Traditional wisdom dictates that how a company operates is “nothing personal, just business.” However there is something to be said for putting your own stamp on the company. Dov Seidman recently wrote a blog in the Harvard Business Review entitled “Business IS Personal.” The argument? According to Seidman, the issues boils down to a single question- What ideas are you building your company on?
Yes, business is business and shouldn’t be affected by capricious whims and personal fancies. However, the phrase “it’s nothing personal,” implies a ruthlessness more suited for an overbearing bully than a CEO establishing the foundational ideology and direction for their company. It’s a justification of actions, rather than a successful business plan.
“Ideas shape our thinking, animate our endeavors, and serve as the foundation upon which we scale our institutions and companies,” Seidman writes. A company without a solid foundation will not be able to coast solely on their products and services; innovation is needed, and intelligent, evolving innovation happens when a company has an identity to stand on.
For Steve Jobs, that foundation was focus. When the Apple founder returned to the company in 1997, it was producing a random array of computers including a dozen variations of Macintosh. Jobs cut every product except for 4 models, two desktops and two laptops. The idea was simplicity- to focus on very few, significant priorities, and make them beautiful. That idea of simplicity and focus is the core of the Apple brand today, seamlessly integrated into their products and philosophy.
Your company is a reflection of your leadership and goals- it is in many ways a personal reflection of everything you’ve worked to achieve. Your personal investment in the company as a director or officer also exposes you to the greatest risk. Protect your company and yourself. Let our experienced Director & Officers Insurance specialists help you get the much needed protection again the costs of legal defense and indemnity coverage for the business, directors and officers, and employees in suits alleging internal mismanagement. Contact us today for more information.