Photo: Jim Grant
The Consumer, Customer, and Community are Connected
“I’m working for bloody Captain Hook!”
Our coaching session had begun normally enough in helping my coachee come to terms with losing three months of hard effort trying to re-organize his division. His vision focus was on engaging staff, a company, suppliers, and community to become morally and ethically responsible for the products and services they offered. What began as an irritation and annoyance, mushroomed into a rant of working for a dysfunctional Vice-President.
“Why can’t he see everything’s connected, we’re connected, everything’s connected?”
“Why does the CEO put up with this shit?”
He continued describing his immediate boss as having a caustic personality, who was openly manipulative and self-declared of being the CEO… at any cost! Nodding knowingly I noted the ‘thorn,’ of a familiar memory of such a boss. My musing curiosity, shaking itself like a water-logged Labrador Retriever was perplexed at how organizations tolerate “scorpion’s in suits.” Meantime, well-meaning employees endure a “conspiracy of silence.” Denial is the mange, characterized by a severe itching, inflicting untold misery on an organization and its employees. What are the consequences of doing nothing?
A ‘dystopia’ is a community organism that in it’s functioning is undesirable or in some cases utterly frightening. An epic scandal surfacing in late 2001, led to the bankruptcy of the Enron Corporation, and the dissolution of Arthur Andersen, among the globe’s top five auditing/accounting partnerships. An oligarchy of totalitarian control, these organizations implicitly or explicitly expected blind subservience to its authority. These were highly intelligent people duped into believing it was OK to deny reality at an asthmatic cost.
In attempting to revise the past, tacit policies condone using illegitimate practices, inadmissible in discourse, by presenting public forged documents as genuine. The new mantra disguised as creativity becomes the ways and means of inventing ingenious, albeit nefarious reasons for distrusting genuine documents. The justification of “we’re good with this” is a warped psyche manipulating statistical evidence to support a point of view that becomes routine. At day’s end, what makes sense to you? Is it offering up and facing the facts of the simple truth; or withholding information eventually leading to corporate intellectual vandalism? So who loses when this happens? The consumer, the customer and the community – everyone loses… that’s who.
Many enterprises languish in an illusion that they’re somehow separate, external to who they in truth are, part of that same whole. Knowledge possessed by corporations is tacit knowledge. They can’t frame it but they depend on it for its lifeblood – the skills and abilities of its leaders and employees. Genius depends on tapping into the minds and hearts of people. “B-Corp” is one organization demonstrating a better alternative to the planets business and corporate communities. It’s vision is alive, inspiring and proves everyone and everything is connected:
“We envision a global economy that uses business as a force for good.”
“It takes a village…” is a proverb with its roots in Africa suggesting similar sentiments. Adopting a mindset of sound business practices and use of this aphorism in corporate cultures globally is already demonstrating its timeless wisdom. Pure, sincere visions are compelling. They evoke profound feelings of community on smaller, national and international scales. Facing what you’re denying and taking positive steps forward leads to better thinking called ‘innovation.’ Is your organization a village? What does your vision stand do for you and others? What’s its purpose?
Jim Grant is an executive and leadership coach living in Helsinki, Finland. Curious about the B-Corp way of doing business, leadership principles or how to engage people? Give him a call at +358 40 178 1030 or send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org