A Plan for Business Purposefulness

No matter how hard we may try to isolate ourselves as individuals with thought processes, defending individual ideas and ideology, our thoughts are no longer our own. We are influenced, inspired and empowered by others in our world. Humanity is morphing based on our intrinsic availability to each other when it comes to the Internet of Things, or rather the "Internet of Everything". This affects us personally and presents us with a unique need for business leaders to find what I call  "Business Purposefulness"

Advances in information technology and data science are ushering in new ways of doing ordinary things. This is especially true for businesses and their supporting economies. There is no doubt that we are entering a new age of discovery. As we embrace technology, we have the opportunity to bring forth a renaissance when it comes to all things human.

We get to decide. We get to influence. We get to weigh costs and benefits on the spot. Our perceptions and realities are challenged in real time. We get to debate. We get to open up to new ideas. We get to be conscious in our own reality. How exciting!

Technology’s Voice

Technology affords us more time to create quality interactions with other humans. Social media has exploded the world view for us. We have amazing prospects for communicating with others in societies foreign to our own. We live in an age of enlightenment and collaboration. It’s liberating to most, and frightening to some.

We will be sharing our business purposefulness with AI, or artificial intelligence.  With AI comes automation of tasks that have belonged only to human voices. There is nothing we can do to stop it; therefore, we must be ready to understand how it will affect us personally and professionally. Businesses need to be sure to include business purposefulness within our automation tools.   

How will this type of media channel affect society? People are already slow to adopt social media in business practices. There is going to be lots of unknown to navigate with automation and social media and we will need a new map and a plan. 

Sociology 101

There are basic tenets of sociology at play here. When I was a college student, a Marketing professor made an impression on me with his statement “the pendulum swings back and forth” when it comes to people and their habits and beliefs. What did he mean by that? My interpretation was that society moves quickly in thought and action in one way and then often upon introspection, feelings that something has changed and an uncomfortableness or fear of the unknown takes hold. Society doesn’t really like change. We then look for ways to embrace the way things were or the “swing back”. We’re in constant use of our personal reference points to shape our journey. We can now include everyone else’s reference points in the mix.

Is Social Media a Locus of Control?

Everything you think, everything you imagine, everything you hope for, the tiniest and most minute actions - EVERYTHING is shaped by factors and forces, out of your control. You are connected and influenced by groups of people you may never meet.

But why stay isolated? Those people are there for you to tap into. To draw energy from. To exchange information with. Is it better to be an individual, or be part of something bigger? Participation is still somewhat optional. You can denounce social media and refuse to use the internet, but apparently, no one is doing that. There are more cell phones in the world than toothbrushes.

Which thought leaders do we follow? Who shapes our thinking? How do we decide?

I found a TEDx Malibu talk by Adam Leipzig who is a Yale grad, an MBA instructor at Berkley as well as an entertainment industry entrepreneur (TEDx Talks. Leipzig. Feb. 2013). His talk is about knowing your life’s purpose in 5 minutes. I listened and thought how valuable it would be to apply this same thinking to how we approach the world in our business persona. Helping business professionals and entrepreneurs find their “business life purpose” or "business purposefulness" is way more relevant than a broad corporate mission statement regurgitated by a legion of disconnected employees.   

How to Plan Your Life Purpose Symbiotically with Your Business Purposefulness

  1. Know Who You Are [Know What Your Business Does]
  2. Know What You Love to Do [Know Why You Love Your Business]
  3. Know Who You Do It For [Know who your business serves]
  4. Know What Those People Want and Need [Be keenly aware of what people want and need from your business internally and externally.]
  5. Know How People Change or Transform as a Result of What You Give Them [Know the holistic and global impact that your business has on people]

Only two of these objectives are about yourself. The rest is about who you do it for.

How Social Media Impacts Your Journey and Your Elevator Pitch

Social Media is constantly on. You can jump into a conversation as fast as you can jump out of it. The ever present dialog can start with your local tribe and extend to the global community. We can never go back to the way we were, we've changed. 

Final Thought  

How does what my business does transform the people I do it for? What I do [what my business does] is insignificant if I have no effect on the greater good.

I say, gravitate to the joy of being with respect to life and to business. Communicate without expectation. Learn with the innocence of a child. Don’t put constraints on relationships. Look not to earn merit. Look not to validation. The people you find and the results you observe will astound you.