For some years I have been arguing that the long-held belief that the role of Business was to create Shareholder Value has become outdated – first by Peter Drucker’s dictum that Business’ role was in fact to create and sustain a customer and more recently by Roger Martin’s preference for customer capitalism over Shareholder primacy.
My work with this year’s Lancaster University Management School’s (LUMS) MBA class has hardened my conviction that the role of Business in today’s Fourth Industrial Revolution truly is “To make the World a Better Place – for Everyone”.
Today’s winning organisations are creating, collaborating and connecting everyone they touch by delivering instant, intimate value at scale. They are creating a Supervuca world of radical optimism, vibrancy and innovation where everything happens quickly, easily and efficiently – with no waste of time, effort or resource.
They are run:
· By leaders, not managers.
· By inspiration, not command and control.
· By agility, not bureaucracy.
· By customers, not shareholders.
· And profits are the result, not the goal of their work.
So hats off to the usual suspects – Amazon, Apple, Google, Airbnb, Spotify, Tesla, Air New Zealand (and those companies who shared their ideas with us at Unfiltered Live).
Now – keep your eye on Spark New Zealand. Under Simon Moutter and Joe McCollum’s leadership they are transforming themselves (once again) – this time into an agile, customer-led company where big issues are dealt with quickly by small accountable teams, cracking small tasks one after the other at full speed.
A fast game is a good game (ask Steve Hansen or Pep Guardiola) and Spark is stripping it all back to do just that. And whilst they may not be Making the World a Better Place, they’ll certainly be making New Zealand better for all of us lucky enough to live there.
The Road Goes on Forever.