What Principles Guide Your Business?

Here’s the Competitive Reality:
You and your business can gain a sustainable competitive advantage (and make a lot of money) by developing behaviors that are consistent with the principles, laws and mechanisms that govern reality.

Why? Because most people and most businesses are NOT guided or directed or governed by reality’s principles. They are directed by whims, wants, wishes, desires, psychology, tweets, likes, the latest business book, the latest business tv show, whatever catches the “attention” of the owner. The competitive set is very undisciplined when it comes to guiding principles.

Think of business ethics are the principles used to design action on behalf of our careers, our leadership roles and and our businesses. What principles are guiding your thoughts and actions?

If you’re like most people, the answer is vague, if you even have one. “Keeping the customer happy,” “Doing whatever it takes,” “Working on operations,” “Pursing excellence,” Engaging my employees,” “Kaizen,” “Working hard & thinking outside the box,” are just some of the guiding principles we hear from potential customers at TheFutureWorks.

Mostly we see conduct that is unprincipled. Head down, butt up, “putting out fires” conduct, “too busy” behaviors that leave the enteprise vulnerable to changes in the marketplace.

So what principles should guide your behavior? Where do you turn for the knowledge that you can count on to build a successful career, business, and make a lot of money?

For starters, turn to the basic principles of economics. Here are the first four from the third edition of Principles of Economics by N. Gregory Mankiw (a standard Economics 101 book used in many colleges):

  1. People face tradeoffs.
  2. The cost of something is what you give up to get it.
  3. Rational people think at the margin.
  4. People respond to incentives.

What do you do with these principles? What do they mean? How are they relevant to you and your business? Why are they valuable? What’s their purpose?

What’s your interpretation? Let us know what you think. We’ll publish some of your responses in future blogs and keept this important conversation going.