Business traditionally has always been about the bottom line, the results, the numbers! Today, many companies are struggling to keep their head above water, so they do the obvious, focus on more sales and cut expenses to survive the world of cut-throat corporate competition. This is precisely what is driving the shift that is happening in the global corporate arena where many enterprises are either crumbling or being acquired. Times like these are forcing companies to take another approach at how they run their business, treat their employees and how their best practices impact the consumer, communities and the world as a whole.
Of course, everyone is in business to make money, however, those companies that focus on the human aspect first, literally strive in the revenue department as well. Lets take a different perspective on “numbers” in the workplace. Reminding business to take an important look at the human aspect of their business can greatly impact productivity which will naturally and effectively drive results toward success. Every business that has employees, serves humans with products or services is essentially in the “people business” and can benefit from the human-business model.
The human-business is about bringing the focus back on the people that contribute the the success of the company. This applies to employees who are doing the daily grind as well as those who are creating a positive brand image to the public. Companies that appreciate this dedication, not only recognize these efforts, but continually reward them for a job well done. Many companies are “putting away the hammer” which is leading by fear and intimidation and realizing there is a more sustainable way to maintain employee satisfaction, improve company morale, increase productivity and employee retention. The companies that empower their people will continue to show an upward trend in success, especially as the next generation enters the workforce. But more on generational differences in future blogs.
This human-business model is anything but new. There are many companies pioneering this concept and the results speak for themselves. For example, Whole Foods, who has consistently earned an annual growth rate of nearly 14% since 2002, has a “Higher Vision” statement that reads, “With great courage, integrity and love – we embrace our responsibility to co-create a world where each of us, our communities and our planet can flourish. All the while, celebrating the sheer love and joy of food.” How many companies are brave enough to put the word “love” in their vision?
Companies like Disney who have proven tremendous global growth believe “Acting responsibly is an integral part of our brand. It strengthens the connection we have with consumers, makes our company a more desirable place to work, and helps us attract the very best and brightest to join our global cast. It builds goodwill in the communities in which we operate.” Its about the way they treat their employees, their customers and how it impacts the community and the key to Disney’s success is consistency!
IBM is at the top of the list of “people businesses” as Sam Palmisano, former President and CEO, stated in an interview with Harvard Business Review, “If there’s no way to optimize IBM through organizational structure or by management dictate, you have to empower people while ensuring that they’re making the right calls the right way. And by ‘right,’ I’m not talking about ethics and legal compliance alone; those are table stakes. I’m talking about decisions that support and give life to IBM’s strategy and brand, decisions that shape a culture. That’s why values, for us, aren’t soft. They’re the basis of what we do, our mission as a company…You’ve got to create a management system that empowers people and provides a basis for decision making that is consistent with who we are at IBM.” Now here is a leader who deserves kudos for creating such a corporate culture and really knows the basis for success.
You can begin to feel the essence of these corporations who have a mission to serve people first and mention a mention the bottom line, but realize these are the behaviors that impact substantial results. Those that have a people-based business are sustaining success and are showing us another way to accomplish economic gain. What drives this people-intensive culture is primarily putting people and community first. There are four components of the human-business model and its all about the people, proper leadership strategies, cultivating a culture of growth and support, exercising employee potential and giving back.
1. Leadership ~ Positive leadership practices which essentially means treating people the way they want to be treated. Its about recognizing individuals in the workplace that contribute to the success of the company in some way. Leadership that actively seeks out these valuable opportunities, makes noticeable mention and provides positive feedback to reinforce those behaviors realize this is the powerful vehicle that drives productivity.
2. Culture ~ Creating a workplace environment where people feel supported, safe, trusted, and know the company has their back, leads to a workforce that is more creative. Those who work within such a culture voluntarily utilize their full potential which inspires growth on a personal level and the company certainly gets their money’s worth. One approach to changing a corporate culture is to Include the employees in creating a mission and vision statement or “agreements” for the type of workplace they want to be a part of. When people are a part of developing the process they are more likely to live by it; as well as being extremely empowering and highly effective.
3. Potential ~ Understanding and utilizing each employees’ natural gifts is also essential to the growth of any business. Not only does this give an individual a sense of fulfillment by being recognized and “seen” for their true selves, but also creates an environment for people to do what they love and what comes natural to them, despite what their degree says. People need to be challenged and celebrated on a regular basis and one powerful way is to find out what motivates and drives that person, then creating opportunities for them to thrive. This makes people love to come to work every day leading to an environment of happy employees which equals happy customers and happy customers make your company more money. Period.
