A golden-crusted, fruit-filled, homemade pie evokes images of ample harvests and generous sharing. What happens when one more person wants a slice of that pie? The 8” pie plate cannot increase in size. When more people want a slice of the physical pie, each slice becomes smaller and smaller.
Pi, on the other hand, has an infinite number of decimal places. Mathematicians have calculated pi beyond 31 trillion decimal places. Talk about ample harvests and abundant sharing.
People not technology drive success. However, at the heart – the very core—of a business’ culture, there are only two types of organizations. A business culture is based either on a “Pie” or a “Pi” philosophy.
Pie-based leaders focus on their internal capabilities and find it difficult to partner with complementary groups because they are worried their slice of the profit pie will become smaller. Or, worse, the partner company may “steal” their client.
Pi-based leaders look outward for new ideas and innovative thinking. They consider complementary business partners to be an extension of their capabilities. Blending expertise enhances the value they can offer their clients. In these instances, the proverbial 8” pie plate is now able to expand to become 24”, or larger.
From a hands-on working perspective, people who work within Pie-based cultures often compete to gain status and monetary rewards. Extending a helping hand to someone within their team, much less in another department, is not a common occurrence. There always will be a chance that the help they offer could enable the colleague to “outshine” them to a point they become expendable.
Switching hands, Pi-based cultures focus on the strengths each person brings to the organization. Performance metrics are designed to reward collaborative innovation and reinforce professional growth. Employees support each other and reach out across the organization because they recognize the value they contribute to growth and profitability. Assisting a colleague will not lessen the size of their pie slice. Instead, the support effort creates an abundant mindset that can exponentially expand the total size of the organization “Pi”.