Have you ever thought that as a human being made of a body, a mind – and for those who believe in this – a soul, we are similar to the corporations we work in, for and with?
Just think about it: in a corporation, there is a mind composed of the top management, a body made of individuals constituting teams who work to make the company operate, and a soul that is represented by the culture of the company (the practices and way of operating together) that really differentiates the organization.
From there, what is at stake? Most of us, as human beings, spend our lives trying to find a balance: a harmony between our body, mind and soul, between work, studies, trainings, sport, yoga, meditation, mindfulness, religious or spiritual practice. It is also valid for a corporation to find its balance in this way.
To find the equilibrium of a corporation, alignment between the top management, the teams and the company’s culture – all in service of the purpose of the company, its strategy and the realization of its objectives – is critical.
How does this happen? It requires a stand, an attitude, willingness, discipline and work. It requires what I call R.A.C.E.: Responsibility, Alignment, Connection, Equilibrium.
By taking responsibility, a company has the possibility to be the best version of itself for the best possible result. This result is the achievement of economical results within the frame of the stated strategy, while developing its people’s motivation, skills and well-being.
Then, the corporation has to internally align its top management, its teams and its culture; this relies on continuous appropriate communication, transmission of goals, discipline that messages are well relayed, vigilance that the culture that one wants to live in really lives in the company, and that people walk the talk. During this process that is continuous, all parties have to be responsible for what they are doing and not doing.
When alignment is present, the first stage of connection is established: the internal stage. It exists as a connection between the body, the mind, and the soul of the organization. It is then ready to connect to the outside world. This is where its purpose widens to serve clients, fulfill their concerns, meet their needs and even provide some pleasure.
This is a crucial process and requests emotional intelligence at its best – the same kind of emotional intelligence that we human beings use: the capacity to enter into relationships and in doing so, express empathy.
When a corporation is Responsible, Aligned and Connected, then comes the Equilibrium. Once established it does not exist indefinitely; the equilibrium and cruise speed still have to be checked regularly through the following questions:
- How is the physical impact of the company doing? (work conditions, biosphere). This deals with the reptilian brain of the system. (survival)
- What is the state of the company’s social impact? (relationships inside the company, relationships with clients, suppliers, services providers, shareholders….). This deals with the limbic brain of the system (relationships, language, well-being…).
- What is the economic impact? (projects, strategy, performance, innovation and creativity). This deals with the neocortex brain of the system.
- Are the internal and external mission of the company, supported and made possible by its culture, served and respected, allowing it to contribute to a mission bigger than itself?
In the end, human beings and corporations are all living intelligent systems who, to live and last, need first integration (alignment and internal connection), differentiation (towards the outside world) and connection to others. In totality, these elements serve purposes that are bigger than themselves.