It is said that there are three types of Business:
* God’s / Existence’s business
* Your own business
* Everybody else’s business
And the point here is that if you do not stay in just your own business then you are most likely to find yourself in trouble. I have thought about this from a personal and spiritual growth perspective and it really serves me well. I try and mind my own business.
But there is another business that needs our loving attention right now; the business of how we do business and commerce in the world. The only thing that we can one-hundred-percent rely on is change. The march of time is now arm in arm with technological progress. The face of society is changing; pretty much all ways of communicating have been altered.
But the most dramatic change with the plethora of diverse new business is how we practise and upgrade relationships in this realm. Everything about business is changing yet it operates from a very outdated rule book. A rule book that perpetuates the concept of winners and losers. Shaking up this old business paradigm is in itself creating new ways of business formation and relating. This emerging new paradigm, coined Conscious Business, is truly something to celebrate.
The most neglected fact in business is that we’re all human. If we use this as a guide, each interaction – regardless of the relationship or situation – becomes an empathetic exchange based on respect for self and for others. – Chip Conley
Yet the term conscious business almost doesn’t sound right. It sounds like an oxymoron, a paradox. Business traditionally has connotations of being ruthless; “whatever it takes”, “dog eat dog world”, “nothing personal, it’s just business”. These pop-culture remarks are ingrained in our psyche. We have been conditioned to accept that work and commerce is a game of hierarchical greed and exploitation. As we redefine systems, operations, human resources etc. within a conscious business awareness we are daring to dream a new reality of win, win, win.
So, what is conscious business? Simply put, it involves individuals and enterprises that choose a path of service that positively impacts the internal business society, society at large, as well as the global environment. As with many transitions we are still having to navigate our way out of dinosaur institutions and outdated modus operandi. When the ‘win, win, win’ of conscious business propagates through the economic world then change will happen exponentially. This is exciting.
Pioneering Solution Focussed Business
Many large corporations are taking this seriously. Perhaps some do lip-service and some are the real deal. But all action towards a more holistic way of business is a step in the right direction. Chief Purpose Officer is the new coveted role within a courageous organisation wanting to be a pioneer, not a ‘disappear’. The esteemed CPO leads the way in initiating solution focussed business that takes care of all stake-holders; from the owners to the workers and from the product/service to the customer. The role of the CPO is to be both a rudder and an anchor in why and how a business will participate in the world – to appreciate and implement that we are all irrevocably interconnected.
In 2019, the main stake-holder is of course Planet Earth, the giver of all resources and the Human Family. When the Chief Purpose Officer can see the whole picture, including the health before the wealth of all concerned, then we have a real chance of truly taking care of each other and this magnificent blue-ball in space we call home.
Conscious capitalism is about more than simply making money – although it’s about that too. It’s about creating a successful business that also connects supporters to something that matters to them and that has great impact in the world. – Mycoskie
Success could be defined differently for future businesses especially when the relationships between social responsibility, profitability, environment, cultural integration, ethical and spiritual aspects are considered. And here I would like to just take a pause … to really name the most important kernel, that of emergence. I want to remain curious and surprised at how we creatively allow new business modalities to emerge, evolve, fuse and influence each other. I don’t want to get too caught in the trap of forcing a new paradigm that is based on the old building blocks. I want to be blown away with innovations: I want to say, “Wow, that’s amazing and I didn’t see that coming!” This requires a trust in both the emergence and a letting go of the tired and ingrained old methods.
Working for a Greater Purpose
People under conscious business organisations, of course, work just as hard and could be also motivated by profit. However, this is not their ultimate goal. It is bigger than a payday for them. The work they do is ultimately measured by how fulfilling their role is and how satisfied they are with their level of adding value to their community or even the world at large. Benevolent outcomes can become just as important as salary. When people rally around something that feels meaningful, there is more passion and dedication, which cultivates loyalty because of that shared purpose. J.F. Kennedy’s famous quote from his inauguration speech can be borrowed here, “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country,” But let’s amend it slightly for our own conscious business purposes.
Ask not what your global community can do for you – ask what you can do for your global community.
All Businesses Need Time to Transition
The term ‘conscious business’ naturally offers the opposing impression that profit-driven enterprises are ‘unconscious’, which is not necessarily the case. Every business has evolved from a significant supply and demand evolution. And now the demands are changing because of global awareness around what we could, and often need, to do better. As the consumer demands change, so to will the values and mission of these companies. We must refrain from the detrimental judgement of old institutions but rather, support them to transition into the emerging new paradigm of conscious business.
A significant portion of the new workforce are Millennials and Generation Z who are pushing businesses to be socially responsible since they make up most of the consumers. They have present-day and future consumer influence and power. They predominantly want organisations to be ethical, moral and in service to the greater good. They also want companies to make a positive impact. They have power and expect non-exploitative transparency; solutions to be ethically and socially driven and their investments (time and money) to be for the betterment of diverse societies, cultures and the regenerative and sustainable future of the planet.
Consumers are increasingly interested in socially responsible investment where a change in their communities and the wider world is the first priority. Stakeholders are seeking businesses that align moral principles with corporate values in their best practice policies.
Sharing is truly conscious business caring!
Adapting a conscious approach will need foresight and a willingness to take considered risks and also to learn from those already forging ahead with initiatives in this emerging new field. Ultimately, it will be best served by the sharing of knowledge, systems, and governance from those trailblazers. There is no metric to date to measure how conscious a business is ‘succeeding’. This is a relatively new term in itself. The concept is still evolving. When businesses revise their vision, reevaluate their values and meditate on their mission, they will organically and naturally bring a greater consciousness to their business.
Businesses that are foundationally set-up as vehicles of consciousness and that come from a deeper purpose of service to the greater whole will find a strong foothold in the new paradigm. Then by example, they illustrate that the wellbeing of the interconnected whole brings a harmonious abundance in how we support all beings towards Unity, Peace, and Love.
How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. – Anne Frank
Do you have any experience in your workplace or business that illustrates that the Conscious Business Movement is surging forth or at least trickling in? We would love to hear your views and insights. Please comment below and share your positive experiences.
It’s always a pleasure doing business with you.
Your faithful UPLIFTers