Business and Finance

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The most surprising feature of business as it was conducted was the large attention given to finance and the small attention to service. That seemed to me to be reversing the natural process which is that the money should come as the result of work and not before the work.

My idea was then and still is that if a man did his work well, the price he would get for that work, the profits and all financial matters, would care for themselves and that a business ought to start small and build itself up and out of its earnings. If there are no earnings then is a signal to the owner that he is wasting his time and does not belong in that business.

Money is not worth a particular amount. As money it is not worth anything, for it will do nothing of itself. The only use of money is to buy tools to work with or the product of tools. Therefore money is worth what it will help you to produce or buy and no more. If a man thinks that his money will urn 5 per cent, or 6 per cent, he ought to place it where h can get that return, but money placed in a business is not a charge on the business – or, rather, should not be. It ceased to be money and become, an engine of production, and it is therefore worth what it produces – and not a fixed sum according to some scale that has no bearing upon the particular business in which the money has been placed. Any return should come after it has produced, not before.

I determined absolutely that never would I join a company in which finance came before the work or in which bankers or financiers had a part. And further that, if there were no way to get started in the kind of business that I thought could be managed in the interest of the public, then I simply would not get started at all. For my own short experience, together with what I saw going on around me, was quite enough proof that business as a mere money-making game was not worth giving much thought to and was distinctly no place for a man who wanted to accomplish anything. Also it did not seem to me to be the way to make money. I have yet to have it demonstrated that it is the way. For the only foundation of real business is service.

Henry Ford

A Company is A Culture

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We do better in cultures in which we are good fits. We do better in places that reflect our own values and beliefs. Just as the goal is not to do business with anyone who simply want what you have, but to do business with people who believe what you believe, so too is it beneficial to live and work in a place where you will naturally thrive because your values and beliefs align with the values and beliefs of that culture. 

Now consider what a company is. A company is a culture. A group of people brought together around a common set of values and beliefs.

The goal is not to hire people who simply have a skill set you need, the goal is to hire people who believe what you believe.

The goal is to hire those who are passionate for your WHY, your purpose, cause and belief, and who have the attitude that fits in your culture. Once that is established, only then should their skills set and experience be evaluated.

Great people don’t hire skilled people and motivate them, they hire already motivated people and inspire them.

Simon Sinek 

The Way of Strategy

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Sketch of military strategy made by Murakami G...

Sketch of military strategy made by Murakami Gensui (1781-1843) during his stay in Kurume (Northern Kyushu, Japan) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The carpenter uses a master plan of the building, and the Way of Strategy is similar in that there is a plan of campaign. If you want to learn the craft of war, ponder over this book. The teacher is as needle, the disciple is as thread. You must practice constantly.

If the foreman knows and deploys his men well the finished work will be good. The foreman should take into account the abilities and limitations of his men, circulating among them and asking nothing unreasonable. He should know their morale and spirit, and encourage them when necessary. This is the same as the principle of strategy.

Musashi Miyamoto