Business is just a façade. Really. Just a façade.
Drive down any ‘old’ American ‘main street’ – you see rows of properties that look quite beautiful from a ‘full frontal’ view. But down the sides, even when houses are on a corner, not so much. The buildings are built to be viewed from a single angle. The front. Arguably, it is all for show and definitely saves cost.
I am thinking parallels. I am thinking that this is just as true of business. I am thinking that the generally accepted approach to business is (best case) a façade – and more often than not – darn right rude.
Apple released this video a couple of years ago.
It’s quite clever, though most will tell you that the camera technique used was not original. When is it with Apple? They are never about being ‘the first’ – they are about being ‘the best’.
Anyway, to my point. The Apple video has been popping up in my mind a lot recently. So much so that a book is coming together and I wanted to share just one of the nine threads with you in the hope that you might have some commentary.
If you live in the U.S. or even just visited and walked down a town’s ‘Main Street’ – there is something about all of them that are different – yet similar. It is down to the buildings ‘elevations’. They always seem to look quite imposing, almost punching above their weight. Why on earth does a shoe shop need to be that ornate? Why does the Grocer have ‘greek columns’ rising up either side of its doors … you know what I mean.
You see – they are more than elevations – they are ‘facades’
The definition of ‘facade’.
[ the front of a building, especially an imposing or decorative one.]
The facades of US ‘Main Street’ are designed to look just perfect as you look at the building head on – but down the side … not so much.
‘Wait a minute’ I can hear you muttering – on Main Street all the buildings are joined up – how do you know what ‘the side’ looks like? Well, I don’t … so, I also like to sometimes take walks off main street and look at houses that are built on corners …. like this one.
Even foliage is planted to disguise the foundations of the building from the front. The sides? Well, nobody is going to walk along there are they? It is clear that the emphasis of design is on the front-facing view – not the side. Even if the side is exposed to full view.
In short ‘classic’ American Main Street architecture is designed to look perfect from the singular angle of ‘head on’. BUT a couple of degrees either way …. well, who’s going to look there?
JOHN PHIPLIN‘s career spans 30 years, 2 continents, and organizations as diverse as Oracle, Citibank and GE. A Mathematics graduate, John moved to California in 1990. He helps technology companies create, develop and deliver their story for fund raising, market development and influencer programs. He also works with businesses to ensure they understand, and are ready, for the ever accelerating changes that technology is bringing to their industry. John is a co-founder of Expert Alumni and gleXnet and long before futurists and industry watchers were writing about the impending challenges that industries were going to be facing, they predicted a perfect storm of issues like skills gap, declining work forces, the gig economy, people trained to do work no longer needed, demographic shifts, economic and social change, market upheaval and rapidly changing ways of doing work. From the beginning they have promoted the idea that massive change was coming to how organizations should think about their workforce, with a singular focus on simplifying the interface between people and their work. Understanding the challenges ahead of the curve, the solution was built to arrive at a better understanding of the greatest restraint to business operations – competence, not capital. gleXnet provides unparalleled insights into an organizations people and operations by flipping the problem from the perspective of people, not the business. Contact – LinkedIn – Twitter
Photo Credit – MoneyforCoffee