A business’s impact on the world starts with the leaders that run it.
When self-reflection followed by purposeful action occur, leaders can consciously steward their business toward a more sustainable form of success. By exploring deep-seated assumptions about themselves, others, and the world, they embrace a deeper form of self and find their authentic voice.
A business’s ability to grow and sustain is increasingly correlated with its leadership’s level of consciousness. A conscious leader makes impactful decisions and focuses the right amount of time in the most important areas.
This individual work is the beginning and the place of greatest leverage to any broader evolutionary effort, but it isn’t enough by itself. How people interact with each other, sustain trust, and support a healthy and collaborative culture extends beyond “I”- level development and forms the “We” dimension.
The essence and culture of a company are nurtured by its relationships.
Internally, businesses are a network of commitments and relationships. The “We” dimension encompasses the relational aspects of the business and how effectively it can coordinate and manage its network of relationships and commitments. By developing healthy patterns of interaction, relationships are built and sustained through trust, and integrity in agreements becomes the norm.
This dimension also includes aspects of the business’s culture–the shared beliefs and actions that underpin the results the business attains. Evolutionary businesses consciously and intentionally create their cultures through aligned behaviors and systems that reinforce who they truly are. As this is done, the business’s essence is protected and allowed to grow.
With the development of both individual and group consciousness, a business is able to create a foundation to become a world-enriching and iconic enterprise. However, these two are not enough without the third, critical element of evolution: the “It”.
The purpose of a company is supported by its framework of structures and systems.
The “It” defines the operations, systems, governance structures and processes of a business: the impersonal aspects. Evolutionary businesses design and craft their processes consciously and intentionally. They are implemented with the knowledge that they will reinforce the purpose and values, as well as key principles and behaviors.
Along with the process, structure and systems development, ‘It’ level development addresses the fundamental purpose of business as a whole. The nature of “why the business exists” is rooted in value creation, not profit. A business that focuses on maximizing service to all of its stakeholders can achieve far greater impact than one concerned primarily with short-term results, stock price and profit maximization.
An evolutionary business in clear alignment with its purpose becomes much more powerful and transformative. It supports and sustains humanity. And, perhaps ironically, it typically leads to far greater commercial success over the long term as well.
To truly have an impact aligned with a deeper sense of purpose, businesses must operate on all three dimensions – I, We, and It.
Evolutionary businesses recognize the interconnectedness of the I, We, and It dimensions. A change in leaders’ levels of consciousness affects interactions between individuals and provides subtle yet transformative cultural shifts. Ensuring alignment in organizational structure, processes, systems and governance with the overall essence of a business ensures a business will maintain its course and successfully achieve its purpose.