How entrepreneurs are being driven by new values in doing business to benefit people and the planet

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(Copyright © 2015 by Chesney Bradshaw, all rights reserved)
(Copyright © 2015 by Chesney Bradshaw, all rights reserved)

A big change is happening in the way entrepreneurs are doing business differently. The main difference is that instead of the primary purpose being to make money, they are starting and running businesses to make a difference.

Entrepreneurs have become disillusioned with the way business is done. Look all around you and think about the service and products that you are receiving from big companies. Bad service, cumbersome systems, poor quality products, untrained staff and uninspiring or untrustworthy leadership. Does that ring a bell?

The pioneers who started breaking away from the old business models where profit was everything to the detriment of people and the environment already began in the 1970s to make changes. Some of those businesses started long ago are now successful beyond belief. Not to sidetrack here but consider how Whole Foods grew from a single store in Allston, Texas, founded in 1978, to an $11,000,000,000 Fortune 300 company with more than 340 stores and 70,000 team members worldwide.

Now, because of a changing environment where people, planet and profits have come into focus, more entrepreneurs, even those running small outfits, are driven to do business with a higher purpose.

How do you take advantage of this change?

Consider the four key pillars promoted by John Macky (spelt Aim a CKEY), the Co-founder and Co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, mentioned in his book Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business. The four pillars are: higher purpose, stakeholder integration, conscious leadership and conscious culture and management. Take higher purpose, for example. Some small business owners have already started with a new purpose such as creating superior value, producing quality, making available recyclable products, offering more healthy and wholesome foods, providing services for renewable energy, energy efficiency and water savings and alternative medicines that are less intrusive and harmful.

Stakeholder integration means not being obsessed with only the shareholders in the business for profit accumulation but taking into consideration the needs of a range of stakeholders including employees, customers, suppliers and local communities.

Conscious leadership means leaders that are more aware of society and the environment. Conscious leaders are more aware of the health and safety of the employees going from a risk-taking culture to a caring culture, for example. They better understand not the trade-offs but the integration of benefits that come about because of a business and how that can do good for all stakeholders. For example, rather than just paying lip service to energy efficiency, product quality and treating customers and suppliers fairly, they actually build a business that is grounded in ethical consciousness. I don’t like using abstract words like these but in a nutshell it’s really about doing business that makes a difference in a fair and trustworthy way.

The conscious culture and management for the entrepreneurial business no matter how large or small means bringing everyone in your business on board and having systems and structure that reinforce and deliver quality with a purpose. If, for example, yours is a business manufacturing a natural skin care product, you would want to instill the values of quality among all those involved in its production including employees and suppliers.

The motivating force behind “Breakthrough Ideas” is to help people who want to make a difference to their own lives and the lives of others. They want to see change in the world, their world. “Breakthrough Ideas” provides a generative (or creative process) to come up with business ideas that are profitable but also bring value, quality, caring, transparency and compassion to people and the environment. Start making your enlightened business journey here.

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