Why, when work should be an environment that brings us together to be productive, is there such a disconnection? There are at least two reasons why this disconnect is occurring. Firstly, the structure and the systems we operate in are no longer appropriate. The second one has to do with the mind-set that prevails across all levels of organisations. There is a need to transform the way we work. The workforce is changing. The way we work is changing. The way we do business is changing. To be successful in five years’ time organisations must begin to learn how to do things differently now. The employment environment is undergoing a dramatic upheaval with far-reaching consequences that impact at an organisational, economic and personal level.
What is driving this transformation?
What is driving this transformation? Young people always want something different but that’s not the whole picture. This desire for reinventing the work place goes deeper because the desire for transformation is not limited to just young people. Practically our entire society is in transition; even a quick web search will show many of the organisations and individuals who are driving transformation in the work place. Let’s consider a few of them.
The Conscious Business movement (also known as conscious capitalism) is growing rapidly, reaching beyond social responsibility to focus on increased awareness of a whole system view of business.
One of the most talked-about Conscious Businesses is Whole Foods. This Fortune 300 U.S. supermarket group founded in Texas in 1978 from a single store now enjoys revenues of $12.9 billion. For 15 consecutive years Fortune magazine has included Whole Foods on its list of “100 Best Companies to Work For”. Chairman and founder John Mackey says,
“I believe our philosophy of conscious capitalism will eventually be widely adopted primarily because it is a better way to do business, and it creates more total value in the world for all of its stakeholders.” John Mackey, Whole Foods.
The adjacent illustration from Maddock Douglas’ “Pyramid of Conscious Capitalism” outlines the hierarchy from society/environment, beyond profit, towards purpose and from survive to succeed to transform.
Raj Sisodia is one of the thought leaders of the Conscious Capitalism movement globally. His book Firms of Endearment: How World Class Companies Profit from Passion and Purpose is considered a foundational work in explaining the precepts and performance implications of pursuing a conscious approach to business.
Organisations listed in “Firms of Endearment” outperformed those quoted in “Good to Great“.
The bestselling book Good to Great, by Jim Collins’ identified 11 companies that were described as going from “good” to “great” by continually delivered superior returns on investors. The companies had each delivered cumulative returns at least three times greater than the market over a 15-year period. However, when comparing publicly traded Firms of Endearment (FoE) with the 11 Good to Great companies. This is what was discovered:
- Over a ten-year horizon, the 13 FoEs outperformed the Good to Great companies 1,026 percent to 331 percent (a 3-to-1 ratio).
- Over five years, the 17 FoEs outperformed the Good to Great companies 128 percent to 77 percent (a 1.7-to-1 ratio).
Conscious Businesses possess different structures, systems and mind-sets resulting in fully engaged employees and the results reflect their commitment to the company . How can we encourage more organisations to bring empathy, humility and compassion in the workplace and a triple bottom line of people, planet and profit.
The next blog Part 3 B is for Bottom Line, people, planet and profit