Businesses operate through transactions; be it inventory from suppliers, products to customers, or contributions from employees. On a basic level we can deliver the terms specified in the transaction and produce some level of satisfaction. Only when we deliver beyond the transaction can we have a chance at building loyalty.
Gender equality, diversity, inclusion, employee engagement, openness, compassion, optimism, environmental impact, and many others were once commonly thought as initiatives that were optional – bonuses. They were enticing and nice, but expensive and not exactly critical.
Today however, we see that they are not only becoming increasingly more critical; they are becoming the exact areas where competitive advantages are earned in the search for top talent as well as loyal customers. Furthermore, these are not different issues or initiatives; they are different facets of the same thing – BUILDING HUMAN-CENTERED businesses that resonate and better align with our global, connected, 24-7 economy.
It is no longer an option to merely recognize this, or choose to implement one or two ‘initiatives’. Businesses must fully commit to raising the standards across ALL these endeavors if they want to remain relevant.
Here are a few links to some recent happenings and articles that I find interesting. Please feel free to share similar links in the comments section.
“Companies say that diversity is important, that they want more women in leadership. Our employees don’t believe that’s true,” said Sheryl Sandberg—Facebook’s chief operating officer—speaking to an audience that included her parents.
Dominic Barton, global managing director at McKinsey & Company, says you can’t claim you have the best talent at your company if less than 50% of your workforce consists of women.
Brian Moynihan, CEO of Bank of America said it was important to him that his employees not have to choose between work and family.
Mark Benioff, CEO of Salesforce.com announced that after analyzing over 17,000 salaries of their global employees, they have set the standard for gender equality in terms of pay as well as developed programs that lead to 30+% increase in the number of women who were promoted last year.
Looking for business leaders who communicate in ways that guide people towards a better future? Howard Schultz, chairman and CEO of Starbucks recently placed a full-page ad on the cover of New York Times to encourage social change and corporate behavior to remove ‘the cloud hanging over American people by shifting from cynicism to optimism, from despair to possibility, from division to unity, from exclusion to inclusion, from fear to compassion, and from indifference to love.’
I used it as the title image, but here is a direct link to their landing page. http://lp.starbucks.com/everydaychoices
Facebook, Bank of America, Salesforce.com, and Starbucks understand how vital these are to their continued growth, and choose to invest on a massive scale. It is remarkably easier (and likely more critical) to build this into your culture before your business gets to this scale.