Our conversation last week with Fred Kofman of Axialent concluded the Waking Up the Workplace interview series. Or almost did, because on June 30th, we’ll be interviewed by Barrett Brown (whom we interviewed earlier in the series) on how the three of us have been transformed through these fourteen dialogues. We like to think of it as the end of the beginning. There’s more to come, but what exactly we haven’t figured out just yet.

The Ten Ox-Herding Pictures
Back to our call with Fred. We couldn’t have wished for a more powerful end to the interview series. What has stuck with me the most, is the image of the 10th ox-herding picture from the Zen tradition. The ten ox-herding pictures present a map of enlightenment, i.e. of the process of waking up. After everything has disappeared and you’re fully enlightened, there’s this 10th, final picture, called “Entering the Marketplace with Open Hands.”

Now this may sound like a Buddhist thing that’s far removed from business as we know it. Yet Fred thinks otherwise: “Coming back to the marketplace with open hands is the most pure essence of business and capitalism.” There’s a sense of overflowing, of self-less service. When people ‘trade freely for mutual gain’, you can only survive as a business when you do things that enhance the lives of your customers (as well as your employees, and other stakeholders). That’s the true essence of a free market where businesses compete to better serve the customer.

The goal and the purpose of business
The goal of tennis is to win the game. Similarly, the goal of business is to make a profit, although it doesn’t always have to be limited to monetary profit. Talking about for-profit and not-for-profit organizations is like asking someone whether she plays ‘for-winning tennis or not-for-winning tennis’. It doesn’t make sense. When you play tennis, it comes with this goal and with a set of rules. Business is no different. What is different, however, is why you play the game. This is where the meaning and purpose of business come in.

Peter Drucker famously challenged a manufacturer of drills that what he sold wasn’t drills, but holes. Manufacturing and selling drills may be the immediate activities he performed that allowed him to make a profit, but the meaning and purpose of his business was to serve people who need holes. It’s a crude example, but it serves to make an important point: how is the service you provide enhancing people’s lives? Because that’s what it means to enter the marketplace with open hands: to serve those around us.

Success beyond success
The second half of the conversation centered on what Fred calls ‘success beyond success’:

It’s very honorable to address the pain that people bring and help them succeed. However, the ultimate pain is that we know that if everything goes really, really well, we’re going to get old, sick, and die. That’s as good as it gets. Every success is transitory, and at the last battle, everybody loses. So in order to live with peace in a universe that is transient, you need to realize that there is a bigger game. And in this bigger game, you’re perfectly safe. It’s like Krishna saying to Arjuna: “Don’t worry, your ass is mine anyways.” Just act in a way that every action is a sacrifice, offering your best to a noble purpose. That’s karma yoga. That’s conscious business. You play the game like your life depends on it, and at the same time you can relax, because you know when you lose, you play again.

It’s hard to really do justice to the richness of the dialogue, which ranged from the practical to the luminous. Writing this blog at the end of the beginning of the series, I find myself wanting to offer a comprehensive overview of all that I’ve learned in the past three months. At the same time, following the advice Fred offered during the debriefing call, it’s time to take a little ‘siesta’ to digest these fourteen rich and nutritious dialogues.

We’ll get a first chance at offering our thoughts on the series as a whole during the interview on June 30th (at the usual time, i.e. 8 pm CET / 2 pm Eastern). In the meantime, if there are any questions that you’d like us to think about, or things to comment on, please offer your thoughts below! And while you’re at it, why don’t you tell us what you got out of the conversation with Fred Kofman? Looking forward to read your thoughts!

 

115 responses to “Entering the Marketplace with Open Hands”

  1. Finally, an issue that I am passionate about. I have looked for information of this caliber for the last several hours. Your site is greatly appreciated.

  2. For those of you that haven't heard this final talk that Diederick mentions, you can get it in the downloads section. If you're not registered on the series yet just throw your email address in the form at the top and you'll get a welcome email with the link to the downloads.

  3. wallpapers says:

    This is my Excerpt…

    I saw this really good post today….

  4. This…

    I saw this really good post today….

  5. wallpapers says:

    Another Title…

    I saw this really great post today….

  6. The invisible hand of the market always moves faster and better than the heavy hand of government….

    It is appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy. I have read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you some interesting things or suggestions. Perhaps you can write next articles referring to this article. I wan…

  7. Go big or go home. Because it’s true. What do you have to lose?…

    I’ve been browsing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all website owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be much more …

  8. grow roses says:

    Love the blog here. Nice colors. I am definitely staying tuned to this one. Hope to see more

  9. {Hey|Hello} There. I found your blog using msn. This is {a very|an extremely|a really} well written article. {I will|I’ll} {be sure|make sure} to bookmark it and {come back|return} to read more of your useful {information|info}. Thanks for the post. …

    Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect….

