Sustainable growth demands only two things: innovation, executed with integrity.
Innovation – discovering and designing new solutions to hard problems.
Integrity – acting in a manner consistent with your vision, mission, and voice; from the Latin “integritās”, where words and actions are one.
How do you innovate with integrity? Put your purpose into practice.
My friend and colleague Michael Croton taught me too many years ago a simple method to ensure alignment between word and deed. It’s about lining up your Ps. Declare your Purpose, animate it by Philosophy, provide guiding Principles, and demonstrate how to put it into Practice.
Mind your peas in queues.
At Ampersand we aspire to act with complete integrity in pursuit of our purpose. Our example below uniquely conveys our mission; yours too must be one of a kind.
Innovate with intent.
Life is short. Your life’s work should be your passion. Why do it? What is your mission?
To illustrate our example, at Ampersand, above all else we promote freedom – freedom of thought. Freedom to act. Freedom to learn, to adapt, to fail nobly and to thrive graciously.
Human liberty is an unnatural act.
For all of the history of our species we have been cyclically enslaved by hunger, disease, ignorance and the whim of nature’s might. Worse, despite civilization’s march of progress, all but our most recent ancestors and still the majority of our fellow world citizens toil under the yoke of tyrants. Living in fear and subjugation means living without voice and without choice.
Among the six great waves of human innovation, personal liberty alters the trajectory of human potential. Free markets, free minds and free souls have done more to elevate the human condition than any prior act.
The free world has made huge strides, raising vast populations from indigence and ignorance to live aspirational lives. But liberty remains elusive, hard-earned and forever fragile. It demands our vigilance.
Innovation turns the engine of economic freedom.
Innovation fires growth. And growth economies beget opportunity, and opportunity demands freedom. Keep an eye on Russia’s decline under autocracy, and the grumbling demands of China’s vast emergent middle class. Innovation and freedom march together.
That’s our story. We’re sticking to it. To drive growth for your organization, you and your leaders must consistently align words and actions with values and beliefs.
Ask yourself, your colleagues, all your people:
- What does our company believe? What do we value? How well do our actions reflect our aspirations?
- What markets were we born to serve? What threats loom? What angst do our customers suffer in silence? Who are our next customers? What opportunities bubble just below the surface?
- What innovations will we pursue? What must change to make that possible?
For you personally, step away from your daily demands. Clear your head. Answer three simple (but really hard) questions.
What do I believe? Why does it matter? And the truest test —
What am I prepared to do?
Food for thought. Let me know yours.