This past week I attended The Art of Leadership at the Centre of Vancouver for Performing Arts a one-day event with inspirational speakers imparting wisdom on leadership and company culture, of which translates to intranet culture.
I was struck by the session with John Mackey, who is co-CEO of Whole Foods Markets. John spoke from a place of passion. It is evident that he loves his job and commitment to community and making a difference. For John, culture is the embodied values, principles and practices underlying the social fabric of a business, which permeate its actions and connects the stakeholders to each other and to the company’s purpose, people and processes. A Conscious Culture fosters love and care and builds trust between a company’s team members and its other stakeholders.
John Mackey has published his book of “Conscious Capitalism”, liberating the heroic spirit of business. I bought his book but haven’t dug into it yet. John spoke about value creation to serve people. Find your company purpose first, then strategy. Too many businesses have their primary purpose as financial profit versions creating value and making a difference, not only in their customer’s lives but in their employees.
John talks about your customers as your primary stakeholder. Take care of your customer and everything else falls into place. All good things follow from that.
Have you ever been to a Whole Foods Market? In Vancouver we jokingly call it “Whole Paycheck” and if you have ever stood in the checkout line and paid $100 for your 5 items, you will soon find out why. But as Vancouverites we love Whole Foods. The cost is higher but their value is worth it. Whole Foods just does everything top notch. You don’t get better produce. They cater to organic and a healthy lifestyle. When you buy your groceries and go home to cook it, you feel like you are working with ingredients of the highest of quality and health for your family.
Whole Foods extends their value into communities and the environment. Health and wellness is the very heart of why the business exists, and they are very good at making their driving purpose the primary differentiator. When recruiting leaders they look at characteristics and people who are purpose driven, system thinkers and feelers, authentic, emotionally intelligent, have strong character and integrity, and are loving and caring. I love that last one! When was the last time you looked at leadership in your company as loving and caring?
Leadership is an on-going process here at Intranet Connections. We have a leadership team, and I like to think that everyone has the capacity to be a leader. We don’t have managers, we have leaders and mentors. We try to foster a caring feeling of family and community within our office walls, and that extends out to our customers through our front lines. This blog post title is “The Art of Intranet Culture” because an intranet can be used to support your company culture and facilitate communication from company leaders. It is satisfying to work in a company where people feel cared about, and behave in ways that are thoughtful, considerate and compassionate to their teams and to our customers. An intranet is a great way to share those stories and spread the values and characteristics of what John refers to as a “Conscious Culture”:
Trust is reciprocal, a genuine commitment to authenticity and purpose
Team members are accountable to each other and customers, not company stakeholders
Caring / Loving
People in conscious cultures behave in ways that are thoughtful, gentle, considerate and compassionate
With transparency there are few secrets in a conscious culture because there is little to hide
All stakeholders are loyal to each other and the company, loyalty is the glue that binds
Everyone is treated with respect and dignity, no class system among employees, everyone has the same benefits
People flourish when given autonomy, mastery to continually improve at something that matters to them
Leads to innovation, experimentation, freedom to fail, learn, grow
Enables successful ideas and innovations to be shared and spread rapidly through technology (like an intranet!) Ideas don’t die on the vine; they are recognized, studied, emulated, diffused and enhanced
You often hear that employees are the greatest asset a company has. John points out that culture is the most valuable asset. Culture is the living, breathing heart of a business.
Are you using your intranet to support and enhance your company culture and provide a forum for leadership and mentoring?