On Business Intelligence, Purpose & Strategy

I enjoy listening to TED Talks. Last month, I happened on Simon Sinek’s TED Talk entitled “People Don’t Buy What You Do, They Buy Why You Do It” and found it inspiring. As the CEO of Mariner, my greatest fear is to find that my company’s products and services commoditized and indifferentiable. In Mr. Sinek’s TED talk, we learn that no matter how competitive a market, a company’s motivation and purpose has a significant influence on how the market perceives it and its products and services. This is powerful stuff; powerful because of the impact it can have on the two most important stakeholders in any business: its customers and its employees.

Customers want to receive more than what has been promised them. Receiving what has been promised is not the measure of exemplary performance; it’s the minimum acceptable outcome. Customers want to believe they’re supporting a company with a purpose that rises above simply making money. They want to believe that the benefits gained from their relationship will serve a greater purpose that will somehow make the world a little better.

Similarly, employees seek benefits beyond financial. Don’t get me wrong, money can be a motivator, but depending upon the survey you consult, it ranks well below other “softer” motivators. Among them is the desire to support a sense of purpose greater than profit. If employees feel they’re contributing to a greater good, they will be happier, more productive and more engaged.

I have been pondering this since watching the “People Don’t Buy What You Do, They Buy Why You Do It” TED Talk. What is Mariner’s “why”? What is our center? Whatever it is, it must be true, it must be authentically Mariner. It has to be a fundamental component of the culture of the organization’s leadership, namely, Joe and me.

Stay tuned.


Phil Morris
There's nothing Phil enjoys more than helping customers create game-changing solutions to their business problems. He's especially enthusiastic about developing digital business programs that converge business strategy with digital technology to improve customer experience, optimize business operations and develop new business models. Phil is happiest when he's meeting with customers, listening to their stories and digging in and helping. Phil oversees the strategy, business development and finance departments at Mariner, staying focused on new trends in business and technology. Away from the office, he enjoys spending time with his wife, kids and grand kids, crafting award-winning beer and playing guitar in a blues band.
Phil Morris

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