Hymnsheet, spreadsheet harmony


Ever been to church?

I used to go (forcibly) to Sunday School as a kid.

I had very little commercial nous back then, but I did notice something about the system.

We got our spiritual guidance for an hour, and then the collection plate came around.

I remember thinking it seemed a bit grubby to take money from us kids in a church.

But actually, it’s pretty much the best business model ever (the catholic church is wealthier than the five biggest corporations in the US put together).

The existential base is ethical, and the functional mechanics are financial.

And they proudly display the former, whilst discreetly hiding the latter.

The hymnsheet precedes the spreadsheet.

Now how does that model compare with modern business models?

Well it’s inverse isn’t it?

The spreadsheet precedes the hymnsheet.

In fact in so many cases the spreadsheet eclipses the hymnsheet.

Many businesses seem to discreetly hide any values and beliefs they have with the sense of mild embarrassment with which the church keeps its finances out of sight of its customers.

Well, in an economy that glorifies and rewards the financial success of a company, CEO’s and CFO’s are naturally going to balance things that way.

But the economy is changing. More and more, consumers are scrutinizing your ‘why’ rather than your ‘how much’ when defining the value of their interaction with you.

So I’m advocating getting the balance right.

Balance, not imbalance.

Because having an impressive ‘why’ (mission, vision, values, purpose, beliefs, principles, or however you want to define it) to communicate, is as important to your customers, and your people, as having an impressive financial model.

As I’ve said before, the economy is changing.

Go back to your hymnsheet, dust it off, and start singing from it again.

It makes much more beautiful music than your spreadsheet.

Get in touch if you’d like help making all things bright and beautiful.