There Are Only Business Problems… - Bruce Turkel
Business Problems

If you went to business school I’ll bet you remember taking courses in various subjects — finance, marketing, accounting, HR. I assume that those subjects were broken down like that for a number of reasons:

1. It made it easier for instructors to organize their curriculum and plan their courses.

2. It made it easier for the deans to hire professors with the proper skills to pass on to their students.

3. It made it easier for administrators to make sure that a business graduate had been exposed to all the various principles of business before they matriculated.

Funny enough, none of these reasons consider what these business students will face once they’re in the real world where the problems they will encounter are not neatly segmented into carefully organized specific silos.

According to Roger Martin the former dean of the Robins School of Business at the University of Richmond, “business problems sloppily span across a bunch of domains (which) business education has abdicated and doesn’t even try to teach how to think across domains. Consistent with a lot of the huge problems in the world, thinking that you can decompose things into little pieces and somehow add them up together and they’ll add up to the whole that you wish, doesn’t happen.”

Remember when congress questioned Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg about how his business ran? Because the congress people were using old-think and comparing Facebook to traditional business, they were asking single-silo questions whose answers got them no closer to understanding Zuckerberg’s business nor what they should do about it. Congress was asking about privacy and about revenue streams when they needed to be asking holistic questions about how the social media service operated and what consequences it was creating. But because those questions required an inter-disciplinary approach, congress’ single-minded inquest uncovered nothing useful and just embarrassed those of us who watched.

Interestingly enough, Congress is populated with people from many different careers, including at least one accountant, astronaut, car dealer, dentist, engineer, farmer, filmmaker, fisherman, funeral homeowner, journalist, microbiologist, minister, nurse, optometrist, psychiatrist, psychologist, physician, physicist, pilot, professional football player, radio talk show host, rodeo announcer, social worker, software engineer, stockbroker, veterinarian, vintner, and welder, as well as attorneys and celebrities. 

This suggests that if the group had been willing to work together they could have asked taken advantage of all their different experiences and asked the varied questions that could have gotten them closer to the kinds of answers that would have made a difference.

Just like Congress, we too get high on our own supply. That is, we ask questions, hear answers, and then make subsequent decisions based on our own single-minded experiences – not bothering to see how other people – with other educations, knowledge, and experiences might look at what we’re going through and interpret it differently.

That’s when having a personal board of directors – a group who have your best interests in mind and are concerned with helping you help yourself – can become so valuable. Because it’s often another opinion, developed from other experiences, that can help you see the exact right answer for whatever it is that’s concerning you.

And that’s what you get in a Strategic Roundtable; people who have your best interests at heart and are willing to share four things with you while you share the same with them:

1. Talents.

2. Experiences.

3. Skillsets. And,

4. Contacts.

If you’re interested in finding out more about how to benefit from this, click HERE. Because a multi-disciplinary approach is exactly what’s needed to help you find certainty in today’s uncertain times.

Because as Peter Drucker succinctly pointed out: “There are no marketing problems, there are no finance problems, there are no accounting problems, there are only business problems.”

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