  10. Thank you for the {auspicious|good} writeups. It in fact was a amusement account it. Look advanced to {far|more} added agreeable from you! {By the way|However}, how {can|could} we communicate?…

    Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later….

  11. Superb…

    Just seen this really great post. Hoped if i have found this a long time ago. BTW, i really love this website design….

  12. Get your horse tack!…

    Not sure if this is the right place (I’m not really good with computers), but left you a trackback for your readers, if they ever need some information about horse tack….

  13. boka hotell amsterdam…

    […]m What cache product do you use for this website? It loads so much faster tha u3[…]…

  14. An Overview of Clothes Wholesale Dropshippers…

    If you will seem internet based, you might see that there are actually different types of outfits seller that you can see from the sector….

  15. I could read your posts for hours, keep up the excellent work

  16. I could spend hours reading your messages, keep up the good work

  17. It’s difficult to locate knowledgeable individuals on this topic, but you sound like you know what you are talking about! Thanks

  18. Visitor recommendations trackback……

    […]one of our visitors recently recommended the following website[…]………

  19. Websites you should visit…

    […]below you’ll find the link to some sites that we think you should visit[…]……

  20. You should check this out……

    […] Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a few unrelated data, nevertheless really worth taking a look, whoa did one learn about Mid East has got more problerms as well […]………

  21. You should check this out……

    […] Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a few unrelated data, nevertheless really worth taking a look, whoa did one learn about Mid East has got more problerms as well […]………

  22. Online Article……

    […]The info mentioned in the article is some of the best available […]………

  23. Great website…

    […]we like to honor many other internet sites on the web, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages worth checking out[…]………

  24. Websites worth visiting……

    […]here are some links to sites that we link to because we think they are worth visiting[…]………

  25. You should check this out……

    […] Wonderful story, reckoned we could combine a few unrelated data, nevertheless really worth taking a look, whoa did one learn about Mid East has got more problerms as well […]………

  26. Cool sites……

    […]we came across a cool site that you might enjoy. Take a look if you want[…]………

  27. Symptoms Of Low Vitamin D…

    please visit the sites we follow, including this one, as it represents our picks from the web…

  28. treatment for heartburn…

    below you๏ฟฝll find the link to some sites that we think you should visit…

  29. Great Posts…

    […] Every now and then we choose pages that we read. Below are the latest webpages that we choose […]……

  30. Great Posts…

    […]The information mentioned in the article are some of the greatest available on the […]……

  31. qqq…

    Be not afraid of growing slowly, be afraid only of standing still. (Chinese proverb)…

  32. Yoshozd says:

    2011…

    Nice read, I just passed this onto a friend who was doing some research on that. And he actually bought me lunch because I found it for him smile Therefore let me rephrase that: Thanks for lunch!…

  33. forex ebooks says:

    ___…

    A flying saucer was low on fuel, so it landed by a gas station on a lonely country road.On its side were the letters “UFO.” The gas station attendant was stunned, but his curiosity got the best of him. “Does that stand for Unidentified Flying Object…

  34. ,,,…

    A closed mind is like a closed book; just a block of wood….

  35. {I am|I’m} {extremely|really} impressed with your writing skills {and also|as well as} with the layout on your {blog|weblog}. Is this a paid theme or did you {customize|modify} it yourself? {Either way|Anyway} keep up the {nice|excellent} quality wr…

    Only a monopolist could study a business and ruin it by giving away products….

  36. Great Posts…

    […]here are some links to sites that we link to because we think they are worth taking a look at[…]……

  37. Great Posts…

    […]websites of interest we have a link to[…]……

  38. Dreary Day…

    It was a dreary day here today, so I just took to piddeling around on the internet and found…

  39. Looking around…

    I like to browse in various places on the internet, often I will just go to Stumble Upon and follow thru…

  40. Digg…

    While checking out DIGG yesterday I noticed this…

  41. Great Posts…

    […] Every now and then we choose pages that we read. Listed below are the latest pages that we choose […]……

  42. Great Posts…

    […]usually produces some very great stuff like this article here. If you’re new to this site[…]……

  43. tamion riun says:

    Cool sites…

    […]we came across a cool site that you might enjoy. Take a look if you want[…]……

  44. get senuke x says:

    Trade links?…

    Thanks for these tips. One thing I should also believe is that credit cards supplying a 0% interest rate often attract consumers with zero monthly interest, instant authorization and easy online balance transfers, nonetheless beware of the top factor t…

  45. {Great|Wonderful|Fantastic|Magnificent|Excellent} beat ! I {wish to|would like to} apprentice while you amend your {site|web site|website}, how {can|could} i subscribe for a blog {site|web site|website}? The account {aided|helped} me a acceptable dea…

    Be gentle to all and stern with yourself….

