The Soul of Your Business
By Tim Kolacz
I was in one of my networking groups yesterday, IE Business Doctors, and I had a great conversation with Bob Spence and John Tulac. The three of us were continuing a discussion we were having during the meeting regarding China and Russia and how these two countries were so related and yet at differing ends of the capitalism spectrum.
Bob has been doing business with the Soviets/Russians since the mid 1980’s and John has been familiar with them since about the same time. The underlying factor in this discussion was how China has planned for their economic growth, while in Russia, once the USSR fell, they were thrust into the unknown almost overnight and they didn’t know how to react. What struck me the most during this was when Bob said that when you speak to some of the business people from Russia, “the country seems to have lost its soul.”
I found that fascinating.
Fascinating because as I grew up in the 80’s the Soviets were always portrayed as calculating, serious and, for lack of a better word, soulless. I had always heard about the long lines for food and bread and how it was a travesty that these things happened. What Bob explained though, was that although the lines were long, they all got fed. They knew that they were going to be fed and that the whole family would be fed. Once the Communist party fell, the people didn’t know where the food would come from. They didn’t know where anything would come from because the State had provided. The identity that they had grown up with was now gone; and nothing was in place to step in when it happened.
The Chinese on the other hand plan for almost everything. Years, decades even, of planning take place for anything of substance to take place. They are being pushed hard by the capitalist nature of those educated in the West, but nothing is fast, nor easy. Just the way they want it. Now, their economy could still fall apart, not as quickly as the Soviet system did, but it could. They will be ready if it does. The question arises then, what are you doing to plan for a soulless company?
Do you even know who, or what, the Soul of the company is? If you can think about that now, not in 3 months, not in 9 months, but now, you can understand what is the true driving force of the company. What makes your company great and how to make it grow and thrive in the coming years, not just months. Understanding how to properly be ready when something devastating happens. In-N-Out Burger (Yum) had just such an event several years ago. The founders and several senior staff all were suddenly gone one day. They were the leaders of the company. However, they had a plan. A plan that was in place and ready to go when needed.
The Soul of the company lived on.
Tim Kolacz is part of a team of people at HUB International Insurance Services that can help your company’s Soul survive. Call him at 951-779-8730.