Making Money and...an Impact

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"McKinsey is not a strategy firm per se — it’s a leadership firm. While other organizations talk about strategy and analysis, we instead talk about leadership and impact." 

        - McKinsey Corporation, Who We Are

On one level, reading a quote like this isn't all that surprising. 

I mean, being “pro” leadership and “pro” impact isn't all that controversial.

Almost everyone in business at least mouths words like this.

That their work is not just about making money, but about changing the world for the better in ways small, and about leaving a legacy.

But then you realize that this otherwise innocuous quote comes from McKinsey, the world’s largest and most renowned strategic consulting firm, famous for its dispassionate and scientific approach to solving business challenges.

And they here are saying - as perhaps a Tony Robbins or a Joel Osteen or a Louise Hay would - that strategy and analysis aren’t really that important, as long as our hearts and motives are in the right place. 

Hmmm.

Now don’t get me wrong - I am all for dreaming big dreams, for visioning our businesses such that it touches and inspires everyone - employees, customers, partners, our community - with which it comes into contact.

But I am also for calculating, planning, and quietly working - with our heads and our analytical minds - to achieve slow and methodical growth.

And doing so without big speeches and blandishments about “causes,” or culture.

Yes, McKinsey with this quote is making a classic false choice. 

Between doing good and, as they say, “making coin.”

Because of course we can, should, and must have both.

Big dreams
and little plans. 

Societal impact and improving profits.

Leadership
and management.

The challenge is to find where, and only where, these highly complementary goals and objectives intersect and meet.

And to then only do those things.

As in
only build and sell products and services of the highest possible quality. 

And as in only market and sell them elegantly and creatively, reaching for both the heart and minds of our prospects.

And striving for the absolute lowest cost structure in all of our operational and fulfillment processes, because we recognize that efficiency and leanness are universal business positives, no matter our market or brand positioning.

And as an organization respecting and honoring all who come into contact with us, especially our employees and our partners (i.e. our culture)

Not with the goal of making the lives we touch comfortable and "balanced." 

But rather clearly understanding and believing in our organizational mission and core objectives, and then working to align everyone’s “best selves” with them (even if this means working really, really hard!).

And then we have it all.

Solid strategy and clear, daily to do lists.

Leadership and impact.

There isn't a false choice here.

Even if McKinsey thinks there is.

What about your company?  Do you have the right balance between leadership and management?  Between your big organizational goals and your daily to do lists?  

Do you need help in getting everyone on the same page to attack a key new business initiative? 

If so, then complete this short questionnaire - and tell us about a key initiative that if you execute upon it properly can propel your company forward in a new and powerful way. And we’ll reach out to you with our thoughts to help you.

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