In the last few years, organizations have developed plans for adopting a greater bottom-line: a goal for a better world instead of just hefty profits. Most employees expect a welcoming workplace and customers expect to support a cause they believe in. Business owners must be conscious of their position and of their impact.
With this growing shift in our culture, how do business owners leverage their conscious culture? Below, 10 thought leaders have provided their insights and advice for showcasing a stakeholder-centric model.
Create a Story Arc for Your Company
I think the best approach would be to start with the consciousness one’s company is already demonstrating. Find examples of “business as a force for good” that are already present, even though they might not have been recognized yet as such. Also, be prepared with examples of other organizations that align with the company mission and vision whose pivots have already been successful. Weave a story arc through those examples that will serve to build a road map to success. Of course, there are books, and websites and videos, but it all comes back to storytelling.
Debbie Accomazzo, Grand Canyon University
Seek Feedback From Your Stakeholders
While it may seem simple, asking for feedback is one of the most important ways to show your audience that you care about what they have to say about you and your service. It doesn’t end there, though. Take that feedback and make meaningful adjustments when necessary to prove that you listen to the feedback you receive to improve their experience.
Vicky Franko, Insura
Learn the Data-Driven Language
Most organizations, particularly larger companies, are data-driven and tend to adhere to the old adage, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” Most executive teams rely on objective data to inform decisions, so you have to learn to speak their language. I like to reference many of the data points noted in the book Firms of Endearment, which details how world-class companies profit from purpose—and passion-driven approaches to business.
Heidi Jannenga, WebPT
Do Your Homework on the Bottom-Line Implications
Do your homework. Understand the tenets of Conscious Capitalism and be prepared to demonstrate how this will impact the business in terms of organizational structure, systems and processes, and even the bottom line. Illustrate how this will improve the company as a whole and outline a phased approach for how it can be introduced over time, as well as how you plan to get others bought-in to the idea. Conscious Capitalism may seem like a no brainer, but to executives, they want to understand the bottom-line implications of it.
Thiru Thangarathinam, MST Solutions
You Must Always Work at It
Creating a conscious culture should be something you work on every day. If you are not actively working on your culture, then there is nothing “conscious” about it. As a leader, you have to create, promote and reinforce your ideal culture. Leverage your leadership team to ensure that all employees and stakeholders understand and embrace the conscious culture you want to be implementing.
Kimberly Kriewald, AVANA Capital
Align Your Why With Who You Hire
My coaching practice is based upon the concept of leading with purpose, and aligning your why with who you hire, how you define your ideal custom personas, and how you work with your partners/vendors. Keeping all these stakeholders in step with your core values and why is the preferred path forward. When evaluating results, this is one of the lenses we look at in addition to quantitative results.
Nicole Spracale, Coaching & Consulting
Welcome Feedback From Everyone
The best way to create a conscious culture that also values your stakeholders is to welcome feedback from everyone. Oftentimes, as a leader, you are tasked with creating processes that make everyone happy—and that is no small feat. By creating intentional spaces for both employees and stakeholders to speak openly and share their opinions, you can gain greater insight into how to make your business better in every way.
Eric Blumenthal, The Print Authority
Address the Cause, Not the Symptom
The culture in my company is to address the cause, not the symptom. The client, the stakeholder, discovers the real reason for the problem they face, e.g. time management and why it shows up in their day. After we identify the block, they can easily apply time strategies I teach so continuously working with me isn’t necessary.
Mark Jamnik, Enjoy Life Daily
Build on Already Identified Principles
Take time to identify how your company is already living out the principles of embracing Conscious Capitalism. Focus on building on the good you are already doing, and show how making a few shifts can really amplify the impact.
Additionally, embrace the vision in your own personal life and work through some of the more challenging parts of the shift personally. This way you can lead by example, as well as bring personal experience and empathy for the challenges.
Karin Crawford, God’s Garden Treasures Florist
Leverage Clearly Defined Values
There’s no better way to ensure the well being of stakeholders than by having clearly defined core values. A culture is created by the conscious application of values. By applying values to employees, customers, and partners, a company can protect the social fabric of a business. Then, the business gets done in the way it is supposed to, without disruption.
Brett Farmiloe, Markitors