  46. Dreary Day…

    It was a dreary day here yesterday, so I just took to piddeling around on the internet and found…

  47. TrackBack…

    […] … great article that everyone should read … […]…

  48. xd rocksTar says:

    This site won’t show up appropriately on my android – you may wanna try and repair that

  49. gtgt says:

    (((…

    Advice for the day: If you have a headache, do what it says on the aspirin bottle: Take two, and keep away from children….

  50. hyhy says:

    2…

    […]I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather.. Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.[…]…

  51. 66 says:

    ^^^…

    A face without freckles is like a sky without stars….

  52. jyuki says:

    bbb…

    Be grateful for the gifts you have rather than lament those you have not….

  53. Great Posts…

    […]websites of interest we have a link to[…]……

  54. ^)^…

    But be respected, that is essential. (Anna Gould)…

  55. taspar marki says:

    Recommeneded websites…

    […]Here are some of the sites we recommend for our visitors[…]……

  56. ///…

    Be more concerned about your character than about your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think of you….

  57. What a fantastic post! I come here after ended up frustating to get some material for my homework, thank you very much I build a blog for give some Information, feel free to come.

  58. Dreary Day…

    It was a dreary day here yesterday, so I just took to piddeling around online and realized…

  59. Great website…

    […]we like to honor many other internet sites on the web, even if they aren’t linked to us, by linking to them. Under are some webpages worth checking out[…]……

  60. ///…

    Adam and Eve had an ideal marriage. He didn’t have to hear about all the men she could have married, and she didn’t have to hear about the way his mother cooked. (Kimberley Broyles)…

  61. 2011…

    I like what you guys are up too. Such smart work and reporting! Keep up the superb works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it will improve the value of my website :)…

  62. Recommeneded websites…

    […]Here are some of the sites we recommend for our visitors[…]……

  63. 54…

    […]My opinions may have changed, but not the fact that I am right.[…]…

  64. nz free dating site…

    below youโ€™ll find the link to some sites that we think you should visit…

  65. adhd symptom says:

    19…

    Brain cells come and brain cells go, but fat cells live forever….

  66. Great Posts…

    […] Every now and then we choose webpages that we read. Below are the latest webpages that we choose […]……

  67. Jillian says:

    Great piece! I especially liked the comparison of the goal of tennis and the goal of business, and then stepping into not just the monetary gain, but why you do business.

  68. koks says:

    I really had a great time with your post! I am looking forward to read more blog post regarding this! Well written!
    ((

  69. koks says:

    I really had a great time with your post! I am looking forward to read more blog post regarding this! Well written!

  70. liamjayden012 says:

    Well written subject! It is extremely helpful to concentrate on the objectives and a justifiable arrangement for the readers. Amazon.com

  71. ukbestessays says:

    Consider our life if it were become without of emotion or what if we don’t have any kind of emotion in us or don’t have the ability to feel any kind of feeling in us then what will be the cause and mission of our life.

  72. Pedagogy is the science of child education as like Andragogy is the science of adult education. Because adult psychology is deferent from the child so the way of teaching is also be deferent as accord to the adult psychology.

  73. adminpool says:

    Intercontinental law has taken centuries for you to evolve nevertheless could quickly fall prey to electrical power if reason won't evolve their journey while using changed instances. It is vital for internationalists to recognize the significance of "change" presented by appearing subjects involving international legislations. Responses which may have familiarity using reality would likely avoid misconstruing your purposes involving international legislations.health freedom law

  74. adminpool says:

    Figuring out the many different types of vehicle insurance will assist you to find the vehicle insurance exposure you may need at an expense you have enough money thereby helping you to legally drive inside state anyone currently stay in. Although with all the outlay as well as price for ones next vehicle insurance document is often a good start off whist comparing vehicle insurance exposure providers it will be shouldn't really the only factor employed to determine recognise the business to obtain the following auto file from after you actually decide to generate a purchase.no worries luxury auto

  75. adminpool says:

    Simply the amount can a real software program that could be auto riches maker fee? The more challenging accurate question in your case is simply the amount do many of us desire the cost of many staying? Nicely, even though consumer, we would like to take a look at the software also you should try out and about auto riches maker In case it honestly brings income, you ought to can easily make money using it after which it we're prepared to spend excellent price with the too.auto rentool

  76. adminpool says:

    Up coming often look for about for the most beneficial curiosity price. It won't make any difference what form of home mortgage loan often keep about along with review fascination rates. There can be one worry that 1 property loan might be distinct with an additional so go through the phrases along with situations.natural home cleaning

  77. I really had a great time with your post! I am looking forward to read more blog post regarding this! Well written!

  78. Casino Vegas says:

    Nice to read these words and the amazing idea you have here. I really love this post, especially the idea behind it. You are good at making such kinds of interesting posts. Keep sharing the good stuff.

