Is Copernicus or Aristotle Running Your Business?


There are several businesses I work with… and I think the ones I enjoy the most are the ones who recognize that they are not as important as their customers are. Some of the others don't even acknowledge that there is a customer.

Copernicus has been identified as the father of modern day astronomy since he argued heliocentrism over a geocentrism. In other words, the sun was the center of our system of planets, not the Earth. It was blasphemous and he was up against an entire culture of scholars that were intertwined with religion at the time. But he was correct.

If you want to solve the mysteries of your business' universe, you may wish to ask yourself some questions first about how your business is being run. Not recognizing your customer as the center of your business and more important than anyone in it leads to employee turnover, customer turnover, and can eventually lead to your business' demise.

Results How are we doing? How are our customers doing?
Usage They're using it wrong. How can we accomodate that?
Cost We need to charge more. What's the value of our products or services to our clients?
Retention Why did you leave us? Are we doing everything necessary to keep you?
Partners What have they done for us? What can we do to ensure their success?
Employees They weren't a good fit. Our employees make us successful.
Budget Get approval. You'll be held accountable.
Marketing More leads. Identify prospects that we can definitely help.
Lead Qualification Did their credit card process? Will we make them successful?
Employee Flexibility What does the handbook say? How can we motivate and improve productivity?
Strategy Not working… another Re-org! Our leaders present their 5 year plan.
Features They copied us! What are we working on next?
Public Relations Get attention. Get affection.
Social Engagement Have IT block everything! Encourage employees to engage!

What kind of company are you? In these days of social media, it's pretty simple to tell. If your idea of social media is bellowing your message out to your customers, you're probably run by Aristotle. If your message is declaring the success of your customers, you're run by Copernicus. It took the world 1,800+ years to figure it out… hopefully it doesn't take your business as long.


  1. 1

    Clever comparison, Doug. Furthering the comparisons, Henry Ford began as a Copernicus and became an Aristotle for a while, and was eventually forced back to the reality of the Copernican business universe. Unlike the 14th century, those who follow the non customer-centric approach to business don’t get tarred & feathered for their beliefs. They go bankrupt or get sued.

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