Ok, so this is not exactly a post about ERP or business software, and we do focus on those items. This is a post about an Inc. magazine article on business platitudes that ought to retire. This article is no hat-tip to buzz word bingo. It’s actually an article that hits home a bit in the technology industry.
One of the platitudes in the article is “Work smarter, not harder.” It’s an old saw that this is what technology helps businesses do: “We can install this techno-widget and cut your effort by 50 person-days.” Well, maybe. All of the other platitudes are things that I’ve heard recently, and I’ve actually said some of them. What comes out of the article for me is that we need to quit batting around platitudes and start doing some real work on one of the central issues in business today: the world is changing and many who have business expertise are ignoring the developments in business that are changing the world. We are extremely vulnerable to the new and different.
Many businesses, for example, are clinging to old ways of marketing and selling their product. Moving from the “join the Rotary Club” world to the “have an online social presence” world is difficult for many business people. But maybe it’s not an either/or maybe it’s a both/and. My friend Dave Barger over at LunaWeb is trying to get the word out, but it’s a difficult slog. The problem–from my business perspective–is that too many businesspeople are working in their businesses, not on it (kudos to E-Myth guru Michael Gerber).
These days it isn’t or shouldn’t be just about the web or just about ERP or just about eMarketing. It should be about building a foundation of technology that supports business. Ignore this, and you imperil the whole structure. Focus on just one element, and the foundation doesn’t have integrity. Like all foundations without integrity, the problem won’t show up instantly; it will be a few years. Then it may be too late.
So go on and “work smarter, not harder” and “don’t reinvent the wheel,” but while you’re working on it, reinvent your business. If I can help, I will. Contact me at DGG.
Oh, and while I’m at it, the answer is 42.