Most of my clients over the last five years have been and are family businesses and privately owned concerns with half a dozen or less, partners or shareholders. Nevertheless a lot of tools and techniques that larger businesses employ can be very well adapted and just as effective in the small business space. Usually though its not the intellectual property, tool or technique which is the barrier but the language used to describe it. Added to this is the fact that most practitioners in my space seem to prefer to prescribe rather than explore.
So what has this to do with Fink? Fink is the CEO of Blackrock Investments who in their own words are ‘trusted to manage more money than any other investment firm’. So I was a little surprised by reading the following in Fink’s annual letter to Global CEO’s;
Without a sense of purpose, no company, either public or private, can achieve its full potential. It will ultimately lose the license to operate from key stakeholders. It will succumb to short-term pressures to distribute earnings, and, in the process, sacrifice investments in employee development, innovation, and capital expenditures that are necessary for long-term growth.
Here’s where I agree wholeheartedly; in running over 70 strategy programmes for clients of my own and those of other Business Doctors I have supported or coached we have worked hard to extract this reason for being in our clients. In the vast majority of cases my clients do have a worthy purpose and were often acutely aware of this in the early years when they started the business. However many have never clearly articulated it and what I have found is that in discovering the purpose many businesses I have worked with have unleashed massive energy and made some seemingly difficult decisions rather easier to make.
Understanding and articulating your purpose may be something you have done with others or can do on your own, in which case superb, go smash it! If not perhaps think about having a chat with your local Business Doctor.