Business | Success-Why is it OK?

    Malcolm Durham

    Why is it OK?

    I recently helped Chris Thomason start up his new consultancy, Ingenious Growth. What Chris and his team do is “re-purpose” the existing activities of a business so that they get more sales and profits without having to invest. All that is required is doing things differently, or re-purposing. Prior to the launch phase they helped two companies improve sales (one by £40m, the other is still counting) and profits each time. A good return on a £40k investment.

    His starting point is to get to “the killer question”- what is the question that, when answered, could improve everything?

    David Cameron seems to have had a similar idea and has launched a competition to come up with the Big Question, and its answer. My initial thoughts were quite “big” but not that “BIG”:

    • Are statistics the right way to make decisions? We rely on them more and more and look where we are.
    • What will happen when all economies stop growing? This is quite a long way off and neither I nor Cameron, nor our grandchildren are likely to be bothered by it.
    • How many people should there be? Birth control and euthanasia are rising up the agenda. I recently observed someone advocating the merits of euthanasia to his 80 year old mother.

    But then, as I was lying on my back in the gym (Kilimanjaro is only 3 weeks away) it came to me. I think that THE BIG QUESTION is this:

    “Why is it OK for you to treat me like this?

    You have read, maybe enjoyed, empathised perhaps, with my experiences as a customer, businessman and sporting fan. And you laugh/cheer/cry because you know that I’m not alone:

    • It’s not me but my wife who was told to go and get a full box from the other side of the store whilst the inaptly named “assistant” stood by;
    • It wasn’t me but my Pilates teacher who was told that the assemblers couldn’t assemble her bed to-day because they couldn’t find a place to park and she would have to wait till next week;
    • It wasn’t me it was my PC (ok it was me) that couldn’t exchange goods on Amazon without working out for myself that I had to buy a new one and then send the old one back (because I was past the 30 day limit).

    I am all for liberté and egalité. It seems that, a few days past the anniversary of Bastille Day, we have forgotten fraternité.

    When we get a better balance between my needs and yours, when we lose the phrases “I need you to..” or “Can you do this for me?” or worst “Well (if you want redress) you’ll have to…” then businesses, customers, workers and society will be in a much better place.

    Except that I won’t have so much to blog about!

    Why is it OK?

    You’ll have to (oops) do without me for a while anyway. I’m off to France for soleil and santé in Epernay.

    Bonne vacances.

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