Business strategy 101- The Hidden Power in every Business

truthSomewhere Behind a Locked Door…

The Hidden Power in Every Business

At Ironleaf we believe there is one simple yet important power that lies behind every business. It may be long-forgotten, buried deep in unpaid invoices or locked behind a door that everyone is too busy – or even too scared – to open.  This power is what started the business; what paid for the premises; what keeps the company cars running and the lights going on at the start of every day.

 It is this:


 <noun>  The state of being the case; a fundamental or spiritual reality; a judgement, proposition, or idea in accord with fact or reality

 Every business is based on truth. Was it:

 – a need to express an idea or make a contribution in a market where you knew you could make a difference?

– a need to be different; to do things your own way and not be constrained by rules or outdated attitudes?

– a passion: the thrill of being absorbed in something and sharing it commercially with the world?

– a family business, handed down and evolved by those who care for it and who have reaped its rewards?

 Every business started life as an idea rooted in truth; the courage of a founder, the restless individualism of an entrepreneur, the passion of an innovator. It may be all too easy to forget this in challenging times; but somewhere behind the locked door lies the truth that built the business and keeps it going today.

Three Statements about Truth

1. Truth can be a Them not an It

 There can be a number of fundamental truths that built the foundations of a business; any combination of the things listed above. Likewise, there may be things that have been adopted along the way that have hindered not helped the growth of the business.

2. Truth should be known and understood

 The key people should make time to interrogate the truths inherent in a business. There will be pride, maybe uncertainty, maybe a restless momentum to improve; maybe nostalgia too for those things that made it special and are currently locked behind the door.

3. Truth can be uncomfortable

Ironleaf have worked with clients who wanted to be global players; but none of the directors enjoyed travelling. Artists who have fallen out of love with their art. A management team who pay lip service to unity and direction but who lack trust in each other. These all need facing if peak performance is to be achieved; it’s always darkest before the dawn.

Truth in the Commercial World

Two examples of businesses founded on Truth: 

Innocent Drinks: a business founded on the simple truth that customers wanted all-natural healthy ingredients. The interviews with the founders who describe how the word ‘natural’ underpins everything they do – how they talk to each other, how they package and advertise,  how they develop new products – is essential viewing for all business people.

Steve Jobs: the late maverick genius is much-quoted, and his Stanford address in 2005 contains enough material for a library of books. But a significant truth is that after a loss of professional direction he returned to his passion: a love of calligraphy and typography. The result of course was the Apple Macintosh, with its radically different and liberating user interface.

Ironleaf are proud of our association with Trans Capital and work with a diverse range of businesses to help them understand their inherent truth; how that drives brand identity; and how that informs communication and culture. Thus begins the path towards Peak Performance (we’re on the journey too – you never arrive, but the view is incredible.)

That’s The Ironleaf Truth. Why not start thinking about yours?

This guest blog was kindly written by Keith Bayley of Iron Truth (UK) Limited

This post was first published on the Iron Truth blog on 28 Febraury 2014.

Image by: al shep