vital as we all have a part to play.

4. Planet

For too long we have raped and pillaged the planet in the name of 'Growth'... and our desire for more money, possessions and material objects. We have focussed on our own selfish desires, what's in it for me... and have pretty much sought to satisfy our cravings at whatever cost to the the planet.

Successful businesses of the future have to work in conjunction with the planet in a sustainable manner. The population is still growing although stabilising and we have to begin live in harmony with our planet and everything else on it! Never ending growth is a lie... it isn't important anyway... we have been acting as a species like a petulant teenager struggling for independence... only to learn as young adults, that we need others around us, we can't do this on our own, we are interdependent with everything else on the planet, and we should act as the protector of the planet, not destroy it.

5. Purpose

If our endeavour lacks a strong sense of Purpose or Intent then it is doomed. Purpose is about why we get up in the morning? what are we trying to achieve? and why are we doing it? ... this needs a vision, what will things look like when we have done what we have set out to do?

Purpose is our engine room... purpose creates that energy and desire to fulfil what we have set out to do. Without purpose there is no reason to do anything... what is your purpose? Why are you here? What have you been born to do? ... when you figure it out... align it with your values and principles... find those that can collaborate to do the things you cannot do, then we're off on the journey...

Please don't be one of those that goes to the grave having never discovered your purpose!

6. Passion

When you know why you were born... you have found your purpose, it is very easy to become excited, totally enthused with what you want to do and how you want to make a difference to others with the talents and skills that you have.

This becomes your passion... if you have seen people who totally believe in what they are doing, they love what they do, and they are filled with passion for it... you know they will succeed. Enthusiasm and passion is infectious... people are attracted to those having fun, enjoying themselves and who are happy. Moreover this is not work... this is fulfilling your reason for being put on the planet in the first place, it's like fun, work and leisure all rolled into one. I think all of us can spot people that have found their passion... and there aren't that many of them compared to those still searching...

Passion is the fuel for your endeavours. Passion overcomes obstacles and road blocks... passion overcomes disappointments and challenges.

7. Performance

In order for any of us to deliver our purpose with passion we have to do two things. Take responsibility for our health, and ensure that we keep learning.

How can you perform at your best if you are not looking after the vehicle that is supporting all that you do? ... proper nutrition and fitness programmes are essential to maintain you in your peak condition and continue to deliver with energy and passion. If you do not take responsibility for your own body then who will? ... and if you are not able to perform properly then you 'fail' all those people that would benefit from what you could have delivered.

The world is constantly changing... it is our responsibility as an expert in our chosen field to ensure that we are up to date, current, and able to provide the most informed service we can. If we do not commit to this, then we fail those that we advise and guide. We owe it to our clients to be the best we can be otherwise we do not uphold our promise...

... and in Conclusion

If we bring all of these P's into our adventure, then what an adventure it will be? ... doing what we love, with the people we want to be around, with the passion, energy, enthusiasm and belief in our purpose, with the vitality of a healthy mind, body and soul... and...constantly learning and developing our skill and knowledge to be the best we can be... now isn't that worth aiming for?

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