16 March 2011

Building Great Business with I-Ching Hexagram 48 井The Well

The secrets of building a great business can be found in I-Ching (For an introductory understanding of I-Ching, see I-Ching in One Minute for Abundant Life)., the Ancient Chinese Classic Wisdom, Hexagram 48 井 The Well – Care & Sharing of Valuable (subscription needed to view the details). But the summary is reproduced below:

Summary & Teaching of  48 井The Well :
  • Business is about delivering value. 
  • We must protect and care for our source of supply and our value-producing system.
  • We need to invest first to gains later. 
  • We need to plan and execute well to completion. 
  • Be considerate for the use and benefits of others. 
  • Co-operation brings greater success for all.
We can use the above as a reference checklist to reflect on our present business. Such as:
  • What is the unique value that we are delivering to our customers? Who are they? How do we reach them? What do they think is our value to them? 
  • Are we caring for our production system? Are we keeping them in tip-top operating conditions? 
  • Are we upgrading them? Did we invest in the upgrade? 
  • Are we planning and executing our plans or are we just letting runs on its own? 
  • Have we extended our view of the business to take care of our suppliers, partners, community, and the environment? 
  • Are we getting co-operations from our stakeholders including our owners, staff, customers, suppliers, and community? What do they think of us?

Each Hexagram has a 6-stage line of additional wisdom to guide us.  The six-stage lines of the Hexagram use different states of the well to impress us with great wisdom. Below are the details and my additional comments.

Wisdom from the Stage Lines:
  1. Dried Well.
    Must provide real value - thirst-quenching water. Deliver your promises. Don't put up good marketing messages, beautiful packaging only to disappoint the customers. A well is supposed to have water to quench the thirst of your customers. Are you creating the wow experience that customers want to return and ask for more?
  2. Broken Well (equipment).
    Build on your strength and Fix the defects. Neglecting care and maintenance of our production system will result in broken equipment and lost revenues.
  3. Unused Well.
    Be wise – hire and use talents well. Don't let our resources go to waste. Don't put class A people on class C jobs or Class C people on class A jobs. Have you neglected the promotion of your offering? How do people know about the value that you have?
  4. Strengthened Well.
    The system producing the value must be maintained and enhanced. Invest in improving our production system. Innovate in our offerings and the processes.
  5. Cleansed Well.
    Reorganized the system with the right placement of resources and run with principles produce valuable offerings customer seek.
  6. Uncovered Well.
    Be trustworthy, transparent, and generous. Great wealth is generated and shared. The more you give and share, the greater is your returns.
For more Ancient Chinese Wisdom, click here.

Lim Liat copyrighted in March 2011.

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