The Big Ideas
Let’s start from the end! Let’s put 10 big ideas that will guide our reflection and that, I hope, will awaken the desire to comment, engaging us in a productive dialogue.
- A business with a conscience can be successful if it…
- Embraces and drives a state of permanent transformation
- Pays attention to citizen demands
- Leads by example, starting at C-Level
- Synthesises its purpose into a brand that is a business platform
- Is human and humane
- Interacts with all its stakeholders on an ongoing basis
- Builds something truly memorable and sustainable over time
- Is profitable and integrates social and environmental aspects as part of the business
- Integrates creativity and metrics naturally
- Is valiant!
Perhaps, the best I can do is simply stop here, but no, I’ll continue with the post!
Certain dimensions of growing consciousness have converged in creating the conditions for a massive shift in mainstream thinking and values. This shift is affecting us in our various roles as individuals. Prominent among them are:
- Growing sense of our interdependence
- Solutions for humanity to thrive
- Personal empowerment
At a certain point, we need to be part of something bigger than ourselves to feel self-realised. At company level, summing up people’s aligned desires, it becomes the power of consciousness which allows the business to discover new horizons doing well by doing good.
Emotional motivations boost business effectiveness in adapting the company to an emerging chaotic environment. This is how a state of continuous transformation, fuelled by a sense of higher purpose, takes hold.
In this situation, companies are adding to their competitive and disruptive behaviours those of cooperation, participation, and engagement. The rise of companies and brands with a conscience makes us want to do good, because it is good for us, for the companies and for their environments.
Business consciousness must be transformed into action, because we now live with the urgency of a converging set of circumstances that no one can ignore any longer.
A New Way to Achieving Superior Results
Companies and brands with a conscience seek to perform in a sustainable and exceptional way through the individual and collective efforts of their stakeholders in their different roles, including that of citizens. To do so, they must at least ensure that they are:
Having a conscience is not a matter of good intentions, but of conviction.
“Most importantly, I learned that happiness and fulfilment do not come from pleasure but from meaning, from the pursuit of a noble purpose.” ― Fred Kofman, Conscious Business: How to Build Value Through Values
A Real Need to Moving from CX to XC
The brand experience becomes unique and unexpected if it recognises that purpose plays a fundamental role in the growth and transformation of the company.
In addition, consumers are increasingly rational at the point of purchase and prefer brands that make them feel part of something bigger, whilst connecting them around common causes or beliefs beyond economic transactions.
This means that the experience is taking on a new dimension, making the well-known Customer Experience -CX, begins to respond to new and changing needs that go beyond what is offered and how an offer is lived. This is Experiences with Conscience -XC. From CX we are moving to XC!
XC is a more holistic model that allows organisations to be more stakeholder-focused and give new impetus to a sustainable growth model.
A Conscious Leader
Leadership requires determination. Changing things requires conscious entrepreneurs who vehemently believe that business should be conducted for the general good and benefit of all, not just to make a small group of people rich.
To be a conscious entrepreneur doesn’t require to run a social enterprise or label its leaders as “social entrepreneurs”. It simply needs to be aware of how business works and that the expected results go beyond the economic ones -which are obviously necessary.
As the business landscape evolves and businesses are more interconnected and become more visible, the trend towards being a conscious venture takes hold. Today, many successful companies are much more aware of how their business operations affect everyone they interact with, how they are perceived and with whom they partner.
The Final Five Thoughts
1. Businesses and Brands with a Conscience are still evolving
As a relatively new movement, the concept of conscious businesses and brands is still evolving, however, there is agreement that there is a need to feel, learn, decide and act in a coherent and consistent way.
“…Greater awareness, responsiveness and determination are required…” ― Pete Burden, Conscious Businesspeople
Conscience shouldn’t be an aim in itself. To be meaningful, it must be applied towards concrete environmental, social and governance objectives -ESG.
2. A conscious business should be a sustainable one
Despite the relative uncertainty surrounding the concept of “sustainable”, it can be assumed to play a role. Social and environmental performance should be inherent to companies and brands with a conscience.
However, the lack of examples in this regard creates a certain level of confusion -e.g.: Richard Branson is an example of a conscious business approach, yet the environment doesn’t appear to be one of his priorities.
3. The goals of business with a conscience relate to wider society
It’s not about changing the way we do business, it’s about going back to the primary and permanent values of humanity and living them.
This human challenge could mean adopting a business and brand with a conscience approach, where being aware of the global and individual limits, is the first step towards a healthier and more responsible society and economy.
4. It is difficult to measure how ‘conscious’ a business is
There is as yet no agreed metric that can determine whether a company falls into this category.
Perhaps businesses and brands with a conscience are still a philosophy, an aspiration and/or a set of values.
What is important is that success may be assured if future measurement systems are not born as checkboxes to be ticked, rather than as an organic business process.
5. Most, if not all businesses could benefit from a conscious approach
It is hard to think of a company or leader that would not benefit from adopting a more conscious approach. This requires a major transformation in the mindset of senior management in particular and the organisation as a whole.
Perhaps awareness, or being more aware, is already part of what drives companies to become more sustainable – even though we still have doubts about what it means to be sustainable.
You May Also Read
- Living Brands: Purpose Matters by What You Do, Not by What You Say
- Innovative Culture: Purpose Has the Power to Transform Your Organization
- Impactful Marketing: Improve Business Results while Building Long-Lasting Value