Redefining a "Business"

I was recently having a look at some of the ideas from the Heart Of Business website.

One idea that caught my eye there is Mark Silver’s definition of business as “the relationships you have around your livelihood.”
That is such an evocative definition. It immediately gets one thinking of the web of relationships surrounding business activity, the people involved, the dynamic ebb and flow of relationship and value.
It puts the focus on relationships rather than outcomes or metrics or activities.
The definition of business as the web of relationships one has around ones livelihood opens up a potential reframing of a number of important areas. For example, consider business ethics. If we see business as relationships around livelihood, then we tend to put people values first. If we see it in outcomes (acquiring customers, profit and loss statement, growth) then ethics can easily get sidelined by seemingly important imperatives.
Full marks to Mark for his great definition!
It is much richer to me than analytic business school definitions, along the lines of Drucker’s defining words to the effect that “There is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a customer,” highlighting the importance of a business serving customers.
One Response to Redefining a "Business"
  1. Mark Silver
    November 19, 2009 | 2:14 PM

    Glad you liked that one! And thank you for the link. It's the only definition that ever made sense to me.

    🙂
    Mark

Redefining a "Business"

I was recently having a look at some of the ideas from the Heart Of Business website.

One idea that caught my eye there is Mark Silver’s definition of business as “the relationships you have around your livelihood.”
That is such an evocative definition. It immediately gets one thinking of the web of relationships surrounding business activity, the people involved, the dynamic ebb and flow of relationship and value.
It puts the focus on relationships rather than outcomes or metrics or activities.
The definition of business as the web of relationships one has around ones livelihood opens up a potential reframing of a number of important areas. For example, consider business ethics. If we see business as relationships around livelihood, then we tend to put people values first. If we see it in outcomes (acquiring customers, profit and loss statement, growth) then ethics can easily get sidelined by seemingly important imperatives.
Full marks to Mark for his great definition!
It is much richer to me than analytic business school definitions, along the lines of Drucker’s defining words to the effect that “There is only one valid definition of business purpose: to create a customer,” highlighting the importance of a business serving customers.
One Response to Redefining a "Business"
  1. Mark Silver
    November 19, 2009 | 2:14 PM

    Glad you liked that one! And thank you for the link. It's the only definition that ever made sense to me.

    🙂
    Mark