“Every few hundred years in Western history there occurs a sharp transformation. … Within a few short decades, society rearranges itself – its world view; its basic values; its social and political structure; its arts; its key institutions. Fifty years later there is a new world. And the people born then cannot even imagine the world in which their grandparents lived and into which their own parents were born. We are currently living in such a transformation.”Post-Capitalist Society. Peter Drucker (1993)
One of the few advantages of getting older is an accumulated stock of ‘lived experience’. It means there’s an increased chance that, when someone refers to an event, you might be able to declare, ‘I remember it!’ It doesn’t mean you’ll get listened to. Sometimes quite the opposite. But real experience can be illuminating.
It’s particularly relevant right now in business (and life generally, actually, but let’s stick to the business angle) because we are having to negotiate one of those every-so-often mega changes. It’s a key reason there’s so much uncertainty around … and, all too often, more than a little aggression.
A recent online group exchange brought this home to me. A lot of those involved expressed the view that, in the west, relentless capitalism has led us all into a headlong, mindless pursuit of more stuff. In turn, this activity is blamed for (in no particular priority order):
- global warming
- fears for our children’s future
- an increase in mental illness
Now, okay, I’m not pretending this comes from a statistically representative sample but, nonetheless, it shocked me. For many people, it seems, business as we have known it – particularly Big Business – is bad. And, given that my long-term preoccupation has been with the identification and delivery of Customer Value, I regard that as a poor outcome.
Hence this blog. My colleagues and I hope to build a forum where, with you, we can debate where business is going, or should go. There are some really important issues here, including:
- Do the 2020s demand a new generic Business Purpose?
- If so, how does it translate for individual enterprises?
- What does this mean for Customers? How should a business relate with its Customers?
- How, therefore, can we define Customer Value, generically and specifically?
This, then, is the task we hope to tackle. We don’t have all the answers so hope you will join the discussion. Together we can surely get a lot closer to the answers.