01/09/10

By Brian Chernett, Founder, The Academy For Chief Executives

Life Changing is a phrase heard several times a night on TV at the moment. It is usually related to 'reality' television programmes as far apart as X Factor and Dragon’s Den. It is also heard in Police accident reports as 'life changing injuries'. It has become just another clichéd phrase but I did wonder if what we do in business could also be considered to be life changing? And if it isn’t, should it be?

Business is about satisfying market requirements. It is about meeting a need or want in away that satisfies the customer and makes profit for the supplying business. But is that all it is or should be? Should it have values? Business Values like integrity, fairness and quality as well as personal values and social values? If you know me, or read these columns regularly, I suspect that you won’t be surprised to hear that I think that values are important to business. I believe that businesses can play a role in improving lives and banishing suffering and that, where they can, they should do that.

Can I ask you, my reader, a question? Why do you do what you do? Presumably you are there to meet a perceived market need, otherwise why are you in business? Does what you do also change lives? I’m thinking here of your customers, your staff and indeed your own life. Does it also add value to the wider world by, for example, respecting and supporting the environment?

We are all familiar with the bottom line in business, with the need to make a profit. In recent years, more businesses, including some of the largest, have begun to commit to a ‘triple bottom line’ taking account not only of profit but also people and the planet.

How does your business measure up to that? Did you, perhaps, set out with all three ‘Ps’ in mind or is that a side effect of what you do? Do you have a written and enacted corporate social responsibility policy in place — and could it be better? Maybe, none of that is in place, yet.

Roger Harrop, one of The Academy for Chief Executives top speakers, refers to this as acting ‘on purpose’. What is your purpose? If you already aim to change lives, can you do more of it? Consider how you can do it directly, through products and services and through process improvement and greening and how you can do it indirectly through charitable involvement or by encouraging and inspiring your people.

If you are undecided what to do or where to begin, start small but do something. What three things could you do today that will allow you to make progress towards something life changing?

Watch a video of Brian Chernett explaining how The Academy For Chief Executives inspires business leaders.

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Brian Chernett, Founder of The Academy for Chief Executives will be speaking at Fresh Business Thinking LIVE!, giving practical opportunities for your growth and sustainability in the new world environment. Brian will present 20 ideas for success in the current economic uncertainly. This will be based on his knowledge and experience from the 400 CEO’s within his organisation.

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