The Question That Sums It Up

by Dec 14, 2021Entrepreneurial Leadership, Opportunity Story, Strategy

In 2021, the most influential question on everything I did about the concept of Strategic Narrative was:

Why is the world better off as a result of your company’s existence?

I stole it from someone, somewhere I don’t remember, so I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve seen it before. And if you did and you know its origin, please, let me know.

In any case, I am bringing this question to your attention because the way you answer it plays a significant role in defining your strategic narrative. If there were only one question I could ask you to help you shape your company’s strategy for the years to come, that would be it.

The companies I’ve written about this year (Volvo, Oatly, Netflix, Mod Pizza, Arcimoto, Teal Organizations, etc.) all had something about the positive impact businesses can have on our society and our environment. I am currently developing a list of companies I am interested in researching and helping, and all of them are about how the world is better off due to their existence.

As business leaders, we build companies that shape how we eat, get around, communicate, think, dress, care for ourselves, grow food, and ultimately use shared resources that are not infinite.

We must do it with a higher degree of consciousness. We’ve operated in a linear economy for too long, and we must change it.

We still have an opportunity to take the time to answer this question, but I have a feeling that answering it with great detail will soon be mandatory. The rules of engagement are changing. We should all demand that the companies we work with and buy from show us why the world is better off due to their existence.

As business leaders, we are also responsible for some of the most positive narratives and some of the most damaging ones. Evolving those toxic narratives, so the result of our companies is a better world will require broad cooperation and a new definition of capitalism.

So, if you are a talented business person, have a track record of success, and have skills and resources, now is the time to explore this question. We all need concrete, actionable, tangible, not green-washed answers to it.

I’ll repeat it, so you have it handy:

Why is the world better off as a result of your company’s existence?

And here is also what’s in it for you:

“Where your talents and the needs of the world cross, there lies your vocation.”‚ÄďAristotle

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