It’s our best bet, and it’s already happening
I believe that large businesses have the greatest leverage for worldwide transformation. Over half of the world’s largest economic entities are multi-national corporations(1); Wal-Mart alone employs more people than the population of Qatar (2). The global value we place on money and work means these entities have the most power, and I believe changing them is easier than changing the value we place on economics. Therefore getting big business to change and become more conscious and compassionate currently has the greatest potential for positive impact on the planet.
This means we’re not just wasting our time criticizing business, capitalism, and corporations; we’re actually trashing the very tool through which we will accomplish our highest hopes.
You might think this is a pipe-dream, but the fact is that it’s already happening, and it’s been happening for at least thirty years.(3) I know because that’s what my new job is, and that’s why I love my company: we’re not just change consultants, we’re a small group of people that catalyzes giant transformation. We’re not just dreamers, we’ve also succeeded over and over again in enterprises around the world.
The method is complex (how else could it be when the systems are so complex?) but the principles are simple enough, and worth sharing.
- We pay attention to all four quadrants(4)—borrowed from integral theory—Mindset, Culture, Behavior, and Systems. Most business enterprises are great at creating and updating systems and behavior, but can’t see the value or method to culture and mindset change. NGO’s on the other hand are often well equipped with passionate mindsets and supportive cultures, but lack systems and behaviors to stay organized and efficiently implement their laudable goals. Simply put, most people and enterprises overemphasize just one or two of these critical four dimensions when all are necessary for success.
- We incorporate adult ego development (5) and show how these ways of being effect every aspect of relationships, teams, culture, organization, and industry, independent of styles (DISC, MBTI, etc.).
- We coach individual leaders to model any change they wish to see.It’s not just a Gandhi quote; if leaders don’t at least try to be the change they want to see in their companies, no one will follow. Why would they, unless forced to?
- We focus on high leverage leaders evolving from the inside out. When leaders change, they change their teams, who then change their companies. If we can can change a few leading companies in an industry, the whole industry has to change to keep up. When a few industries change, the others have to as well, creating a domino effect of systemic awakening worldwide.
The natural outcome of this kind of work is consistently breakthrough: not only do companies take better care of their employees, invite and utilize their input, increase the environment of working and the morale of stakeholders, and start to see and take responsibility for their bigger impact on the environment and systems they affect all around them, they increase their profits.
It’s not an easy journey. It takes years of hard work. It requires a lot of challenging personal changes and bold organizational commitments. It feels like giant risk because it often means going against the status quo and things that seem crazy. Even in the midst of the chaos of today’s global, social media driven, constantly changing marketplace, very few top leaders are open to engaging this kind of work, despite it’s history of success.
Yet the good news is that it’s happening. There are more than a handful of giant corporations that have a soul and a massive beating heart (6), and in the future this compassion and organizational self-awareness will be required for success. The result will be a sea change in society that doesn’t just support the burgeoning social, environmental, and world-citizenship consciousness, but requires it as part of being a healthy adult.
What do you think? Which corporations do you see engaging in this kind of work? How can you support it? How can we support each other in creating these types of changes? Does this challenge your view of large corporations? Are you skeptical? Make a comment and let’s start a conversation for the good of all.