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You remember studying DNA in high school biology class. Our genetic DNA is the genetic code that serves as an instruction manual for bodies.  

Much like our genetic DNA, our organizational DNA determines and tells the story of how our business will function and grow, who you are, and who you will become. Unlike the more famous genetic version, your organizational DNA can and must be designed to ensure you become the business you want and need to be.  

As we use the term, organizational DNA comprises the most critical elements of your business. Collectively, they tell your story.

It starts with your DNA 

I know you’ve been advised countless times to craft an elevator pitch, a quick description of who you are as a business and what makes you special. Too often, this is approached as a stand-alone project to wordsmith something clever and pithy. This approach almost always fails. 

As important as it is, your elevator pitch shouldn’t be a stand-alone project. It should be the natural message that results from reflecting on all the building blocks of your organizational DNA.  

DNA building blocks 

The following six building blocks make up your organizational DNA and, when defined and documented, will serve as the code to instruct you and your team on how to build the strongest, healthiest, most sustainable business possible. I’ve also provided our Q4intelligence answers to each as a reference point. 


Call it your “why,” purpose, or belief; this is the emotional driver that gets you out of bed in the morning determined to do something significant, to make a difference in the lives and businesses of your clients. It leaves you with a deep sense of satisfaction when lying back down at night. 

Q4i – To transform and serve the industry. 

Value proposition

Never assume a prospect understands why they should consider being a client. You must clearly define what clients will receive and how they will benefit from working with you. 

Q4i – we help our clients create more targeted opportunities, close more deals, and operate more efficiently around the resulting clients.  

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What are the principles on which you and your team operate? To be clear, “being honest” doesn’t go far enough. Certain values are just a minimum expectation. Your values should be a bit uncommon and seen as something special. 

Q4i -

Be intentional - Clear the noise and work with purpose.

Stay curious - Ask. Listen. Adjust. Repeat.

Always challenge - Real change takes courage.

Collaborate boldly - Be part of something bigger. 

Aspirational brand

You don’t get to determine your ultimate brand; it is determined by how people feel as a result of interacting with you. However, you need to define the brand you want. Think about what you would like to overhear your clients saying about you and use that to drive an experience that results in the brand you want. 

Q4i - They make us uncomfortable at times but do so because they know it leads us to the confidence to do what we know we need to do. 

Someday goal

As a business owner or professional advisor, you need to have that big-ass, long-term goal that keeps you motivated. As a current owner, maybe it is to build an agency that can be perpetuated internally, allowing your team members to become owners themselves. As an advisor, perhaps it is to go out and start your own agency at some point. 

Q4i – To have multiple employee-owners and be built to perpetuate beyond the initial founders. 

Ideal client

Life, whether it’s our personal or business lives, is too short not to be selective about with whom we connect ourselves. When it comes to clients, you must be very clear about your ideal client’s demographic profile (size, location, industry, etc). However, perhaps even more important is the clarity of the ideal psychographic profile (buying style, personality type, whether they will view you as an advisor or only a vendor, etc.) that defines your ideal client.  

Q4i – Committed benefits professional(s) with a genuine desire to transform and a willingness to work hard. 

Ongoing effort 

As I said at the beginning, creating a compelling elevator pitch shouldn’t be the project. It should result from a more significant project, defining and documenting your organizational DNA. When you and your team think through each of these building blocks and, this is the key, discuss and reflect on them regularly, these ideas truly become an ingrained part of your DNA. It may take a little effort to keep the communication tight, but the elevator pitch will take care of itself. It will be as simple as sharing what excites you most about your DNA code. 


Content originally published on Q4intelligence

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