“I have one major rule: everybody is right. More specifically, everybody —including me— has some important pieces of truth, and all of those pieces need to be honored, cherished, and included in a more gracious, spacious, and compassionate embrace.”
As I have been developing my consulting work to focus on what I call today conscious management, it has become easier to demonstrate with facts the direct relationship between the developmental level of leaders and its teams with business performance.
In other occasions, we have already spoken of Conscious Capitalism, where Rajendra S. Sisodia and John Mackey demonstrate how organizations that have transcended conventional leadership and the zero-sum approach, even transcending social responsibility as the formula of ‘giving back to society’, have shown that value return for all stake holders is far above the industry’s standard. Rajendra S. Sisodia, David B. Wolfe and Jagdish N. Sheth in their book Firms of Endearment say that:
A humanistic company is run in such a way that its stakeholders—customers, employees, suppliers, business partners, society, and many investors—develop an emotional connection with it, an affectionate regard not unlike the way many people feel about their favorite athletic teams. Humanistic companies—or firms of endearment—seek to maximize their value to society as a whole, not just to their shareholders. They are the ultimate value creators: They create emotional, spiritual, social, cultural, intellectual, ecological, and, of course, financial value. People who interact with such companies feel safe, secure, and fulfilled in their dealings. They enjoy working with or for the company, buying form it, investing in it, and having it as a neighbor. [i]
In our consulting work, we are often invited by Human Resources or by Organizational Development, which makes it difficult to prove how there is a correlation between the developmental level of a person and its team with business performance. Going beyond the beliefs that a leader can make an organization achieve extraordinary results, the question we always get is: what is the economic benefit or the return of investing on the development of a leader and its team? My work is not about developing a leader, nor is to help improve the organization. What my colleagues and I do is to talk with our clients about the business challenges of the company, together we look at the threats the business is facing and we help them integrate the entire team’s perspective.
Companies are generally used to a hierarchical culture, where challenges are faced according to the vision of the most experienced person or the one with the highest position. Our job is to facilitate dialogue, where everyone can express their vision and integrate perspectives co-creating in this way, opportunities that would otherwise not have been visible.
It is impossible to find solutions that are different when team members, supported by consultants and experts, are used to defending their point of view. However, if instead of focusing via the conventional PPT presentation meeting format, challenges were addressed by placing them on the center of a table, with dialogue being facilitated to agree on the objective, caring for the inter-subjective and ensuring that each team member is in a good place, the potential benefits of the company will emerge and amazing possibilities of performance will arise.
When individuals transcend competition and arrogance, by taking sit at a roundtable (figuratively), they allow themselves to first understand and then talk about the business challenges. It is here, where we may find huge profit. Putting a multidisciplinary team to discuss and co-create strategies to reduce spending, increase market share, improve EBITDA and to ensure performance of the organization, is an exercise that organizations rarely do and in our experience can generate a huge benefit within hours. It is useless to teach leadership, embark on a culture change journey or spend a weekend doing outdoor teambuilding courses, if it is not precisely the strive to overcome business challenges that serve the team development itself. All that is required is that team members address a challenge the company may be facing. Then talk about what they see and understand what others see. We call this co-creation and it’s only possible when the leader is leading himself and joins the team with full responsibility, humility and integrity.