How do team members and customers come together?

In my last article, I talked about the whole idea of stories (meta-stories) that create strategy stories. I would like to reiterate the figure of the five steps to create a good strategy that I introduced in my last article.

In the previous article, I explained the steps up to (1) Connection to subjective truth (what we want to be). In this article, we will focus on steps (2) through (4).

2)Emergence and development of ecosystems
Ecosystems (≒ connections among people) that resonate with high levels of pure consciousness and energy will emerge and develop.

3) Emergence and strengthening of team members.
Emergence of a team and teammates who embody high purity of consciousness and energy.

4) Emergence and increase of customers
Emergence (increase) of customers who empathize with the pure consciousness and energy and appreciate the value.

The theme here is “gathering team members and customers. To give you an idea of the general outline, the subjective truths expressed in step (1) become the centripetal force that gathers sympathetic team members and customers to create the strategy.

What is an ecosystem?

Step (2) is the emergence and development of ecosystems. In short, people will be attracted to the subjective truth and will gather together, but there is a reason why I used the word “ecosystem” here.

The term “ecosystem” refers to the entirety of the way in which organisms live as a group and interact with other organisms and the environment.

Ecosystem refers to the entire way in which living things live as a collective and interact with other living things and the environment. In turn, it refers to the entirety of the way in which a company or organization operates as a collective and interacts with other companies, organizations, and the environment.

One of the easiest concepts to understand as a contrast is community. A community is a collection of people with a common purpose, but an ecosystem does not have a common purpose.

In the business world, a company is like a community, but the entire industry, including customers, competitors, and supply chain, is like an ecosystem.

When I was a student, the connections I made with my club and circle mates were more like a community, but now that we have graduated and are going our separate ways, I guess we could say it’ s more like an ecosystem.

Or, the people who are connected to the person you are connected to in the community, might be seen as an ecosystem to you.

In this way, community and ecosystem are not a 0–100 discussion, but rather a step-by-step way of understanding which element is stronger.

In the story of creating a good strategy, both the community component and the ecosystem component are very important. Assuming that we interact a lot with people with community connections on a daily basis, it is reasonable to say that we need to pay attention to ecosystem connections as well as community connections in order to create a good strategy.

By paying attention to ecosystemic connections, we can meet our peers and customers through empathy-based people networks from a wider range than community connections.

This is not to deny that we can meet peers and customers through community-like connections. It’s just that it’s often too narrow, and it would be a pity if we didn’t include ecosystem-like connections in our efforts to attract peers and customers on an empathy basis.

Since we are going to transmit what we want to do while being connected to our own subjective truth, don’t you think it would be better to convey our thoughts to as wide a range of people as possible and find peers and customers who share our feelings?

The friends we had when we started our company and the customers we received our first orders from were also ecosystem-like connections. Our company was started by three people including myself (Koichi Takahashi, Yusuke Ikeda, and myself), and Koichi Takahashi and I were friends from a tennis club in university. When we were in university, we were connected as a community, but after graduation, we went to work for different companies, so we did not have a common goal, but rather an ecosystem-like connection.

Also, Yusuke Ikeda was an acquaintance of Koichi Takahashi, but not a direct acquaintance of mine. We met through an introduction by Koichi Takahashi, and we hit it off as we talked about business, and we decided to prepare for starting a business together, and he became a founding member. It can be said that the connection between Yusuke Ikeda and I was also an ecosystem-like connection.

The first time we received an order was from Mr. S., a mid-career colleague of mine from my previous job at BCG. When I was at BCG, the connection was community-based, but Mr. S. had already graduated from BCG and started his own business at that time, so it was more of an ecosystem-based connection.

Also, the first order for our proprietary training program called “100 fungos” came from Mr. T, an acquaintance of Yusuke Ikeda. This can also be said to be an ecosystem-like connection.

Ikeda-san, a founding member and director of the company, has written a note about how we increased the number of empathetic peers and customers through ecosystem-like connections at the time of our founding, so please read it.

In this way, we will meet empathetic peers and customers in an ecosystem-like connection. What kind of ecosystem are you in? It may be useful to become aware of your own ecosystem.

It is in the connections that you don’t usually pay much attention to that there may be people who can bring you some hints in the future, or who can become your peers or customers in the future who empathize with your subjective truth.

The importance of telling your personal story

I’m sure you understand the importance of focusing on ecosystemic connections in order to attract peers and customers, but of course, I’m not talking about “you don’t have to do anything, the number of people you meet will naturally increase.”

At the root of the empathy-based connections that turn into peers and customers is a strong resonance with subjective truths that you emit. In order to attract people who resonate with you, you need to tell your story to the outside world. The story here does not only mean the story of your business development, but also includes the story of your personal life. You need to talk about what you have done so far and what you want to do in the future, in your own words, as your own thoughts.

For example, there is a famous episode of Masayoshi Son of Softbank, who stood on top of a tangerine box and gave a speech at the morning meeting when he founded the company. In front of two part-timers, he made a speech saying, “our company will contribute to humanity by promoting the sharing of wisdom and knowledge through the digital information revolution, and we will become a company that does business in the unit of trillions, such as one trillion yen or two trillion yen. (Click here for the video, starting at around 42 minutes)

The two part-timers quit after a week because they felt they couldn’t keep up with the company, but I believe that through the repetition of these stories, people who really resonated with the concept gathered and the SoftBank Group has become what it is today.

I myself am speaking my own subjective truth through the publication of articles such as this one. I send out messages under my own name, not as a company, and I include my personal thoughts and feelings in the messages. By doing so, I hope to meet people who truly resonate with me.

Telling our own stories allows us to communicate subjective truths. The more personal and authentic the story, the more likely we are to attract people who will resonate with us. From there, peers and customers will be born, and businesses will be created.

Here are the quests of the day. (If you’d like, please share your thoughts in the comments.)

・What kind of ecosystem are you in? What are some of the ecosystems that you are not usually aware of, but may be connected to in the future?

・What are some of the episodes when you were touched by another person’s subjective truth and felt the desire to be of service, to be involved, to help? Why did you resonate with that person?

Bunshiro Ochiai

Founder and CEO of a training company, Alue | MS in Particle Physics. | BCG | Questing “What is the paradigm for integrating contradictions in management?”