Conscious business is a relatively new term and although in all instances it’s a move towards an increase in being consciously aware of a businesses impact, it can show up and look differently depending on your business, service or products, your goals and how you operate internally.
As we look back over the last 100 years, a lot has changed in the world – but not so much in how businesses operate. Looking at some of the discoveries that have been influential in technical and quantum advancement in the past 100 years, we’ve seen:
- Multiple galaxies discovered – it’s accepted that there is more than just the Milky Way, 1920’s
- Earhart crosses the Atlantic via plane, 1928
- Neutrons discovered, 1930’s
- Dawn of DNA & the structure of DNA discovered – the double helix, 1953
- First satellite launched, 1958
- Tectonic plates discovered, 1960’s
- The first man in space, 1961
- The first human on the moon, 1969
- Concorde takes off, 1976
- The PC is in homes, 1970’s
- The internet is born, 1983
- Cloning becomes a thing, 1996
- The thought ‘fundamental component of the universe’ is discovered, 2012
- First image of a black hole, 2019
- Global pandemic COVID-19, 2020
Pretty epic discoveries and advancements. And these are to name but a small few.
Why Are These Discoveries Relevant To Conscious Businesses?
Because they all show how technology and inquiry can advance our ability to discover more about us as humans and the world we live in.
The common thread in all of these, is that they were discovered. They were born out of conscious efforts to advance an idea, a solution, a knowing. And behind the discoveries is a human, a team, a wealth of experience, expertise and knowledge.
In a universe that is bigger than we can comprehend, or relatively know much about, we are here on Earth learning the ways of life, evolving constantly and (hopefully) starting to do what we can to protect the environment we live in and everything which inhabits the same world.
So now in 2021, how can we evolve businesses for the better? This means more than just box-ticking and chasing after new trends. It means more about how we can look at the entire picture of business. The way a business operates, the solutions it provides, the behaviour, the people – everything in its entirety in its eco-system, together. This is the fundamental understanding of cause and effect for a business, how everything is connected and influences the rest.
A conscious business is a way of operating and providing services or products where the business is consciously aware of the entire impact they create – from recruitment to internal well-being, to climate change and partnerships. – Michelle Milner-Eradhun
So, How Can We Start to Build a Business Consciously?
We’re seeing a huge lift in new businesses, with many more start-ups and entrepreneurs emerging, but without the right conscious tools to support businesses today, we could still be on track to see only 56% of businesses make it to year 5. Only behind running out of cash and no market need, 23% of businesses fail because of not having the right team (and I would argue too that this includes businesses not engaging with their team in the most beneficial – and human – ways).
Interestingly but not surprisingly, not having the right people in the business is in front of reasons like poor marketing, no business model, pricing/costing issues and getting out-competed.
With these relatively recent shifts in how we start, grow and run businesses, we are beginning to see strong and courageous moves away from the traditional business models and learning how to adapt these strategies which are more value-orientated, kinder and have longer-term sustainability.
“First comes a thought; then organisation of that thought, into ideas and plans; then transformation of those plans into reality. The beginning, as you will observe, is imagination.” – Napoleon Hill
If you google ‘The best books to read for starting a business’, you will get countless results, showing a huge amount of information with various methods, ideas and frameworks to implement in your business in order to achieve ‘success’.
There are 3 things I see as curiously challenging with most of these books:
- They focus predominantly on the care of the business impersonal ‘components’, not the care of the people behind the business – from founder to newest customer.
- The concepts are almost always over-complicated and therefore nearly always difficult to implement – or over-engineered concepts are adopted and you end up organising the disorganisation.
- The definition of success is untimely subjective – we all have different desires we’re reaching for, making success more personal. Outside of money, people are now striving for freedom/lifestyle, impact and experience.
If you’re a business owner, entrepreneur, leader, manager, or interested in learning more about starting or growing your business, look at your bookshelf or e-books, think of everything you have read. What stands out to you? What do you remember most?
For me, it’s been quite clear that most of the guidance out there, unless supported by people, is not effective.
Strategies, even the best ones with extensive research and experience behind them, will fail without the right team. The right people will find their most effective strategy as they start to move forward. But the key is they start moving forward surrounded by the right people and with the right influences.
So, which comes first? The business, or the people?
It’s not so much the chicken and egg conundrum for businesses. Simply put, the most important asset to a business is people – and as a business owner, it starts with you.
Everything from this point forward, should support how you and the team are able to bring the ideas to life – how the operations function, how meetings are conducted, how marketing is created, what the sales teams say when they are speaking to customers, how materials are sourced. And from here, understanding how to build the foundations that support the workings of your people and how you can quality check your ops, benchmark your own data metrics and build your customer base, is much more straightforward – and easier! People are a businesses biggest asset, but people also make business more complicated than it needs to be, so staying connected, knowing your goal, the path to get there and identify where gaps are as a frequent business practice supports the journey to create your business dream.
How Can We Start to Bring More Awareness into Businesses Daily?
Have you heard of the saying “look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves”? Well in principle this is exactly what a business needs to be doing to drive steady, consistent and effective results.
It’s also the same principle as driving a car without the oil – or using bad oil. The engine will seize up.
Or, a helicopter trying to take off with ½ a blade missing from the propeller – it would be ground-bound and not go anywhere.
Relatively, these are small components size-wise – but they halt the entire system. They are ESSENTIAL for function. And it’s exactly the same in business.
To bring more conscious awareness into practice in a work environment, here are 3 simple things you can try out daily or weekly:
- Team Meditation. Bring meditation into your workspace by including meditation with your team as a practice. This is something I have personally seen have an exponential impact on how well teams operate, create and connect – above skills training, traditional team building days, evenings of dinner and drinks. All other training is underpinned by how well your team connect and how they are able to be authentic, reflect and express themselves at work. This could be 10 minutes or 1 hour – it’s the principle of the consistent practice and connection which is what makes this very impactful for how you and your team operate, create and feel.
- True Decisions. Use the skills you nurture in meditation, the stillness and awareness, to make decisions. Ask yourself ‘Is this true?’. Make decisions from a place of peace, not panic. It’s important to connect with people who understand your journey, who you can learn from and be inspired by – find and connect with a community of conscious entrepreneurs, a mentor or a coach for the support that you need.
- Ask Why. Understand the reasons why you are making decisions be clear in yourself and communicate this to your team. Why is this decision important for you, your business and the people you serve? What value is being created? Likewise, if someone has an idea, ask why – without any judgement. Sometimes the idea may not always ‘right’, but there will be invaluable information when you find out why it was suggested. For instance, wanting to change a product or service is usually based on customer need, that if understood and harnessed, could leverage more value for the business and customers if it’s given some space to be made aware fully and explored a little bit deeper.
At Know Framework, what I love to do most is support you in getting more aware, more conscious and finding the ways that work for YOU using simple, effective strategies.
Here are some FREE resources for you:
Conscious Business Community
Connect with other entrepreneurs, founders and business leaders who share the same love for conscious business practices, human-led operations and passion for what their business creates.Join the FB Community
Business Health Score For Entrepreneurs
Here’s the link to our FREE quiz to get your business operational health score, see what’s working efficiently and what’s not. Making the unknown, known, is where the greatest transformation begins.Take the Quiz
Oh, and if you’re here and interested in conscious business practices, spirituality and healing as a business owner – check out 5 signs your business is helping you heal – including 10 Actionable Ways To Integrate Your Story Into Your Strategy.