Human Centered Business - Somethink Completely Different
Somethink Completely Different
On TEDx Rotterdam 2010 I was privileged to listen
to a beautiful story of the Dutch philosopher Bas
Haring. He told the following story…
When he was in elementary
school the teacher gave the
class the challenge to make as
many as possible words out of
the word "Holiday House"
Bas went diligently to work and soon he
had many words.
WHEN IT WAS TIME TO STOP WITH THE CHALLENGE
HE EVEN APPEARED TO HAVE THE MOST WORDS.
BUT BEFORE THE TEACHER STARTED TO JUDGE
SHE TOLD THE CLASS THE FOLLOWING:
ONLY THE UNIQUE WORDS THAT
NOBODY ELSE HAS COUNT.
Despite Bas had the most words, he was not
able to find an unique word.
The boy that had won only had one word. One unique word. He invested all his energy into finding
an unique word instead of finding as many as possible. Ironic isn't it?
But it also very inspiring!
The main objective of most companies is to realize profit maximization.
They constantly are trying to win a race, they have a limited focus and what
they eventually do is far from unique.
They mostly use existing
resources and they try to standardize
as many processes as possible.
They try to motivate people to produce more with financial rewards.
The result is often a short-term profit maximization.
Not bad at all right?
Unfortunately this is not a
good foundation for the
long-term. It ensures that
you always need to
continue to participate in
the race to continue to
Wouldn't it be nice if you where the one that
everybody had the adapt to?
That you make unique products that everybody tries to copy? That you have an organization where
people not really care about financial rewards that much. A organization in which they are motivated
by challenges, by pursuing goals that are larger than themselves and the urge
to be better at something that matters?
Sounds great right?
‘In the struggle for survival, the fittest win out at the
expense of their rivals because they succeed in
adapting themselves best to their environment.’
According to Darwin leaders that change things are the ones that survive. They are the ones with a
meaningful purpose. The are motived from the inside to maximize value for people rather than maximize
profit. These organizations love to challenge the status quo and therefore they design better products. This is
their most important strength and this is why they distinguish themselves from the rest of the market.
So they are the ones that successfully design better products
by challenging the status quo. But they don't stop their, they
challenge the status quo in everything they do, in every
process and aspect of the organization.
They have innovative business models that can change entire industries. Skype, Google, Wikipedia or Twitter,
they are all good examples of it. They treat people as actors and not as pawns.
And while some
innovations are easy to
copy, they will always be
first with these
They are leaders that others need to
follow to survive. And don't forget, the ability
to create and the courage to challenge the
status quo is not simply something that others
can copy. There are no algorithms for it and
you can't buy it.
In times when so much is changing, money
is not the most powerful and valuable
thing. Winners have the capacity to create
and therefore the ability to innovate.
The desire to create and design new solutions and not just aspire to maximize
profits. Profit is merely a consequence of value maximization for people. A way
to be able to keep on maximizing value throughout time.
Products that are made with the
objective of profit maximization for
people are by definition average because
they are made for the masses.
There is nothing in which they excel. At the other hand, products that
are made with the objective of value maximization for people stand
out. They are made for specific target groups and are therefore more
useful for these people. They love to share their enthusiasm about
these products and therefore the products become the promotion. An
important task of a marketer is to facilitate the wish of people to
share their enthusiasm with others. This can be done very effective
and easily these days with for example Social Media.
So do you want to be a person that comes up with the
most words, or do you want to be the one with
one unique word?
The idea of ‘Human Centered Business' is that if
you focus on maximizing value for people and see profit as a
result of this, you can create success beyond the status quo
and value beyond calculation. Because of the necessary
long-term focus you will be able to build an organization with
a incredibly strong foundation. These organizations
will even have the potential to contribute
to more stable economies.
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