In this article ex-Barrister, Trainer and Executive Coach, Neil Seligman reviews some of the commercial arguments for Conscious Business.
1. CONSCIOUS BUSINESS ENHANCES PERFORMANCE AND PRODUCTIVITY
According to Fred Kofman, author of ‘Conscious Business, How to Build Value Through Values’:
“A conscious business seeks to promote the intelligent pursuit of happiness in all its stakeholders. It produces sustainable exceptional performance through the solidarity of its community and the dignity of each member.”
A conscious business therefore has a firm eye on the holy grail of employee happiness. This can only be achieved by fostering a supportive corporate culture and through respect and attention being paid to professional wellbeing and the holistic needs of workers. In the conscious model, staff must be seen as whole human beings rather than cogs in the machine…and as we all know, happier employees perform better and are more productive.
2. CONSCIOUS BUSINESSES ARE MORE RESOURCEFUL AND BETTER EQUIPPED FOR CHANGE
The conscious business movement challenges firms to align the output, structure and culture of the firm with the values of the leadership and the individuals who devote their time and energy working within it. Instead of demanding performance at any human cost, conscious businesses develop and nurture conscious professionals who share the corporate vision and feel aligned with its goals and nurtured by its values. In this way, authentic excellence is generated within staff and loyalty to the firm is enhanced.
A further outcome of this shift is that the integrity of the firm itself is strengthened. It is better resourced with professionals who are committed to alignment and success and therefore it copes better with market challenges and change.
3. BUSINESSES ARE INCREASINGLY MARKETED THROUGH CONSCIOUS CREDENTIALS
It is a common mistake to think that a focus on conscious values will detract from the bottom line.
Even if you don’t consider your business to be particularly conscious there is probably a page on your website attempting to convince the world that your company has a charitable and positive outlook and impact. Whether this is superficial lip-service to a nice idea or represents a true reflection, the marketing department know that your conscious credentials help sell you to clients.
Businesses that are further along their conscious journey are leading the way to the conscious future. They know that conscious business starts with their own leaders and staff. They have far more to crow about and their conscious message rings true.
With more and more academic research being done on the impact of mindfulness and wellbeing programs on corporate health, word of the most innovative and conscious companies is spreading fast amongst potential clients and recruits.
4. CONSCIOUS BUSINESSES WIN THE BEST RECRUITS
It stands to reason that the best firms must demand the best people but you know that it is the best candidates that end up with all the choice.
Recruits from generation Z represent our most conscious intake to date. They will be expecting a values-driven approach to doing business, where focus on profit is balanced by a focus on planet and people. Whilst they will be expecting to work hard they will also expect their employers to train and develop them as a whole human being.
Firms that have taken the conscious route have therefore embraced a powerful recruitment differentiator which will enable them to entice the cream of the crop.
5. CONSCIOUS BUSINESS REFRAMES OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH SUCCESS
Philosopher and Author of the integral model, Ken Wilber is a key proponent of the necessity of conscious business in the ‘integral age’. As spirituality and commerce take stumbling steps towards one another, here is his take on how that relationship might evolve.
“Conscious business – business that is conscious of inner and outer worlds – would therefore be business that takes into account body, mind, and spirit in self, culture, and nature. Put differently, conscious business would be mindful of the way that the spectrum of consciousness operates in the Big Three worlds of self and culture and nature.”
Whilst many readers might flinch at the overt references to spirit here, this speaks to the fundamental message of the conscious business movement. We are all being challenged to embrace the fact that spirit is an inherent aspect of humanity which connects us to one another and our environment. It highlights the need for firms and individuals to acknowledge the interconnectivity of the system we are a part of. We might therefore conclude that corporate success itself is being reframed in terms of contribution made to the evolving success of the whole system. After all…
…we did not come into the Universe, we came out of it.
Neil Seligman is Director at The Conscious Professsional, a new coaching and training consultancy delivering bespoke training, mindfulness and wellbeing solutions to corporate clients.www.theconsciousprofessional.com
Acknowledgements & Further Reading:
Fred Kofman ‘Conscious Business, How to Build Value Through Values’
Ken Wilber, The Integral Institute www.integralinstitute.org