What business are you really in?
For Zappos, it’s: “A a customer service company, that happens to sell shoes.”
Other businesses would come to visit our headquarters, hear that phrase and then have an epiphany…
“Oh! I’m in the business of making restaurant owners’ lives easier. I just happen to repair refrigerators.”
For Zappos Insights, we created a experiential belief changing company that happened to sell corporate training.
The more I do culture work, the more I realize that I (and many others) are in the business of buying and selling time.
Think about it…
Cars save you time in traveling. Netflix saved you time in going to the DVD store. Restaurants save you the time of making food, and Chipotle even saves you the prep time so you can eat immediately.
As technology advances, it saves us more and more time. And advances in medicine and health give us more time on this planet.
This how businesses SELL time.
The same goes for culture work. Yes, it’s about vision, values, communication, leadership… but at the end of the day, all those things simply clear space to do what people are born to do. Does anyone really want to have meetings, draft reports or work through obstacles? No, we want to perform our unique talents.
Great culture clears the space and time to do so.
Here’s how, in three steps:
1. Clearing out the time wasters
This can be distractions, inefficient processes, and even certain people who need to leave.
2. Focusing on the core
With all that new time back, it can be easy to fill it back up with new distractions or shiny objects. Getting clear on vision and values is key to stay focused on the core people and core offers.
3. Gaining Leverage
Hiring more people means you are buying time. More people means you can leverage whatever you’re doing, and servee more clients/customers. You can also off-load more and more that you don’t want to do. The most efficient leaders are simply having fun everyday because they are master delegators.
This is (above) is businesses BUY time.
So ask yourself:
- How does my business save time or create time for people?
- What can I stop doing to create more time for myself?
PS – I love saving time with Get Magic (virtual assistants)