Ideology and its Importance

What are you in business for? When we speak to clients and potential clients, we get one answer more than any other – ‘TO MAKE GOOD PROFITS’.

That’s a sensible objective for any business in many ways but does having an objective to make profits motivate your people as much as it motivates the leadership? Profit sharing schemes and bonus schemes help the focus of course but to truly get your people fully behind you they need to understand what it is that will generate that profit for the business.

A good example of how having profits as the main business objective can be detrimental to business performance comes from the comments of a new Ford Motor Company CEO, Don Petersen, who on taking action to stem a $3.3 billion loss in the early 1980’s when they were being hammered by Japanese products of superior quality said this about what he discovered in the Company:

‘There was a great deal of talk about the sequence of the three ‘P’s people, products and profits. It was decided that people come first, products come second and profits third’.

This was the start of Ford’s climb back to profitability

So, what is an Ideology? Here are some examples:

‘Innovation – we will never kill a new product idea.’   

‘Being on the leading edge of aeronautics – being pioneers.’

Johnson & Johnson
‘We exist to alleviate pain and disease.’

Procter & Gamble
‘Product excellence and continual self-improvement’.

‘We exist to provide value to our customers – to make their lives better via lower prices and greater selection – all else is secondary’.

All of these companies have been going for a long, long time and started out as SME’s. Why have they prevailed? Yes, they have been profitable in the long haul but have all had ups and downs and crises too just like Ford Motor Company.

So, what has brought them all through? A focus on ideology and in ensuring that all people who join their company and work in their company fully understand that Ideology and follow it. This allows the business management to grant freedom and the ability to innovate to their teams without bureaucratic control that drives good people away. They can do this knowing that their people will all act within the core ideology of the business because that ideology has been imbibed in them from day one.

Your ideology could be focused on many different things. Your ideology could have customers as central to it like Walmart, it may have your employees at its heart like part of the Procter & Gamble ideology above. It could be focused on products and services like 3M or be based in innovation and risk taking like Boeing. The key is to define your Ideology – what does your business stand for? What would you never forego over the test of time? It should be something that will, despite market changes and crises and everything else that the business world can have thrown at it, prevail when other things, as a matter of business evolution must change. P&G defined their ideology way back in 1837 when they were simply a $20,000 soap and candle manufacturer with another 30 soap and candle manufacturers in Cincinnati alone. What has set them apart and made them a multi-billion company? An ideology that is as relevant today as it was in 1837 goes a long way to explaining that, along with ensuring that all of their people understand why it exists, buy into it and abide by it in all they do.

So, think about it. Define your business ideology and share it with your people. Allow them to blossom, without overbearing controls, innovating and building your business while you can be content in the knowledge that what your team deliver will always fall within the ideology and purpose you set.

If you need some help in defining your ideology, just contact us at, or call on 0116 232 5231

Alternatively you can contact me directly at the points below:

David Turner
Managing Director
07747 023610