Blog | What the World Needs Now

Do you know that your company can become more profitable AND increase your contribution to society?

With constant change today, are you caught reacting to change or are you able to step in front of change to create a positive future for yourself and your company?

About a year ago, I had a profound dream. In my dream I was playing a board game with business colleagues and the name of the game was The Game of Life. While playing I became very anxious and perplexed while I watched other players laughing and having a great time. For some reason, I just couldn't get into the game.

In my dream, I stepped back and observed the game in play, and all of a sudden I was struck with this incredible knowing...a knowing that was so simple that I just sat for a moment and laughed. I then jumped up and ran to the table and said, "I've got it, I understand now why I was having so much trouble with this game - WE'RE PLAYING ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE BOARD'. I picked up the edge of the game board and flipped it up, with board pieces flying through the air. I then flipped the board over onto the other side. What happened next was truly incredible. All the game pieces (and there were many) fell down onto the board into perfect precision, each board piece connected to the others in a beautiful pattern.

I've thought about this dream many times and I believe this dream is a reflection of how we're all playing The Game of Life - and we're playing on the wrong side of the board. It's now time to ‘flip our game plan over' to play a new game. This new Game of Life is stepping into a world of Consciousness. And business is a great place to start this shift. The shifts to Conscious Business involve:

Cooperation over Competition,

Community over Separateness,

Service to Others over Service to Self

Conscious-Based Leadership over Ego-Based Leadership

Transparency over Secrecy

Profit Earned over Profit Taken

Meaning over Material

Being alongside Doing

As a Transformation Leadership Coach and Business Consultant, I've seen how individuals can create profound shifts in their personal lives, but is it truly possible for large companies to ‘flip the game board over' and operate more consciously when they're hindered with their embedded cultures and current society patterns and belief systems? How is it possible to shift a corporation when over 72% of the population believe that CEOs of large companies are ‘very untrustworthy' and that wrong doing in large companies is commonplace -- and when statistics show that top executive pay plus stock options equals $411 to every $1 of full time employees. What has happened to our business ethics? It's time to ‘flip the game board over' but is it an impossible task?

Most of us know that making changes that stick in large companies can be very slow. It's like trying to turn the Titanic around quickly enough to miss the huge ice berg - and we all know how that worked!

But humanity now stands at a bifurcation point - a place between death of the old and birth of the new. A place where enough changes have happened that we've reached a tipping point - where belief systems and events are happening that encourage more new changes to happen much more quickly.

This is a time when the large systems in economics, society, and politics are quickly shifting, creating alignment and motivation for personal and organizational shifts.

This is a time when the old beliefs and patterns are falling away and what once seemed impossible has the ability to shift much more easily.

This is a time when we can no longer base our decisions for our future on our past experiences, but where we develop the courage to trust our inner knowing about how to proceed.

We've already seen how quickly unimaginable change can happen in our world today when we look at the recent Egypt demonstrations resulting in President Hosin Mubarak stepping down. And since change is already happening, wouldn't it be great if you could play a positive role in the change, rather than reacting to change happening to you?

I believe we can turn the Titanic large companies around by ‘flipping the game board over' to shift our organizations to operate more consciously, and to shift our beliefs about how we accomplish this task. When leaders and employees can stay out of fear and step into their authentic truth, they can create profound positive changes in their personal lives and in their organizations.

How do we align with major changes going on and catalyze positive changes in our organizations? Although society is currently down on large corporations (and with good reason) I see things a little differently. Corporations are made up of groups or communities of good people - people who have the desire to find joy and meaning in their work, to create a positive change in their personal lives, and to contribute to doing good things bigger than themselves. In many of our large companies, these values have been compromised or lost. Catalyzing the positive motivation of people by building trust is the first step to create profound and positive organizational change. And this means waking up and becoming conscious of everything around us and shifting the consciousness in your company cultures.

Why is my focus on big companies to support creating a better world? Because big companies employ and touch a large number of people on a daily basis and because of the economic power they hold. They can make a profound change. I encourage leaders to wake up, to become conscious, and to create positive communities in your organizations to increase the opportunities for positive shifts in your company that result in a more loyal employee and customer base, increased innovation and profit, and an increase in the way in which you're contributing to society and our planet. You have the power to participate in creating the social consciousness that will result in a much better world.

This is a process...it doesn't have to be difficult....and we can help!

