There I was the other day, sitting at the dinner table with my two boys, Laith (15) and Tameem (10). Tameem is a curious lad and was in a talkative mood. He knows I work in a place called “Falak”, but he wasn’t quite sure what I do there. The conversation went something like this (translated from Arabic):
“Baba, did you invent Falak?” He asked.
“Yes habibi, but I ‘founded’ Falak, I did not invent it.” I then explained the difference between founding something and inventing it. I also explained what Falak means (it means orbit in Arabic).
“Are you the boss at Falak?” he continued with his questions.
“Yes I am.”
“Wow cool! What do you do in Falak?”
“Well, we help companies become better,” I explained. I then pointed to the Salad bowl next to him and said, “imagine you own a company that sells salad, how do you know whether you should sell it in Dammam, Riyadh or Dubai?”
“I don’t know.”
“Well we help companies make decisions like these. We do something call a ‘business plan’ to help them make better decisions.”
He seemed intrigued. “Baba, if you’re the boss, how do you tell your employees what to do?” he then asked.
I had to think about this for a bit, then decided on the following reply: “Well, I might tell one person to research the population of Riyadh, and another person to research the population of Dubai. So, each person has something to do when we help a client. Does that make sense, habibi?”
The conversation went on like this for a while until it was time for bed. I have to admit It was a lot easier when his siblings were younger and I owned a martial arts school. Saying “I’m a kickboxing instructor” is a lot easier than saying “I own and run a values-based, purpose-driven strategy and innovation consultancy.” But I think I did a good enough job and felt good about myself when I carried him piggyback-style to his bedroom at bedtime.
Thanks for reading and talk soon.
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