How to measure our life?

A colleague recommended me to look at the work of Clayton Christensen. This is an article to encourage you to do the same.

We are living in a nested system. In the world, there are nations, and in nations, there are corporations. In corporations, there are business unit, in which there are teams. And in teams, there are individuals, and individual there are brains…

The way we are looking at the world because our brains need to simplify things to understand those, is mainly by using causal effect. Something happens, because of some characteristics.

And Often, there’s in fact a correlation between the characteristic and the effect we are looking at, people who are buying a newspaper for example, but that’s not the cause.

The cause is that there’s a job to be done, and people will hire a newspaper to do that job.

The job to be done is the cause that will drive the behavior of people, teams, business unit, corporations, and nations.

If you understand the job to be done, and you are selling to big people at high margin, you will sooner or later face the disruption, of people that could deliver the job to be done, to small people at low margin… (and that will then come to the big people that will not pay you anymore). The disruptors are not competing against you at the beginning, they are competing against non consumption by making an affordable product.

The problem we will face is how we will measure success. If our way to measure success leads to short term profitability decision, that will kill long term success.

For corporations, that could be when you are measuring return on net assets for example, and that you are taking the easy way of outsourcing to reduce the assets, instead of finding ways to increase the return.

For individuals, that could be to mobilize all energy on work, because we could measure success with the money we earn, or the position on a corporate ladder, and as a consequence losing family and friends.

The way we will choose to measure our life, will have a consequence on the long term.

What is the impact of our actions on people?



Header photo by Olu Eletu.