The Power of ‘Organic’

One of the most important business concepts is captured by the word “organic”. I actually use this word quite a bit in conversations and in talks and it’s not really because I’m into organic food.

No, when I use the word “organic” I’m talking about what happens when you get any slice of real nature in all its richness, in any sphere of life.”Vitamin C” is a substance called ascorbic acid, something you can make in the lab. You want pure vitamins? No problem, somebody can always sell you some, it’s 100% pure from textbook chemistry.

But everybody knows you can’t live on laboratory vitamins. Plus we all know deep down that vitamins + junk food = self deception. But… if you eat a spinach salad, you get something entirely different. Whether you know what’s in it or not, you know it’s good for you. Why? Because it’s real. You don’t have to go to a health food store to get that; you don’t even need to know what vitamins are. All you have to do is eat real food.

The business version of this might be… Let’s say you’re thinking about investing in a company, or even getting a job there – which would provide you with more information about how healthy they are?

A) Reading all the press releases in their website
B) Sitting in their lunch room for 30 minutes, just listening to the conversations around you

Fact is (B) is probably the better way to go. You’d quickly develop a sense of the morale, the spirit of the company that a piece of ‘official’ communication deliberately attempts to hide.

Malcolm Gladwell refers to this in his book “Blink”, where he discusses our remarkable human ability to make snap judgments based on quickly sizing up this sort of organic information. He calls the process of forming accurate first impressions “thin slicing.” “Blink” is a great read and makes many valuable points. John Fox and I talk about this organic cultural factor in our interview.

I’ve defined marketing as ‘helping people who need each other find each other’ and that is best accomplished by clearly and effectively communicating who you are.Which of course requires that you know who you are in the first place.

If you know that and communicate it effectively, you attract not just the right customers, but the right employees, vendors, partners and investors. The consistency and believability of your message is contagious.

The whole of this article is based on an email received from Perry Marshal

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