Well, I don’t like it! That’s not how people will like it! This phrase is still heard too often during business discussions. Leaders who utter these cliché sentences do not even realise how much damage this generalisation can do to their businesses, organisations, and ultimately to themselves.
Everyone is like me.
Obviously, everybody would laugh if they actually heard a sentence like this. Nor does such a situation come up in everyday life. But as business decision-makers, it’s tough to “get out of our own little bubble” and see the world through different eyes. This is also because the smaller an organisation, the more likely it is that the organisational culture, products, and communication reflect the personality of the number one decision-maker. This allows the company to reach customers from the market who match the personality of the owner/CEO. Pretty logical, isn’t it? There is nothing wrong with that either, as this is how a company embarks on its journey. The question always then turns to: “What is the personality of a number one decision-maker composed of?” If you are lucky enough to have a significant number of similarly typed consumers, you can launch a large company; if not, you can only build a small one. The question of generalisation does not arise at the beginning, but when a company plateaus or attempts to pivot. After all, if the new business direction is successful, and if you can address another target group, then you can completely separate it from the core business. Well, this is where the challenge arises for companies built on generalisation. After all, they are trying the same methodology that once created success, but it is precisely this attitude that now produces a series of failures. Management is completely confused by the situation. And by this time, the phrase “that’s just how people decide” has been incorporated into the vocabulary of the number one decision-maker, and in most cases, they think that market research is no longer necessary to verify this.
Subjective elements lost
Of course, the generalisation, the projection of one’s own self, affects the subjective business areas the most, since it is the least uncontrollable if the “omniscient” leader has an entirely wrong approach. Brand-building, company name, product name, colour scheme, logo, and communication are all essential elements of business success, yet they are modules that are very difficult to measure. That is why generalisers are the smartest here. I hear a lot of different teasing comments about brand elements that can’t be traced back to anything other than simply “I don’t like it, and it’s already done”. Of course, it is important for a leader, especially an owner, to love their own company’s brand, products, and web page, but they also accept the consequences. During strategic consulting, the first target group analyses are shocking. Reliable strategic consulting firms already have an online presence and, through interviews with the number one decision-maker, can give a perfect picture of that company’s current partner base. Although clients think this is magical, as a consultant, we call the situation more cliché. Many people are really unaware of the force with which they are pushing their own personalities on their business.
The key to constant development
Leaders who can rise above themselves can constantly evolve. Who can think like other people when making business decisions. Who are aware that they see everything and everyone through their own glasses. So, for example, if they need to reach a target audience outside their own personality, they exactly know that they need to use a product, messages, and a brand that they don’t like at all. They also know that if they want to launch their stalled business into a new dimension, all they have to do is bring people into the company and decision-making processes who see the world completely differently. And of course, they are also aware that they will not make friends with these people, they will not like them too much, as those people represent a completely different world. However, this shift may be the key to new success.