The Business of Doing Business

It is getting to the point where I can hardly remember the pre-MBA period. I still have a few vague recollections, however. And perhaps the most striking to me is that business was more local. By local, I mean one relied on a firm to deliver to you ideas about how to do business. Businesses were more custom made.

But Peter Drucker et al claimed that business management was a “practice” that could be improved on. Al Sloan was miffed because he felt one could go further. Business management to Sloan was a science, meaning you could work to uncover unchanging principles about markets. This led to renewed thinking about what standard components could go into top level business management, packaging those things into a 2 year course, and out of the oven popped the MBA.

But we have come a lot further than that by now. It was a bit embarrassing for those who offer MBA programming to see kids who dropped out of university become millionaires.  Ooops! I mean billionaires! I mean kids like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, to name a few. Perhaps the underlying principles that led to sound business management could be learned outside of the classroom?

Indeed. And now we have a virtual explosion of writing about what goes into first rate business management. The most attractive thread of this teaching is how to move ideas to implementation and to success. Thus was born the business of doing business. And I think this is a growth industry.

Consider one of the latest products, a book called “The Creator’s Code”. It is, I think, a riff on the extremely popular work of fiction “The DaVinci Code”. And it poses the question whether the critical focus point should be how you think. From the review:

The Creator’s Code:The Six Essential Skills of Extraordinary Entrepreneurs” by Amy Wilkinson explores and demonstrates the answers to this question. Her book outlines six characteristics behind the thinking patterns and attitudes of entrepreneurs that helped them get rich and famous. Wilkinson uses those characteristics to define what she calls the “creator’s code”, a strategic and adaptive mindset able to capture and capitalize on ideas for success.

The trick  is not the six characteristics themselves. It is in how to build on them with practice. What to make of it? Whether you are sold or not, this is an example of a product line that will be developed much further. Why? Because we are headed to a time when selling our ideas is what we mainly do.

So here are the main challenges

  • do you get any ideas to sell? – an ideation issue
  • if you get ideas, how do you “frame them” to see if they add value for others? – an orientation issue
  • if you have a value proposition, how do you sell it? – skills and networking issues
  • once you sell an idea, how do you build an ecology around the process? a strategic and management issue
  • with an ecology developing, what are the next steps beyond? a second strategic issue

In the future, we all will be learning how to gamify each of the above steps. So I will go into this here in this blog to give you some free insights! Free! Wow! Could there be anything better? Well, yes, but I am not going to pay you to read this stuff.

Get ready, get set, go!



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