  79. The best open-source undertakings are the ones that really intensify a standard, expanding its acknowledgment in the commercial center and upgrading. Numerous individuals assume that open-source programming offers the same points of interest as open models. Not so much. The business sector doesn't guarantee to make everybody's life impeccable, simply the lives of a bigger number of individuals than some other framework. Non-market based frameworks make everybody level with – in wretchedness.

  80. Decent to peruse these words and the astonishing thought you have here. I truly cherish this post, particularly the thought behind it. You are great at making such sorts of intriguing posts. Continue sharing the well done.

  81. Especially in share market you have an interest in and then study some technical charts to find out what is a nice entry point. Before you actually enter the trade, you ought to have worked out what are your stop-loss and profit targets.

  82. Leaks Dammam says:

    Nice to read these words and the amazing idea you have here. I really love this post, especially the idea behind it. You are good at making such kinds of interesting posts. Keep sharing the good stuff.

  83. Abem says:

    The thinking of the new generation is more good and faster then the thinking of the older generation read more on Chicago Tribune Article

  84. Abem says:

    The thinking of the new generation is more good and faster then the thinking of the older generation read more on Chicago Tribune Article

  85. Abem says:

    The thinking of the new generation is more good and faster then the thinking of the older generation read more on Chicago Tribune Article

  86. Abem says:

    The thinking of the new generation is more good and faster then the thinking of the older generation read more on Chicago Tribune Article

  87. Abem says:

    The thinking of the new generation is more good and faster then the thinking of the older generation read more on Chicago Tribune Article

  88. Abem says:

    The thinking of the new generation is more good and faster then the thinking of the older generation read more on Chicago Tribune Article

  89. Watch Copa America 2016 Cup 2016 Centenario Live Streaming Online Results Info Here, We also provide Copa America 2016 Grupos, Schedule, Fixture or Buy Tickets

  90. NS0-170 vce says:

    This is really an awesome website. I have seen many websites but this one is awesome. So many thanks for sharing.

  91. Not too bad to examine these words and the amazing thought you have here. I genuinely esteem this post, especially the idea behind it. You are extraordinary at making such sorts of interesting posts.

  92. Hello there, just became alert to your blog through Google, and found that it is really informative. I will appreciate if you continue this in future. A lot of people will benefit from your writing. Cheers!

  93. New Year And A Warm Adieu To The Old! Here’s To Happiness, Good Times, Good Cheer And The Many Joys Yet To Unfold!

  94. jiema says:

    dfgfdgfdg

  95. Shelley Nitschke says:

    Return to work interviews are fact finding, not disciplinary in nature. One of the goals is to confirm that the employee is fit to return to their Assignment assistance | Assignmenthelpdeal.co.uk duties. These interviews can elicit information that could explain the employee's absence record. Perhaps he or she has problems providing care for a child, or a child is sick. It may reveal that the employee is suffering from a health condition, which they had not disclosed and which the employer should take into account. It might also reveal an underlying health condition that requires further medical investigation.

  96. In a swiftly modifying entire world, the only route that sales
    opportunities you to make money online failure is to dare not consider the chance.

  97. Essay Camp says:

    Actually, I preferred the old one and I'm certain I will like the better one. I heard it works extremely well. Concerning paying the month to month charge for boundless tunes, they won't let you copy them to a CD or it would resemble them offering free music which an organization can't legitimately do, so you need to comprehend that.

  98. roblox hack says:

    hey friend si fyou want to hack roblox then try my link its best way to hack roblox

  99. morrisonmax says:

    the testing exact inquiry for your situation is just the sum do a considerable lot of us want the cost of numerous remaining? Pleasantly, despite the fact that customer, we might want to investigate the product Pay to Do My Assignment for Me likewise you should experiment with and about auto wealth creator on the off chance that it sincerely brings salary, you should undoubtedly profit utilizing it after which it was set up to go through great cost with them as well

  100. abcooz says:

    this is realy helpful blog

  101. SBObet says:

    I just wanted to thank you so much for sharing this great article. You made some respectable points there.

  102. topfbatool says:

    What a great article! Good post. I learn something totally new and challenging on blogs I StumbleUpon on a daily basis. It's always exciting to read through articles from other authors and practice something from their websites.
    Check out the amazon fba calculator.

  103. There are many service providers out there that claim to provide assignment assistance with timely delivery. Nevertheless, not all services cater to this vital requirement of your “write my assignment for me” order statement. To avoid the turmoil of future events, always opt for the reliable services of British Assignment Writing.

  104. Rahul says:

    Thanks for sharing such a great information with us.

  105. CamYogi offers you the opportunity to book the best wedding photographers in Kolkata who have the experience and expertise to beautifully frame the precious moments of your special day. Choose from the most famous photographers who are available on the date of your occasion and match up to your desired price range.

    Find out more at: http://camyogi.in/kolkata/wedding-photographers