Greater ideas for successful companies

Katrin Frische | Frische Biografien

Almost every organisation has a greater idea that goes beyond economic success. An idea of values, of society, and of their impact upon it. Often however, people within the organisation are not actually aware of it. It might be implicit to the founders, but it doesn’t diffuse into other parts of the organisation. I want to change that and make the implicit explicit. Because I believe that it is when every part of a venture strives for the same greater idea, that businesses are most successful.

This conviction developed during my former research activity as a historian at Humboldt University. I was interested in the societal impact that single individuals have by putting into life their ideas, such as the founders of hospitals and universities. What would evolve from their impulses over the course of time? How can the institutions successfully do their work for centuries after the founders have long passed? Historical work suggests many answers, but one is striking: The founders made sure to keep their greater idea alive when passing leadership on to a community!

How is that important for today? All over the world, organisations are changing their structures. The old model of steep hierarchies gives way to networks of autonomous employees with equal rights and duties. Leadership then lies within a community rather than with single leaders. For those organisations to work well, everybody has to internalise the same greater idea. On that common ground, decisions are made easier, misunderstandings are less common and co-working finally becomes pleasant.

My own greater idea is to help ventures living in the spirit of that very greater idea. Therefore I tell the stories that make values and visions of companies and their people come alive. The culture book for organisations collects these stories and ultimately connects individuals with each other and with their common greater idea.”

Our series ‪#‎humansofimpacthub‬ regularly features people from the Impact Hub Munich environment and their personal stories. If you want to get in touch with any of them, visit the Impact Hub or drop us a note.