I have a friend who loves to innovate.  He loves to create new companies, products or services but he isn’t very successful. 

Whenever you get him talking about the next big thing, inevitably the words ‘and then I am going to sell it and make a fortune’ come out.  Admittedly, he has succeeded once, and he did quite well.  But this success, in my opinion, has driven his more numerous failures.  

The core to my friend’s strategy for every new adventure is to build and sell.  For some, this may work but for most, it won’t.

Every strategic plan needs a solid, well-grounded core, that will eventually drive everything within the business. This core will be the foundation of a culture that builds within.

If that core-value is to build and sell, the resulting culture will reflect this.  It will always one of minimal commitment, poor leadership, a lack of accountability and more.  

My brother-in-law is working for a pharma company that is about to release the world’s first generic asthma inhaler. He talks about a culture that is driven by the end goal – a product that will help millions of people with a low-cost solution to a big problem.  This strategy, and thus the organization that was built around it, is solid, well-grounded and ultimately, will prove to be a real winner – for everyone.  

Not every new business or idea or strategy has to result in profits, financial contribution or a sale of the company. When we create, innovate and build in order to serve others rather than make the big buck, typically, the big buck will come.  We need to get our priorities straight.  

Don’t get me wrong here. Your strategy or idea or business plan needs to be realistic in terms of the risk and rewards but at its core, it needs to be more.

Whether you are planning your next entrepreneurial venture, the release of a new product or even your career, ask yourself “Why?” If the answer contains words like: to serve, to improve, to connect or to help, I suggest you are on the right track and you will be successful.

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