Now you’ve read that statement you know it makes sense. Of course the automatic door is cheaper, doesn’t have time off ill or for holidays, and works all the time without breaks. So it must be better for the business because it reduces cost and improves operational efficiency.

Yet it is not. A doorman says hello, passes the time of day with regulars, improves general security, takes in deliveries, removes litter before it builds up, and responds to what is happening at the door to protect the building and its users. The value, often hard to quantify, is not taken into account when the decision to replace the doorman with an automatic door occurs.

An hotel with a doorman can charge more than an hotel without. That isn’t considered either. So why does the doorman get replaced?

Business has developed to become the home of reason and logic. Business is measured on performance data heavily weighted towards finance. Business analysts look for cost savings, price points, turnover and profitability measured against similar organisations. Logic and reason drive decisions to keep observers happy with progress.

Stop there. If all there is to business is measurement and data, comparison and reason then why is it not straightforward to make a business a success?

Why do organisations run this way fail as businesses, become similar, merge and consolidate before eventually becoming left behind as a new entrant steals their market?

Business is about more than numbers. Business needs to understand why their customer chooses them. Bought a TV recently? You probably bought a well-known brand because you wanted a TV that worked. You could buy an unknown brand but will it last? So you go with the brand you know as they have most to lose from selling a poor TV. Brand has a value even the accountants find hard to ignore.

Most consumer decisions are not based on reason or logic. They are defended later by reason or logic. ‘I bought a Sony TV because they have a great picture and the set looks good on the wall‘– something you can tell your friends to justify buying a more expensive TV so that you feel safe in your decision.

So why is your business working? When was the last time you thought about it in terms other than measurable data? How does your customer see you and what really drives their decision to buy?

I recently reviewed the strategy of a training company. During a workshop a manager mentioned buying shoes for a trainee to attend an interview. I stopped the workshop and asked for more details. It transpired that they regularly bought clothing, lunches, and travel for trainees who could not afford to otherwise attend courses or interviews. They said ‘they never let a learner down’.

By the end of the review the business had a totally different outlook, which has transformed their marketing and raised their profile amongst their customers. They also now have a charitable arm, which openly helps learners who need help.

The value of doing good, of never abandoning a learner, is not quantifiable on logic or reason or a balance sheet. It is however, real and important. Customers like to be associated with the whole concept and have even begun to help too.

So look for the doorman in your company. Value him and protect him. He will drive more and better business to you than any automatic door, however much it saves you.

If you are having trouble finding your doorman please get in touch. Finding great doormen is what I do.