4. Giving back ~ We mustn’t forget about the importance of giving back. This component of the human-business model is widely important more on an energetic level that monetarily. You’ve heard the saying, the more you give, the more you receive, right? Well, that’s because if you can give it, you have it; its an “abundant” mentality as opposed to a “scarcity” mentality. As we move into a more consciously evolved society, people are willing to spend their money with the company that gives back when given the choice between one that does and one that doesn’t.
For fun, lets take a deeper look at the human-business model from a Numerology perspective. I believe Numerology is a tool that helps us humans navigate through life by providing us with clarity and a basic understanding of who we are. Numerology is an ancient study of numbers, believed that each number (1-9) has its own energy vibration and matches the energy of the person who possesses that number. Everyone came here with a purpose to fulfill and its written in your date of birth.
So to determine your “Destiny” or “Life Path” number, add your birth date up as such: July 25, 1966 = 7+2+5+1+9+6+6 = 36 then adding 3+6 = 9. The destiny number or “life path” number for the person with this birth date is a 9. Here are the characteristics of a Life Path 9 as it relates to a person’s natural gifts in the workplace. There are 9 Life Path numbers so lets take a look and see if you can identify people you work with.
1 Life Path = The ultimate leader, an innovator, a pioneer, the independent thinker and problem-solver, someone who is willing to try new things, the “idea” person. This person tends to work best individually and often takes charge in situations when no one else will. Put the “1’s” on your team in a position to spear up new projects and watch them thrive.
2 Life Path = This is the master communicator. 2’s work extremely well with others, they are loyal and make great partners. So if you are considering partnering people up, be sure to have a 2 in the mix. They make great company spokespersons and can articulate the message in a way that is easily recieved. Empower a 2 by asking them to deliver an agenda item at the next meeting.
3 Life Path = 3’s are the most creative of the numbers. These are the folks to go to for creative solutions to problems or ways to impress that new client. Although they think “out of the box” they are certainly “in the know” and can take on any creative challenge thrown their way. They are unintentionally the center of attention and people enjoy being around these entertaining energies. The well-liked 3’s are people-people and make great sales people and presenters.
4 Life Path = The 4’s of the group are numbers people and prefer a structured environment. They have a natural tendency to understand the business world and have a passion for it. They are extremely hard workers and you may recognize they won’t leave the office until the work is complete. If you have to reach a timeline, 4’s can generally make it happen all the while impacting the bottom line. 4’s have a natural attraction toward accounting, engineering and anywhere they can work with numbers.
5 Life Path = The energetic 5’s are adventurers, love change, like to travel and live life “out loud”. 5’s tend to get bored easily so be sure to give them ongoing challenges to inspire their imaginations and prevent them from getting bored, which they easily do. Perhaps that international trip would give them the sense of adventure they desire and feel fulfilled doing it, only to gain a new-found appreciation for their work.
6 Life Path = The 6’s of the group are the glue of any group. These nurturers are the ones people tend to gravitate to for advice and wisdom. 6’s work naturally in their element in human resources since this is their expertise and are passionate about building harmonious communities and have a desire to make anyone feel like family.
7 Life Path = 7’s are the wise ones who have a knack for knowing just about everything there is to know. They are a collector of knowledge and information and often are viewed as the “know-it-alls”. They see things easily and usually have an understanding of any given situation prior to anyone else. Seek the 7 for insights and counsel, they will feel appreciated for the opportunity to share their knowledge and expertise and you’ll always get a straight answer.
8 Life Path = These are the money-makers and the more generous an 8 path is with their wealth, the more wealth they become. These money-conscious folks are the CEO-type thinkers, are natural leaders, managers and can see the big picture easily. They make things happen, delegate well and always think in terms of value. Keep an 8 path on your side and refer to them often for making business decisions.
9 Life Path = 9’s are the ultimate humanitarian. These are the people in the company that will create, implement and put into action the mission of making a difference in the world. They feel deeply about people, animals and global issues. Often, 9’s will take on the weight of the entire company even if they are an employee because they are passionate about everything they do.
I hope this information has expanded your awareness and opened up your mind to look at your work/life and the life/work balance of the people who operate it. The human-business is the wave of the future so take time to get to know your people. Taking on this perspective of putting people first is the key to success for any business, any relationship and for the betterment of the world as a whole. Lets put into practice a model that serves humanity and drives prosperity for all.