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Disruption – The Company, Strategy, and the Culture
Blog / Leadership / May 26, 2020 / Posted by Nikolaus Kimla / 361 

Disruption – The Company, Strategy, and the Culture

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This series on disruption has been using as an example of the person who created the most major “disruption” this planet has ever seen: Jesus of Nazareth. Putting religion aside, let’s continue this examination, for there is much to learn.

Creating a Strategy

When a disruption occurs, it doesn’t just happen—it has been carefully planned. Not that the planning always works, and the disruption takes place. But when it does, there has always been planning, and beyond that, a company structure and strategy laid out. The point of that planning, structure, and strategy is to sell a product. In the case of Jesus, the “product” was the Kingdom of God. In the case of my company, it’s Pipeliner CRM.

When you innovate a product to sell, you create the company, and the executives of the company must create a clear structure and a clear strategy. That strategy needs to include a company culture. Company leaders need to constantly govern with this strategy and within this culture because the strategy and culture have a definite influence on the environment and social structure around that company.

In my last article, I discussed how important it is to select the right people at the beginning—in the words of Jim Collins in his book Good to Great, to have the right people “on the bus” and seated in the right seats on the bus. In the case of Jesus’s selection of people, he did very well, although there was one, Judas Iscariot, who in the end was forced off that bus. That is often the case in every company; there is one betrayer. (I brought this up before in a different series of articles. In that case, I pointed out that there is always a Benedict Arnold.)

Jesus’s Strategy, Structure, and Culture

Going forward from there, what kind of strategy did Jesus create? What kind of culture? For he very definitely did, and in a very short time of 3 years. That culture has carried over thousands of years to the present. It doesn’t exist in its original form, but conceptually it is certainly still with us.

Structurally, out of 72 disciples, Jesus elected 12. And from those 12 there were 3—John, Andrew, and Peter—who were closest to him, who often accompanied him when he didn’t take others. From this, we can see that a company leader cannot relate to everyone in the same manner.

In the case of the strategy, it was very clear; Jesus knew exactly what he wanted to do, and he commented on this to everyone close to him. Sometimes they had a fatalistic view of this strategy, agreeing that they would die with him if need be. Yes, sometimes it can be rough following a strategy.

We can see this right now in our present circumstances— we can see which strategy is right, and which is wrong. Incorrect strategy at this point has cost lives. For example, in some states and countries hospitals have made it so that vital surgical operations have been postponed until further notice. That could cost some people their lives, too, unrelated to the virus.

The current strategy that has been taken by the government—that of having everything shut down—is definitely not being embraced by the culture. Every day, more and more are protesting and even rebelling, so we could say this strategy is not doing well. We can say that many of our executives are not doing the best job.

Setting An Example

Our leaders should also be setting an example, and some are doing a terrible job of that, too. Consider Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who said that on Easter Sunday we must all stay home, not attend Church or be with family. He then promptly got on his private jet and flew to meet his wife and children in Quebec.

Conversely, we can see that Jesus totally lived his strategy. He knew his strategy was to teach and then to give up his life. He was an “executive” who was a walking example of every word he preached, right up until his own death.

He made sure that his primary strategy was passed on. Near the end of his life, he gave a new commandment to his disciples: that they were to love one another, as he had loved them. He said that people would know that they were Jesus’s disciples by this behavior.

Jesus stuck right to this strategy until he was crucified. He didn’t turn aside or run away. Compare this to another leader who came along much later, who an entire culture followed: Adolf Hitler. When the end of his “rule” was near, and the Russians and the Allies were closing in, he put rifles in the hands of 12 and 13-year-old boys and commanded them to fight to the death. He himself, though, snuck off and committed suicide.

Why has Jesus’s  “strategy” carried forward down through the ages the way it has? Because ideas are much more powerful than weapons. Ludwig von Mises, one of the founders of the Austrian School of Economics, pointed out that the Austrian School has “no hymns, no uniforms, no marching orders or weapons.” All they have is the better idea—and it prevails.

Defining a Strategy

In describing his strategy, Jesus very carefully chose the word “love.” Although many romanticize this word, it’s actually a code of conduct. In this context, love isn’t even a feeling—it’s a decision. Fortunately, it was fully defined, later, by the apostle Paul: “Love is long-suffering and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, does not get puffed up, does not behave indecently, does not look for its own interests, does not become provoked. It does not keep account of the injury. It does not rejoice over unrighteousness but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”

To me, this definition immediately speaks to every human being. It is the sort of love every child expects from their parents. If parents act properly, this is the love they give. And when children grow up, if they return this love in kind. they take care of the parents.

So you can see that Jesus lived his words—he sold his “product” and he lived selling the product. In the way he passed on his strategy, he made sure the disciples would pass it on after he was gone. Did it work? Whether you believe in the resurrection or not, the disciples spread Jesus’s word far and wide. It’s still with us today, very much intact.

Jesus was truly unique in totally living his words. No one can really compare to him. Therefore this is a principle we can really learn—that if you create a culture, you must also be the example. We see the opposite in most politicians today.

Growing Up

We all have to learn to grow up as humans, to grow up to be adults. The apostle Paul said, “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”

When we grow up, we should remember to love our parents as they loved us, and then spread out from there. “Love one another”—that’s where the rubber really meets the road. That’s what we really need right now as a society. If we’re not growing up, If we don’t change, we will ruin ourselves.

I do believe there is a new mindset evolving, to replace these patterns that we’re leaving behind us. The old patterns consist of “me, me, me,” thinking just what “I” should do. The new mindset deals with the fact that we’re sharing this tiny little planet, Earth, all together. We see how our actions impact one another—just look at how our interactions have affected the economy. We really need to start thinking about collaboration, and how we can really help each other.

Or, we could just head downward, only looking out for ourselves, which will create chaos with the nearly 8 billion people on our planet. We can head into another war, start fighting and killing each other. But this will not bring us along with any further toward a better life, because we’re all alone here on this planet. As far as we know at the present time, we’re all alone in this universe—there might be others, but they haven’t made themselves known or offered help. If we don’t get it right, we eliminate any chance for ourselves, our grandchildren, and the remainder of our descendants.

It’s up to us to change.

About Author

A 30-year veteran of the computer industry, Nikolaus has founded and run several software companies. He and his company uptime iTechnology are the developers of World-Check, a risk intelligence platform eventually sold to Thomson Reuters for $520 million. He is currently the founder and CEO of Pipeliner Sales, Inc., developer and publisher of Pipeliner CRM, the first CRM application aimed squarely at actually empowering salespeople. Also a prolific writer, Nikolaus has authored over 100 ebooks, articles and white papers addressing the subjects of sales management, leadership and sales itself.

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