Beyond Business As Usual
Star Trek is important to the success of business. No, really. Much of the technology that we use for business today can trace its origin to that show. Motion activated doors that open automatically, global wireless communication, computers that respond to verbal commands – all originated from this TV series. For the record, I am not a Trekkie. I simply appreciate everything this particular phenomenon has contributed to modern culture and business.
In continuing the important conversation of defining the ‘why’ of your business, I am amazed how similar themes kept popping up as I began preparing for this New Year. It all started with watching Star Trek, ‘Beyond’ over the holidays. The story focuses on Captain James T. Kirk who is struggling with the direction of his life and career. It seems Kirk has been doing his job so long he had forgotten the reason ‘why’ he does what he does.
The opening Captain’s Log captured my attention immediately. Here are some excerpts:
‘The more time we spend out here, the harder it is to tell where one day ends, and the next one begins.’ ‘The farther out we go, the more I find myself wondering what it is we are trying to accomplish.’ ‘Perhaps a break from routine will offer up some respite from the mysteries of the unknown.’
From the visuals associated with this opening sequence it is clear that he is still successful, but he is merely going through the motions.
Have you been there?
Seasons where it is so busy that days string together endlessly in a sea of activity but with no discernible progress. Accommodating the unrelenting deluge of client requests for so long it is difficult to separate providing ‘great service’ from the reason behind the great service you provide. Even though you know a break would be healthy for you and your business, you feel like you can’t afford to take it. Or perhaps you are just plain bored. Like Captain Kirk, you feel like you have to do SOMETHING. It is a precursor for making reckless decisions. It’s great for a movie plot; dangerous for your business.
Are you there now?
At Woodstock Media Group, we took the time to define who we are several years ago. We know our ‘why’ and it brings us clarity of focus that we never had before. We’ve been setting the standard for on-hold advertising for 30 years now. But, it wasn’t until we truly took the time to get back to ‘why’ we exist to understand the urgency and importance behind what we do every day – and how it benefits the clients we serve.
Opportunities that come our way and obstacles that try to block it are filtered through the exact same lens. We know what to address and what to ignore. Why? We believe everything we do will help businesses grow by harnessing the power of a captive audience. If it helps us accomplish that goal we pursue it. Everything else is just noise.
In the middle of his mission, Captain Kirk lost sight of his purpose because, for years, he was so busy ‘doing’ that he forgot the importance of continually returning to the ‘why’ behind what he does. When you lose sight of why you exist, it is easy to drift off course and wake up wondering where you are, how you got there, and have no idea of how to get back.
I encourage you to take the time to reconnect with the ‘why’ of your business. Or if you have never taken the time to define it, invest that time now. Encapsulate your core philosophy, write it down, and share it with everyone in the organization.
It is that statement, your ‘why’, that will guide you as you boldly go where no one has gone before.
Come to think of it, judging by how I concluded this post – yeah, I probably am a Trekkie. May the Force be with you as you lay the foundation for this year and beyond.
Tom McTee, Super-Genius