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One of the obstacles to change and growth can be traced to the ways a business defines itself. To break out of outdated models that may be keeping your company back, you need to examine the assumptions behind the purpose of your business and both shift and expand your purpose and mission. Here are some points to consider:
Instead of describing your business as making or selling goods and services, articulate the "experience" you are providing customers. Think about the entire process—from entry into your business, to the ways in which customers learn about your products and services, to ordering, through delivery, and the closing of the sale. Is that experience what you intend it to be?
Does your business description (the mission statement, or what is communicated to customers through marketing or advertisement) focus on what the business is good at today? Can you expand that to include what you will be good at tomorrow as well? This gets customers excited about forthcoming ideas and offerings.
Define your business as an organization that joins your customer in the problem-solving process, rather than just making or selling a solution. This assures customers that you can diagnose the real problem they have and provide a solution that fits.
Professor of Management
Director, The Center for Creativity and Innovation
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