Preconceived notions stop the people in charge from seeing inefficiencies in their businesses. Old habits, traditions or just plain comfort makes them reject the ideas of those who see the inefficiencies and have solutions to improve them. In fact, if their fear of change or pride becomes strong enough they will often reject and attack the people with the solutions too.

The greatest inefficiency in business today is the dysfunctional relationship between salespeople and consumers. It’s caused by the intention to make sales. The good news is it can be corrected by changing this intention, which would heal the relationship and result in increased sales and sustainable growth. It won’t be easy, but it is actually simple, like most changes that produce great improvements, transformations or start new era in business.

We are in transition to the ‘People First Age’ of business and commerce. It’s happening right now. We aren’t in a recession; we’re in this transition to a ‘new economy’. A big lesson form Moneyball is that it’s easy to look at numbers and statistics and then make poor decisions…Success in business is about people, not numbers…When analyzed correctly the numbers should inform leaders how to help their people become successful, or how to select the people who will succeed.

Businesses have to change their intentions or face certain failure…It’s this shift in intentions that allows leaders to see the information that’s in the numbers. Just as Kodak, who invented the digital camera in 1975, but refused to take advantage of it for fear it would damage their traditional film business, only to have their film business cannibalized by their competition with the digital camera they already possessed. They had the numbers but their intentions where misplaced and led to their demise!

If traditional businesses don’t change their intentions at the point of engagement with the buyers of their products they will be cannibalized by new businesses with the right intentions. Like Kodak, existing businesses have the power to be leaders in this new ‘People First Age’ but one way or the other it is happening and the winners will be those who have the right intentions. The intentions to help, serve and do what’s best for the buyer…The intentions to make customers and not just sales.

“People seek to improve until they are comfortable, and when they become comfortable, they stop looking to improve.”

By Mike Moore

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