Whether a company is for-profit or non-profit, a growth culture is preferable. It is also more challenging.
►►► WHY read this? Establishing a growth culture in any organization is more complex and more effective than is generally thought. ◄◄◄
A culture of growth is like a rolling wave on which ‘things’ can surf. The ‘things’ are people, planet, profit.
Creating the wave doesn’t directly push these forward. As a leader, you are the creator of the wave, or better said the instigator. You should not try to do the work of the wave. That would be a fundamental mistake.
Nevertheless, your job is crucial. As the creator of waves, you are an ocean. That is quite something! There is much work involved in becoming an ocean. This is seldom fully appreciated. Thus, many courses in leadership tend to push the ocean into a bathtub. That doesn’t work. If you, as a leader, have been forcefully pushed into a bathtub, you better get out of it. You cannot create ocean waves from there.
Of course, you can be a leader and a manager. However, if the ‘leader’ only does the manager’s job, there is no leadership. The company will not be a growth company. You can stick to this as an easy option, still viable today.
It will be less and less sustainable in the future. Moreover, even now, real growth is much more interesting to everyone. Money is not an ‘end value.’ [see: “From deep meaning to post-capitalism”]
People, planet, and profit surf together.
Growing as a company – not just a commercial entity – can be done by combining these three in one endeavor. The whole is more than the combination. Its actions and reactions cannot be understood by only looking at the elements. It carries something new and essential. This way, a company can become part of the wave that enables surfing. It becomes unique and irreplaceable.
We can now look at the elements in a holistic way.
Not just a number in a list, each person is an open-complex being interconnected in many ways with other people and the environment. This happens at the conceptual level, and substantially more so at the subconceptual level. [see: “About ‘Subconceptual’”] The latter is often overlooked. Nevertheless, this is where people deeply ‘feel connectedness.’ At the conceptual level, they most frequently only ‘know connectedness.’ There’s a huge difference. The feeling is more powerful.
Through this conceptual/subconceptual interconnectedness, in empathy, each person overlaps with his environment. This is, he feels ‘at home.’ Many people feel at home… at home, of course. Many people also feel at home in a broader environment. Eventually, this planet becomes the home of humanity, where we are all interconnected. It is vital that people indeed feel connected to the planet. Not only by abstractly knowing, but feeling connected with it. What’s good for the planet is good for us — that kind of feeling.
In other words, the environment. This is meaningful because of the sentient beings that live on it. Otherwise, it would be as meaningless as some rock anywhere in the universe. Life on earth is four billion years old. Let’s hope it will still last that long. Each person and each company is building on that future. This grand idea can be part of the company culture.
From that grandest vision to quite nearby, people work together in a company, a companionship of those with the same interests, eventually, the same endeavor that pervades all life. This is growth. Flowing in this direction, a company can receive a lot of energy.
This can come in many ways. From a broad perspective, the difference between profit and non-profit becomes less relevant. If the aim is broad, the difference is just the way the river flows to the sea. The profit serves the people who are living on the planet.
With this broadest aim, the company deserves a profit that enables it to become a growth company.
People, planet, and profit surf together on a wave of growth.
We can see now how the three enable each other. Every company can choose to provide support in this and get support from the same instead of being a force only for its own profit. This is an ethical choice. More and more, it will become a necessary choice.
Concerning leadership, choosing for growth will increasingly encompass a choice for Open Leadership [see: “No Future without Open Leadership”]. The growth company is an environment in which Open Leadership can thrive. In turn, Open Leadership will enable growth companies to thrive. Once we are in this interplay, both will naturally form an Open Future in which companies become organic players. Probably, this will happen within a worldwide society.
We can work together to reach this. Then starts another bright adventure.