As an Executive & Business coach I have the privilege of getting an inside view into companies cultures, challenges, key performance indicators, what makes their business stand out, outshine the competition and thrive through change. My greatest genius and favourite space to play is in co-creative service with these businesses to take leaders to the “big vision” level where they dream of going; but need a provocative step into the realm of their greatest imaginings about what their business can really mean to this world.
Through working with organizations that are taking on the “conscious” label and studying the synchronicity that exists among the industry leaders there are common threads of: inclusion, coaching, leadership, sustainability, change agents and cultures that create environments of high performance at all levels. Nurturing the talent that moves ideas to a place of expansion, celebrating diversity, inviting a competitive spirit, and always considering the impact of the business to the lives that are served and the world at large. Also, a “conscious business” can be any size; it can be the one-person show or the international corporation. Size does not matter impact does! It also can look traditional or not so buttoned up. Appearance doesn’t matter, substance does!
Here are twelve key performance indicators among conscious organizations that can be duplicated and implemented to create thriving environments of success. There is obviously a lot more to a conscious business than just this list to consider; that said a simple shift in perspective with a desire for change could move an entire industry. All companies have their own “extreme” list of what makes them “special”. Most conscious businesses started the process with a desire to impact something they felt passionate about. They got serious with simple concepts such as integrity & change; they set an intention and started the momentum of serving. Along the way they were “open” to the possibility that doing things differently was a step into the realm of progress.
1) Clarity of Vision – Be extremely clear on your vision, ensure it is communicated consistently in all communications within and outside the organization. This should include a clear message as to why your business exists, what you do, and how you make this world a better place. Use simple language that is easily understood, and consistently replicated in all marketing. Your team understands exactly what this vision is and there is a residing belief that they are intricately attached to the fulfilling of an outcome. Everyone understands that they are on their own mission within the greater vision!
2) “Innovate” with reckless abandon but “Implement” with a conscience. Take risks, be creative, groove with the intention of world domination. Then, move to strategic implementation with a conscience about how what you do will serve and ad value to the universe. Making the most productive yet beautiful impact while causing NO damage for now or further generations of planet dwellers.
3) Inspire & celebrate the creativity of all team members no matter the position. An open door policy for fresh ideas to be brought forward and explored strategically. This environment fosters encouragement and respect for the working style of individuals to be in their zone of “thriving challenge”. Offering inclusion for all ideas and problem solving. The result is a dynamic attitude of a willingness to consider all possibilities and new ways of doing business.
4) Foster leadership at all levels of the organization. Leadership is seen as a necessity to play within the space. Individuals have an expectation of self-management, emotional maturity, and endurance in spirit through the ever-changing forces of the business. Everyone takes responsibility for their roll, their performance and their results. Ownership of contribution is seen as each individuals own business. Authenticity is built into the fiber of all interactions. Model high performance, be the trendsetter with the passion for your chosen roll.
5) Encourage development and growth. Invest in high performers through training and development “outside the organization”. These new experiences bring fresh ideas and new ways of doing business to the table. Employees feel a sense of loyalty when leadership allows their contribution to be seen, heard and recognized. Investing in people as life long learners creates empowered teams. Also, recognize when it is time for team members to launch beyond the organizations borders. Letting people go to move to a larger space or an environment that is more fostering to their talent is necessary for an organization to move forward and necessary for individuals to move into their greater purpose.
6) Mistakes are opportunities to learn, rise and do better. Conscious companies recognize when they make errors, fail to deliver or basically just screw up. They communicate openly within the organization and with customers. Customers see them as leaders and trust them in spite of mistakes, as they are open, honest and communicative. Raise the bar in honest entrepreneurship. This is a currency that transcends the dollar, goes straight to your reputation and the heart of consumers.
7) Competition is seen as an opportunity to be more creative, do better and rise to new challenges. It is not to be feared but celebrated. Aren’t you happy that your favorite TV, smartphone, computer, widget, blender, coach, stylist etc., keeps getting better? Competition plays a roll in this evolutionary process. Everyone benefits from the creative genius of others trying to outdo each other. This is play, this is fun, and this makes our souls move to purpose in hopes that consumers fall in love with “us and not them”. Silly as it may be, it’s true. It comes back to a desire for connection and acceptance. A companies desire to innovate and market to consumers forces it to draw on the genius of its talent pools need for expression and recognition. Society benefits with that beautiful thing called “freedom of choice”, we purchase, spend our money, the company benefits, reinvests in research & development and so the cycle begins again.
8) Invest in a sustainable future beyond the business. Focusing on the impact of operations to the environment, economy and long-term lifestyle on this planet. Give and serve to the community and charities that align with the values of the business. Go paperless, use e-forms, conduct an environmental impact assessment; find a charity or a way of giving that speaks to your soul. Know your strengths & weaknesses when it comes to sustainability. There is power, possibility and possible cost savings in getting connected to a sustainable way of doing business.
9) Celebrate inclusion and diversity. Welcome a culture of diverse individuals that bring optimum talent to the table. Hire the best and keep the best people that resonate with the vision of the business.
10) Seek feedback. See all feedback as communication NOT FAILURE. Conduct on a ‘regular basis’ evaluations. Get feedback from customer and team members. Communicate, and then Listen, Listen & Listen some more. Companies need people to be creative, “but” they also need to adapt and listen to what their audience is asking for.
11) Business Ethics are simply “Ethics”. The business conducts itself and holds itself to as high a standard as any individual “should” in their life outside the business. Moral compasses stays intact within the business environment. The business is an extension of the dynamic individuals that take up residence within its structure. The company takes on a life of its own, that energy needs to have its direction focused by a foundation of integrity.
12) Conscious businesses believe in fun! The have fun build it into their culture, and make it a priority. Believe and want to be in the rhythm of the dance of life/work balance. Create spaces for individuals to thrive with passion and they will dedicate not only their working hours to you, but also their hearts.
Stay tuned for next week, when I will present 16 Coaching Questions for you to play with around “how conscious your business is!”