Lynda Davis

"Greatness is not a function of circumstances. Greatness ... is a matter of conscious choice."  Jim Collins - From Good to Great

"Without a global revolution in the sphere of human consciousness, nothing will change for the better in the sphere of our being as humans, and the catastrophe towards which this world is headed - be it ecological, social, demographic or a general breakdown of civilization - will be unavoidable...The salvation of this human world lies nowhere else than in the human heart, in the human power to reflect, in human meekness in human responsibility." Vaclav Havel, President of the Czech Republic

 

 



I believe it was Srikumar Rao (Columbia Business School Professor) who said, “Companies today need to be the Best For The World instead of the Best In The World.”

I recently had the opportunity to sit in a circle dialogue with eight CEO/CFO’s of mid-size companies when I asked, “So, what does it really mean to be the best company for the world instead of the best company in the world?”  The conversation that resulted from that one question gave me confidence that our business world is changing and that business leaders have both the desire and strength, and that they are cultivating the inner knowing to improve both their organizations and the world.

Awareness is shifting…

We’re moving away from the key measurement of a company’s success being its stock price and the opinions that it’s up to the non-profits to do good for the world.  Although profitability is essential for all business success, company leaders are beginning to realize they can make transparent, conscious choices for good and still be successful.

An inner knowing is awakening…

The leaders in our circle dialogue spoke about their desire to make a difference and what making a difference would look like for their companies and in their personal lives. They spoke concepts that you rarely heard in business five years ago - like showing gratitude, re-igniting their passion for life, being more authentic,  building trust in the work place, leading their companies as a community, and the interconnectedness of their companies to their value chain partners, their employees and their communities..

Many of these leaders had been very successful in business.  Most made a lot of money and had reached the top of their game and many now had feelings of boredom and unfulfillment. Some had lost their families due to their choices or the pressures of their success. We talked about who they were in the past, today, and who they wanted to become tomorrow.  We talked about how most of them had focused on changing things outside of themselves and had lost some deep part of them in the process.

Passion and action is building…

Before the dialogue ended, shifts began to emerge in the group.  They acknowledged that by continually managing things around them, kept themselves separate.  They began to realize that the businesses they lead were just a reflection of themselves – their company cultures, their policies, the way they treated their employees and their partners.  Some were not happy with what they saw– others felt so much more could have been done differently or changed for the positive.  When they saw their business as their own reflection, it was a gift to their awakening.  As a result, they realized the value and importance of focusing on their own consciousness.  They realized how their businesses were coming from them, impacted by their emotions, conversations, their attitudes, and their decisions.  What’s most universal is most personal – who you are as a person and a leader is truly reflected in your company’s values and culture.

When we allow ourselves to take the time to unite with our own sacredness, how we see the world begins to shift.  Everything around us becomes an opportunity and a blessing.  Rather than waking up thinking about the heaviness of the day and the problems we must solve, we feel a sense of excitement and open ourselves up to an entirely different set of questions:  Who can I serve today?  How can I make our workplace a happy place for our employees and serve our customers better?  What can I do to improve the stakeholder value for everyone (our employees, our value chain partners, industry partners, community, and investors)?  We begin to understand that win/win solutions can be achieved for all and work becomes a playground.

Is consciousness easy?  No it isn’t - and it’s easy to fall back into your old world and way of doing things.  But with commitment, leaders today are learning mindfulness tools, conscious conversation, and conscious business tools to bring their organizations into a new way of doing business – consciously.

Change is coming…

In a conversation several years ago with Peter Senge, he stated to me that knowledge without focused action was not very useful.  I pondered on this statement for some time, because I used to be one who continually gathered more information and experiences, but rarely had the courage to take my knowledge into action.  I had not understood my own sacredness - my own perfection, and that it was not about having all the information available, but in believing in myself and stepping forward to embrace the changes that I knew were possible.  This is what Strategic Crossroads is about – coaching and consulting with leaders to bring the best in them and in their organizations forward.

I was so inspired by the leaders in our dialogue group for sitting, for listening, for speaking their hearts, for trusting, and finally for achieving the breakthroughs that resulted in huge shifts in consciousness for each of them.  The world is a better place because of them and the conversation we had that day!

For a conversation with Lynda, call or e-mail:  (208) 384-8573 or lynda@strategiccrossroads.com


I believe companies operate as systems similar to our bodies. In our bodies, we view individual organs as part of an overall system, and when something impacts one part of our bodies it often can be traced back to other things going on in our system. Our bodies could not perform if the individual parts (organs, blood, skin, etc.) were forced to work in isolation of one another. In a sense, the individual components of our body can best be understood in context to the relationship each element has with the others and with other systems, in which, we as humans interact.

