Recently I came across the statement about who are you performing for :- the cast or the audience? The context of the statement was in reference to the theatre. However it started me thinking about the application to business.
Most of the readers of this have businesses where a significant (if not all) part of their products and services are based around knowledge, ideas or expertise. (As an aside though even the most product orientated business should be looking how to take their internal know-how and make it a process which will be a much more valuable offering.)
Sometimes in ideas or expertise businesses we can be caught in the trap of performing for the cast or in other words doing things for the approval of our peers rather than focusing on providing value for the audience (i.e those who are paying for the value provided). Creating elegant and attractive offerings etc with an eye on the opinion of the peer group does not mean the ideas will connect with the audience. The focus must be first on the audience and only second (and there must be a huge gap) on the cast.
Approval from our peer group, from fellow travellers in business is important and something that we all want.
But approval from the audience is what pays the bills and gives us real freedom.
Who are you performing for?