The world of business as we know it is changing. As the backbone of our society, business has always been a forum for creativity, opportunity and growth and must evolve just as humans do, not only to stay alive but to stay relevant.
For far too long business leaders have acted as though they are operating in a corporate vacuum where decisions and actions do not influence anyone outside of the boardroom. They have become reactionary, unconscious and underperforming whilst pretending that every word, decision, approach and negotiation does not have a ripple and lasting effect on everyone involved, both within their corporate walls and beyond.
We now know that this is not the case. The time for change has arrived and to be honest, it is tugging at us with urgency. As a leader, if you choose to keep running your business with the proverbial blinders attached you need to know that any success you may achieve in the short run will be short lived. Transforming your business into a Conscious Business, a purpose driven, value focused and ethical entity is the only way to move forward – to disrupt and engage — and to carve out a space in your industry with success guaranteed along the way.
So, what does it mean?
Our definition of a Conscious Business is this:
A business where all its stakeholders, undertaking any manner of commercial operations, activities, interactions and transactions are:
present, acting with focus, clarity and responsibility,
in control of their thoughts and observations,
aware of their surroundings (internal and external),
mindfully awake, and
able to take deliberate and intentional action (are not reactionary) aligned with their purpose and values at all times.
Transforming your business into a Conscious Business requires a process and a commitment to real growth and transformation. To get you started we have condensed this process into 6 key steps:
Step 1: Assess
Take a moment to step back and look within. Be clear on who you are as a person, as a leader, as an entrepreneur. What do you stand for? What do you value? What is your passion? What is your life purpose — your why?
Becoming aware of who you are, what you do, how you do things and why you do things instantly raises you up a notch. When you start to practice awareness, you become more present. When you become more present you become more mindful. When you become more mindful you become more responsible and then, you become a leader.
Step 2: Take responsibility
Don’t be indifferent as to how you act and how your decisions may affect the world around you. Are you causing harm to the people within your organisation or outside of it, just to get things done? Don’t pretend you can bend the rules. You can’t. See the interconnectedness of it all. Be conscious of what you say in your office and what you do to follow through. Lead by example and take responsibility for everything and everyone. Drop the blame and don’t act like a victim. Take charge and be in charge. Understand that a board room decision has a follow through effect not only to your board, but to your employees, your contractors, your suppliers, your customers and your consumers.
Step 3: Create your culture
Foster who you are and why you do what you do, nurture it and project it outwards. Create your culture around your mind-set and your purpose. Bring people on board who are aligned with your purpose and treat them well, care for them as fellow human beings. Keep them inspired, give them room to grow and co-create and they will commit and never leave your side. You will create a corporate environment where everyone knows what they are doing and why and they will all be there because they believe in you and your mission. They will grow as people, as your people and they will attract more of the same. Your internal brand will become so powerful your external brand will sell itself.
Step 4: Align your processes with the conscious business mind-set
When negotiating a deal, drafting an agreement or preparing your internal policies and procedures, keep every action and decision aligned with the Conscious Business mind-set. Being a conscious leader and having a conscious team is the first step. Implementing this every day from the phone call to the mail room, to the negotiations for your competitors buy-out, is the follow through and the key to cementing your new conscious culture.
Step 5: Expand this outwards
When you show up as a leader and when your people are engaged and thriving, your customers will align with your purpose and feel that they are also a part of your team. They will feel a connection with you that transcends everything they ever felt as clients, as consumers and as customers. They will become engaged and loyal, and they will pay. Your business will prosper whilst your bottom line increases.
Step 6: Reap the rewards
When a Conscious Business is in operation, it is so powerful that it begins to develop its own unique level of consciousness and by default will exist as a separate entity running on its core values. Any person who leaves or enters can no longer disrupt its core elements. This is the ultimate goal of every business — continued growth and success at all levels and the dream of every founder — that their legacy will live on.