Last summer, in late July, I experienced somewhat of a personal crisis. I began to question my professional purpose. It jolted me enough to stop everything and reflect on my career, my blended experience and the outcomes of my work. So I tried to look at it from an outside perspective, set aside my ego (the best I could) and search for common connections that told a story.
In reviewing my 15 year career as an Entrepreneur and (in the last few years) a Business Transformation Leader, I realized something quite intriguing. The companies I started as an Entrepreneur and the companies I contracted with as a Business Transformer continue to lead their markets today. It took months of analysis to figure out how two different roles in two different situations could have the same results. But, over time, I discovered what it was: They changed their markets.
It sounds pretty obvious now, but it took me time and effort to isolate and connect the dots. There was a lot of noise, especially in my own head, hiding the fundamental facts. I had a narrative between my ears that defined myself as an Entrepreneur – in the most traditional sense. I decided to set aside that narrative and open my mind to new possibilities.
So I began studying other well-known leaders of various markets and traced back to their most recent market changing event, proving the concept. In fact, I found no evidence to contradict the assumption and, most importantly, I had first-hand experience as a professional market changer. When the idea settled in, that companies who change their markets lead their markets, I got inspired. I decided to call this concept The Secret. It is: If you want to lead your market, you have to change it.
But discovering The Secret was just the beginning. While the realization was fresh and inspiring, I wanted to understand how the conditions for market change are created. I had accomplished changing a number of markets in multiple segments and across a diverse set of industries over the years. And that’s when the narrative in my head began to evolve into a deeper truth. I wasn’t just an Entrepreneur and/or Business Transformer, I was (and had been all along) a market disrupter.
That’s when I began to look at my life’s work differently. I didn’t want to be arrogant and think I, alone, change markets. But I reviewed the evolution of my approach to Entrepreneurship and Business Transformation and noticed that I subconsciously took a systematic approach. And through some hard working ideation and philosophical discovery, I condensed the process into a simple equation using Algebraic Set Notation. The Equation (I call it) is the unsolved Formula for Market Change. It intersects the three fundamental elements that create the conditions for market change. Those elements are:
- Highest Opportunity in the Market (M)
- Vision (V)
- The Fundamental Organizational Purpose (P)
- The Change (C)
It’s important to note that Vision is placed in the middle of the equation, though it is the last variable to solve. That’s because Vision is the component that ties the Highest Organizational Purpose to the Opportunity in the Market. It sets the primary objective and gets everyone in an organization rowing in the same direction – towards market leadership.
Most companies exist, simply, to meet demand. Only some are creating it. Those that are creating demand are changing and leading the market. In my experience, not everyone wants to lead their market. Not everyone is willing to do what it takes to change their market and achieve the leading position. But if you want to live as a leader, really live, then I know you want to make the biggest impact and take your market in a new and better direction.