It’s Not Personal, It’s Only Business. This mantra was made famous by corporate takeover artists, infamous by the Godfather films and just plain distasteful by competing scouting troops selling cookies in another troop’s neighborhood. The self-absolving phrase is a rationalization for those acting badly but don’t want others to think badly of them. They are asserting that they had no choice because they are only following “the rules” of what must be done to succeed.
At first, our individual rule books were simple, telling us how to behave if we wanted to get along and be worthy of love and respect. As we got older, new experiences and encounters, both positive and negative ones, became addenda to our book of rules.
The New Rules These new rules were more about protection and self interest—ways to get what we wanted with less effort, less responsibility and far less risk. Dogmatic adherence to the new rules, no matter how benign they may seem, is an abdication of responsibility without regard for changing circumstances or our core values. Attempting to reconcile the old with the new challenges our convictions and shakes our confidence that we know what is best.
This is not just an issue for people but for institutions as well. Regular evaluation and assessment of our goals, as organizations and individuals, in the context of a continuously changing world, makes it possible to achieve our objectives without losing site of our reasons for being.
Good business is always personal to customers. Essex Two helps organizations and institutions evaluate the effectiveness of their communication initiatives, reconciling current conditions with historical objectives and future goals. Our approach is interdisciplinary, coordinating language, images and activities that engage the client’s constituencies, building brand loyalty and nurturing trust.
Note, Noted, and Noticed: Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne presents a systematic approach to making the competition irrelevant by redefining what you do in ways that separate you from your competitors. While the concepts are sound, knowing the rules doesn’t make you a player. Long-term success is never that easy or more people would be successful.
We see what you’re saying.SM
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