Posted by Kirsten Gibbs Last updated 5th February 2021 reading time
I spent quite a bit of my early career being called an analyst – someone who resolves or separates things into its elements or constituent parts.
In reality, like all of us, I’m mostly a synthesist. Putting thoughts, information, ideas, anecdotes, experiences together to make a whole – a model of the world that is coherent, at least to me, hopefully to others too.
When it comes to work, here are some of the ideas (axioms? premises? prejudices?) I grapple with, trying to synthesise a useful model of what it means to scale successfully as a business:
Making things (not necessarily tangible) that will be appreciated by other people is a fundamental human need.
Everyone needs agency, mastery, autonomy, purpose, community and status.
Being human is difficult, valuable, not to be wasted.
Nobody has a right to control another person (with rare exceptions that are to do with the other person’s safety).
Nobody ever achieves anything alone.
Most small business owners care about the impact they are making on their customers, their team and their community. Increasingly they care about the impact they make on the planet.
Most employees work in order to live.
Most employees want to do their best work.
Most people want to be able to bring their whole self to everything they do, including work.
Most employees want clarity about what they are there to do.
Most employees don’t want to be told how to do their job.
Most small business owners never set out to be in charge of other people.
Most people want to do things for themselves, until they can’t. When they can’t they want to be helped to get back to doing it for themselves.
Most small business owners aren’t capitalists.
There is plenty of business to be done to enrich people and planet. Small business owners don’t need to be capitalist.
Processes are for people. Procedures and work instructions are for machines.
I’m not there yet with my coherent model, but I feel like I am getting there, and I’m enjoying the process.