The Non-Financial Side of Business

Reading Time: 2 minutes
The Non-Financial Side of Business
A call with an industry colleague last week set in motion, thoughts on how we measure individual or business success.
As a kid growing up in India in the 80’s, studies used to be quite a tricky part of life. Studying history, for instance. We had a ton of dates to remember, and it somehow never made sense. The pointlessness of remembering precise dates of events ranging from a few decades to a few centuries gone by. Instead of, perhaps evaluating people gone by, on the basis of their actions, or the sum of their actions. Perhaps we would have learnt more about values. About actions and consequences. But they would not have it any other way. Events and dates of their occurrence was clearly more important to them.
Then came interesting subjects like physics, and a few deeper questions around it. [Link]
Subsequently, there was the ’Must. Read. Newspapers’ phase. Not just that, I guess people also expected you to remember current events. For someone who is not a keen quiz player, I felt it was pointless beyond just having a fair sense of what was happening. Somewhere I believed storing irrelevant information wouldn’t really matter someday.
Then, thankfully, the internet came to our rescue.
In my adult life, all around, businesses seem obsessed with numbers. Financials. Be it sales and profitability, or costs, or more complicated ones. Cost of acquiring a customer. Shopping cart abandonment. Customer churn rate. Average profit per visitor or Product conversion rate. Among others.
The world became, and continues to be increasingly obsessed with numbers and ratios. And that’s all most businesses focus on. The employee or customer can be at the receiving end of the bare minimum that a tight-margin allowance to appease a ratio will allow. But not more.
The day machines take over a business function, efficiency will jump up dramatically, as will profitability.
But where would that leave us? Put differently, have we always been missing a bigger point?
What will matter when machines take over (finally!), is what customers really want. Because then we won’t be obsessing over the numbers. Hopefully not at least.
And hopefully then, we’ll start to see that it is not a numbers game. That business is about relevance. If it’s useful or good, they will buy. If a process is well designed as per them, they will use it.
Numbers, as I’ve always held, are an incidental, intermittent aftereffect of a non-numerical, ongoing end-user pleasing process.
I’m not saying that top and bottom lines and all those in-between are irrelevant. Sure they help as indicators. But they perhaps help more when we are doing the more important job. Of ensuring the main objective of our business is met. Once you focus on the non-financial aspects that really run your business, you’ll see how the financials catch up. Automatically!

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The Tripod of Success – Intention, Emotion and Logic

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The tripod for success…

Intention, Emotion and Logic.

You need logic.

Even when faced with a logically impossible hurdle, one can often break it up into its elements, and explore possibilities.

Emotion makes you see, and often strive for the seemingly impossible. Too much of emotion though, especially in comparison with logic, can delay failure, but rarely avoid it.

And without the right intention, things might begin, but rarely continue much further.

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As High As You Can

Reading Time: 3 minutes

As High As You Can

This post is not an original. It is a really inspiring message that I received recently. And even though some of you might have read it elsewhere, I think it does come in handy every once in a while for that little push we need on our uphill journeys, before we get to where we had planned to.

The Fern and the Bamboo

One day I decided to quit… I quit my job, my relationship, my spirituality. And I wanted to quit my life. I went to have one last talk with my mentor. “Can you give me one good reason not to quit?”, I said.

The answer surprised me…”Look around. What do you see?” I saw a fern and bamboo seeds?”

My mentor replied, “When the fern and the bamboo seeds were planted, I took very good care of them. I gave them light. I gave them water. The fern quickly grew from the earth. Its brilliant green covered the floor. Yet nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo.

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“In the second year the Fern grew more vibrant and plentiful. And again, nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo.

“In the third year, there was still nothing from the bamboo seed. But I would not quit.

“In the fourth year, again, there was nothing from the bamboo seed. But I would not quit.

“Then in the fifth year a tiny sprout emerged from the earth. Compared to the fern it was seemingly small and insignificant. But just 6 months later the bamboo rose to over 100 feet tall. It had spent the five years growing roots. Those roots made it strong and gave it what it needed to survive. Life does not give anyone a challenge they can not handle.

“Did you know that all this time you have been struggling, you have actually been growing roots? I did not quit on the bamboo. Never quit on yourself. Don’t compare yourself to others. The bamboo had a different purpose than the fern; yet, they both make the forest beautiful.

“Your time will come. You will rise high! How high should you rise? How high will the bamboo rise? As high as it can. So you should rise as high as you can. Never regret a day in your life.”

Good days give you Happiness.
Bad days give you Experiences.
Both are essential to life.
Happiness keeps you Sweet,
Trials keep you Strong,
Sorrows keep you Human,
Failures keep you Humble,
Success keeps You Glowing,
But only your faith keeps you going!

So that’s all you have to do. Just keep going….

Sagano-bamboo-forest-Kyoto

                                                                 image: Sagano bamboo forest, Kyoto, Japan

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