Friday, April 21, 2006

 

Altruism

Altruism is unselfish concern for the needs or interests of others, providing gratification vicariously or from their responses. -- gotten from here . There are more definitions for altruism here.

When you're in the business of helping people, you should take pride in your ability to help. You should also take their interest and make it your own -- so that their success becomes your success. The fact that you're getting paid to do that is a big bonus. And when you focus on delivering your service to enable your customer rather than focusing on getting paid, then your work becomes more about delivery than revenue.

The problem with being fixated on revenue (too much) is that you lose sight of the precursor which is delivery. When you deliver and are reliable, you (should) get paid. However, the satisfaction you gain from delivery should be the driving force for revenue. The point in travelling is not the destination, but the journey.

When your business requires that you deliver a product on time and within specifications, you should focus on that instead of (just) the revenue you generate. This sounds like a foolish ploy to go broke fast, but look at it this way: when your work is your advertisement, it's better than hype of hot air. No matter how much advertisement and marketing you do, it's no substitute to good service and reliable delivery.

How about value add? When you have great service and reliability, value add is now hinged on the relationship with the customer. If you can build lasting relationships with your customers by making them feel important and by keeping their interest in mind, then that should be the value add of your business. I'm not talking about just being friends with your customers, it's something else -- it's being a good friend to them that matters more.

Altruism is not something you can practice, because it's usually built into a person -- however if you're in charge of making decisions for a business, then you have the power to give your enterprise a personality. An altruistic personality fits well for businesses that make stuff that their customers use to build better products.

Is your IT company altruistic enough?

It's not what makes me happy... It's what makes you happy.

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