Building a World Class Organization

By Jeri Denniston, Chief Marketing Strategist, Denner Group International 4-12-2011

Takeaways: Both passion and purpose are needed for building a world class organization. It’s important to know the difference between passion and purpose.

I’ve been reading Michael Gerber’s E-Myth Mastery to see how his recommendations dovetail with Cathedralsystems thinking. He is, after all, a systems thinker, and an intentional dreamer, looking at business as a whole system made up of many systems or parts. Frequently, the parts don’t work fluidly together because we get so mired in the day-to-day activities, we lose sight of the end goal….the reason we started the business in the first place. His book, E-Myth Mastery is about building a world class organization regardless of size.

E-Myth Mastery goes beyond his first book, The E-Myth, which is all about systems and planning, to help the entrepreneur get back in touch with the passion, the vision, the dream….the reason for being an entrepreneur. Then he applies what he calls “The Seven Essential Disciplines” to the entrepreneurial planning and management process, which become a road map for building a world class organization.

According to the author, “Building a World Class Company is a commitment to the integration of passion, purpose and practice.”

Develop Clarity of purpose first

In our practice, we go a step further by including a review of the external world outside your business as one of the steps in a total strategic management system. The first step in a holistic approach to your business is developing clarity of purpose and connecting with your passion. This is perhaps the hardest part of the process.

You started your business because you thought you could produce a better product or deliver a better service to your customers. Perhaps it’s because you got tired of having someone else call the shots, telling you when, what and where to do your work. That was the passion that got you started.

Now, you’re mired in all the day-to-day emergencies of meeting payroll, solving customer or production problems, handling employee issues, and any number of other things that keep you from doing what you love, yet have to be done in order for the business to operate. Now, instead of a boss telling you what to do, it’s your employees, your customers, and the very business itself, demanding more and more of your time, and leaving you frustrated and exhausted. You’ve lot the passion for the business. What happened?

According to Gerber, this is a common problem among entrepreneurs. Even those who have followed his E-Myth systems, found themselves so mired in running the systems and tracking their progress, they feel like gerbils running on a circular treadmill. Everything demands their attention, and none of it is fun anymore. They can hardly imagine building a world class business when they are busy putting out fires every day.

Now is the time to take a step back, take a deep breath, get away from the business for a little while, and give yourself time to THINK. Yes, that ugly five-letter word, THINK. We’re so busy doing, we don’t take time to just sit and think. Think about why you started the business. What is it really that you set out to do? Is it just to repair shoes or was there a grander passion behind opening up that shoe repair business? Was it to repair other people’s clothes or to clothe the world with designs that flatter any body? Was it to repair computers because you have a knack for understanding how they work? Or was it grander like Microsoft’s, to envision a PC on every desktop? What was the spoken or unspoken vision you had when you started your business?

What was the dream you set out to create?

The difference between passion and purpose

The key to getting back in touch with your passion is to understand the difference between passion and purpose. Passion is what calls you to action. It’s the vision you have for the future you want to create. The tingly feelings you get when you think about this grand idea. Purpose is HOW you put that vision into action. It’s the WHAT that you do everyday. Vision is the WHY.

Have you heard the story of the three men who are laying bricks? When asked what they are doing, the first man says he’s laying bricks. The second says he is building a wall. The third man answers, I’m building a cathedral. Now that’s a vision!

What are you building in your business…..are you just laying bricks or are you building a cathedral?