There are lessons we can all learn from public policy and campaigns that are easily transferable to our business models. I suggest there are two areas worthy of taking a look inward to see if the same is happening in our businesses. First, there are disrupters and second, how to know the difference between process and substance.

Disrupters in Politics and Business

Despite your best planning, there is likely the equivalent of Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump competing against you now or planning to take a significant part of your market share. If your business has value, has a good idea or created demand, there are others who are ready, willing and able to work a little harder and perhaps for a lot less for your clients or customers. The art of creative destruction or continuing to improve your business model is key to every business and its long-term success. These disrupters in our society are essential for our economy to thrive. When they’re competing for our customers, it can be unpleasant. Therefore, let us resolve to be the disrupter ourselves pushing the creative genius in all of us to have a better company (and society).

Process vs. Substance

Most businesses excel in either process or substance—the key is determining how to do really well at both. Process is all the procedures, rules, guidelines, follow-up, communication channels, applicable laws, regulations, ordinances, timelines and so on that effect how you internally operate and externally sell and service your product or service. Substance is the work product or results of your efforts—it’s what you actually sell. Many times a business can be successful with average substance if their process is superb. More often brilliant substance fails simply because the process is not performed competently. Many successful businesses (and other) partnerships excel because each partner has a different role and enjoy either process or substance.

On Friday March 15 the supporters of Donald Trump gathered at the Colorado state capitol to protest the Republican caucus in Colorado for not having an official vote from all registered Republicans or a Primary (or at least a binding caucus vote). Simultaneously GOP leaders are gathering to defend the results of Colorado’s caucus where delegates were chosen to elect delegates who will go the Convention. It is easy to not concern ourselves with how or why a campaign is succeeding or failing and just to look at the result. Knowing the difference between process and substance and which to emphasize at a particular time is more likely to be the difference between success and failure in and of itself.

There are many business lessons to be extrapolated from the current presidential race and campaign trail. If you want to discuss further with me, you can reach me at 303-300-2640. I look forward to discussing your business challenges with you.

About John Brackney

"With 26 years of Public Policy and Community Problem Solving experience I believe that Colorado is the leader in economic health, responsible and effective government, entrepreneurial activity and effective decision making that maintains and enhances our vibrant quality of life. Our best days are ahead of us because we are going to make them." View all posts by John Brackney →