← to resource directory


A) vitamin B) painkiller C) cure? How about D!

Vitamin, painkiller or cure? We get asked: Which is your tool? We think InspireHQ is actually different altogether.

by Rich Price

There’s a conventional way many people assign value to a product or a service — as a vitamin, painkiller or cure. We believe there’s a fundamentally important fourth option: nutrient
If a product or service is a vitamin, the benefits to the user are gradual and indirect. They contribute to an overall well-being and address minor issues. For example, imagine an app that offers daily motivational quotes and affirmations to the user. While the app might contribute to a user’s overall wellbeing and positive mindset over time, it’s not an essential solution - perhaps part of a broader one - and missing a day of using the app wouldn’t significantly impact the user’s life. 
Painkillers, on the other hand, present immediate relief to clear and urgent problems. The value is clearer and more demonstrable but it’s often not solving the root causes of the pain. For example, spellcheck is a painkiller. Spellcheck has saved many of us from sending emails riddled with embarrassing typos (what would have happened if I had invited my colleagues to join my boob club, instead of my book club, or invited them to join me for barbecue children, instead of bbq chicken? Or if I had explained I’d spent the day in bed with a coed, instead of a cold?). Spellcheck is a painkiller, no doubt about it. But it’s masked a deeper issue - I need to work on my typing skills, or maybe slow down to make fewer. 
A painkiller product is a “must have” if you’re feeling the pain now. Diapers.com addressed an urgent need of parents - babies with an unrelenting need for fresh diapers and parents with an ever-diminishing amount of time and headspace to get them. Et voilà , overnight diapers. Pain killed. But the underlying stress, sleeplessness and lack of feeling human hasn’t gone away…only one challenge of that reality has been ameliorated. 
A product or service that is a cure looks to change the reality. When the iPhone introduced biometric authentication it wasn’t just introducing a vitamin (a "nice to have" feature) or even a painkiller (a "must have" solve to the vexing inconvenience of always forgetting your digit passcode). By adding fingerprint and Face ID authentication, Apple was offering a cure to keeping your phone (and your life inside of it) secure, while adding a level of convenience we didn't know we actually needed. 
Vitamin, painkiller or cure? We get asked: Which is your tool? We think InspireHQ is actually a nutrient. 

a substance that provides nourishment essential for growth and the maintenance of life.
 Strategic and cultural alignment are so foundational, so elemental to the health and vigor of an organization, a tool that helps sustain it is not a vitamin (“nice to have”), nor a painkiller (“a must have” fix). Nor is it a cure, since maintaining strategic and cultural alignment wards off diseases that require organizational cures.

Nutrients are the building blocks to sustained life. In a previous post, I compared strategy to food. I'll offer another analogy — strategic alignment is water. Water is an essential nutrient for every system in your body. Enhancing your cognitive function, elevating your mood, it also helps to flush out toxins and carry other essential nutrients to cells throughout the body.

The parallels in your organization are probably obvious. Are you giving it the nutrients it needs?

Learn more about InspireHQ.

Stay in the loop

Join our email newsletter and get helpful insights and updates every month.