Businesses are very similar. Each business has a community of partners it interacts with in order to fulfill its business mission. The community of partners makes up an eco system called your stakeholder value chain, or your value delivery system. And in order for business to really work well, leaders must examine the linkages and interactions between the stakeholders that compose the entirety of your value chain, understand everyone's interests, and align them all in the same direction. You cannot look at stakeholders singly or in isolation because their actions have an impact on the whole system. Therefore, we must view a value chain as holistic ecosystem and leadership's role is to strive for win/win outcomes and profit for all stakeholders.

Who are your stakeholders? Every value chain is made of stakeholders in three categories: 1) those who receive the value, 2) those who deliver and communicate the value, and 3) whose who develop the value. The key stakeholders are listed below:

  • Your customers are critically important.  Without customers to serve, you would not have a business.  They receive the value generated by your stakeholder value chain.  You have many different types of customers you must pay attention to – each with considerably different needs.  Your Economic Buyers are the key people who make the decisions about purchasing your products/services.  Your End Users are the actual users of your products/services.  They may also be the key decision makers as well, but complex value chains have both.   Company employees must know that your customers are the reason your company exists, understand what’s important to each customer type and assure that your employees are empowered and have the tools/systems in place to deliver exceptional customer service.
  • A large group of your value chain partners are your suppliers.  A conscious company refers to suppliers as partners and builds trusted relationships with their partners to fulfill customer needs and expectations, to build stronger communities, and improve society.  Taking a biology view, suppliers would be considered an integral part of your organization, similar to the organs in your body, and would leverage and share knowledge and information across the entire system to increase innovation and process to improve everyone’s operations and profitability and health.
  • A large part of your value chain partners are your suppliers.  A conscious company refers to suppliers as their partners and they strive to build trusted relationships and aligned processes in order to best fulfill customer needs and expectations and to build support community and society needs.  Value chain partners either help your company ‘develop the value’ for customers, or they ‘deliver and communicate the value’.  Value chain partners are an integral part of your organization, similar to the organs in your body.  They leverage and share knowledge and information across the entire system to increase innovation, and to create aligned processes to improve everyone’s operations, profitability, and health.
  • Your employees are another critical stakeholder. Employees are the largest group who is responsible for ‘creating the value’ for your customers. And they are responsible to align the rest of the value chain to create seamless solutions for customer. It takes an enlightened leader to truly understand the value of creating ‘shared visions’ and trust with employees; understanding their desires, dreams, and skills and supporting them each to reach their highest potential.  Everyone wants to be a part of a team that also supports their personal passions. When employees have an opportunity to see themselves in the company’s vision, alignment and motivation is a natural outcome.
  • Shareholders of companies are often not considered part of the value chain, but they drive critical business decisions.  Shareholders, like customers, are ‘receivers of value’ from the value chain.  They are a critical component of the value chain due to the need for organizations to show solid returns to stakeholders and not cave into the demands for short-term earnings.  The demand for short-term earnings can create separateness across the value chain and can force management into trade-off decisions that impact value chain partners, the community/society, and our customers. As consciousness continues to increase in businesses, leaders are able to make more authentic choices in how they manage their value chain and organizations are beginning to attract investors/shareholders who resonate with its values.
  • Community/Society/and Industry Partner stakeholders are beginning to have more impact on businesses today.  A company who is viewed as a good citizen in the community, supporting local laws, honoring sustainability and quality of life values will gain increasing value over time.  Leaders who fail to consider the above society factors will soon lose favor and move into decline.

Understanding who your stakeholders are and that they need to work together is one thing, but how to create a successful, integrated value chain is quite another.

There are a few key things leaders of conscious organizations can do to begin to align their value chain partners.

  • First, assure that you have your organization’s mission, values, customer experience needs, and community/society goals clearly outlined.
  • Begin by identifying your largest value chain stakeholders and contacting them to complete an assessment to understand the following questions:
    • Who are they?  (80/20 rule – pick your most important stakeholders first)
    • What compels them?
    • What value do they add?  (This relates to the value they contribute to the overall customer experience)
    • What do they need from you in order to be successful?
    • How will they evaluate the value they receive from you?
  • With the above information, you can begin to formulate value chain strategies to create win/win scenarios for everyone.

Stakeholder Value Chain alignment and partnership management are becoming increasingly important and valued in today's businesses. If you have questions, or would like to speak with me regarding your own stakeholder value chain, please give me a call or e-mail me at: (208) 384-8573, lynda@strategiccrossroads.com



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