What is the single most important core competency one has to develop to start or develop a business? 

This question is routinely asked by someone in business development forums. Someone of course who has an answer. Don't expect me to be an exception to this rule. 

I would like to think about this question with some sort of historic perspective. 

Stephen Covey and his landmark book: "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People"

Stephen Covey and his landmark book: "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People"

In the 80`s and 90`s, the usual answer had something to do with sales and management. Machine-like efficiency was being put forward and the rather industrial mind set of the day made it trendy to think that they human processes that could mimic machines. Stephen Covey's "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" was a best seller. A business at this point was mostly seen from the perspective of the owner/stockholder point of view. Return on the investment of the people that financed the business seemed the most important result to obtain and the main criterion for judging success. 

The 2000's began the increasing awareness of purpose in a business. A business had to be useful for the clients or the users of the products/services it had to offer. The best way to insure this was to devout the business to some form of betterment for humanity: A cause. Computers and technology were seen as facilitators, as doers of menial tasks that were de-humanizing the industry. Mission statements were becoming more than mere words and organisations were streamlined to embrace a unified vision. Apple is often cited as a leader in this respect, offering general easy-to-use technology with a unified service in mind rather than a series of individual products.

The conscience was shifting from efficient "left-brain" processes to more emotional "right-brain" ones.

Along with this is the omnipresence of communication. Communication has come to mean "expression of something to sell". We are versed in the concept that the best product or service in the world is nothing if no one knows about it. We are also immersed in communication technology where blogs, tweets, posts, and advertisement are intertwined in a non-recognisable mish-mash. We know that there are parties more interested in selling you their product  than we are in buying it. But we can no longer tell what statement comes from a consumer, from a salesman, from another interested party or from a friend.

Thus this decade has seen a strengthened need for Authenticity. "Be yourself, talk your own talk, walk your own walk". 

My good friend   Manuel Molina   very successfully promotes AUTHENTICITY of behaviour in business practices.

My good friend Manuel Molina very successfully promotes AUTHENTICITY of behaviour in business practices.

This need for authentic communication comes as a reaction to all the staged emotional communication which we have been seen for the last 15 years. 

So today we have a very complex corporate behaviour model to follow. As managers we are asked to possess many core competencies:

  • We must do things in a well managed, efficient manner to save money and resources.
  • We must by savvy salespeople with a good instinct for marketing.
  • We must offer a cause so that our community can pitch in and join us.
  • We must remain authentic.
  • ...

Maybe it is time we really start understand with our souls were all this is going. Maybe it's time individuals and not corporations expressed themselves.


Meditate first, then pitch in.