GroupLife Philosophy: Determining Your “Business”

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According the Peter Drucker, the first question is “what business are we in?”  Before you tune out, here’s how it applies to grouplife. There are several aspects to think about.

First of all, let me debug the term “business.” You might not think of [quote]yourself as being in a business…but in the sense that Drucker is talking about you are!  Think about it these companies to jog your thinking about the business you are in.  One of my favorites is Domino’s Pizza acknowledging that they’re not in the pizza business.  They’re in the delivery business.  30 minutes or less.  How about Target?  They staked their claim on low price but with a designer’s edge.  They’re different than Walmart.  Can you see it?  What about Apple?  Think they’re in the computer business.  Or the digital music business?  Or the phone business?  They’re not even really in the tech business.  What business are they in?  How about the cool business?

Second, think about how you’d describe your business.  What would you say?  Would you say, “We’re in the discipleship business?”  “We’re in the connecting business?”  Or the “life-change” business?  I heard about an initiative that IKEA was involved with in the Houston area; a great way of helping singles mothers.  Their tag line was “Life-changes available.”  I love that line!  I wrote about it right here.

Third, recognize that the business you choose to be in should determine several things (like who your customers are and what you will call success).  For example, the grouplife business we are in at Parkview isn’t the information transmission business and it isn’t the connection business.  We are in the life-change business.  We design events that lead to connection and help create environments that make life-change possible.  It informs the way we recruit leaders, the curriculum we recommend, the leader training we provide, and the heroes we celebrate.

Finally, the business you are in also determines what you won’t do.  This is a really big idea and a very important point.  When you choose the business you’re in, you’re choosing in that moment what you won’t be doing.  Or at least, you should know that you can’t do everything.  You can’t be all things to all people when it comes to choosing a business.  If you try…you become a cafeteria.  And cafeterias almost never are exceptional.  And you need to be exceptional if you want to build environments where life-change happens.

What do you think?  Got a question?  Want to argue?  You can click here to jump into the conversation.

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