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Thursday, November 01, 2007

When Success Isn't Enough

The November issue of Entrepreneur Magazine offers an article entitled "When Success Isn't Enough."

The premise of the article?

"Business is good, but it could be better. So get out of that rut and take it to the next level--here's how. "

This is exactly the scenario we at Six Disciplines find many companies in. A few years ago, we conducted quantitative research with over 300 CEOs from small and mid-sized companies. We asked the senior leadership, “If you could only choose one area of focus in your business, what would it be?” (The graph above indicates their responses.)

What appears from our questioning of top performing businesses that their leaders want something beyond being successful.

These CEOs are very passionate about their businesses, and their companies are financially sound. They have strong leadership teams and they attract and retain quality people. They’re already disciplined in their approach to business, they use technology strategically, and they effectively engage external trusted relationships. Using Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as an analogous construct, these CEOs had already experienced success. What they sought was Maslow’s highest level of attainment: the business form of self-actualization . . . or what they responded to as “business excellence.”

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