Creating conscious organisations is not a new idea.
Movements including the Quakers, Co-operatives, Industrial Provident Societies, Not-for-Profits, B-Corps, Conscious Capitalism and Impact investing have been building since the 17th century and continue to grow as we are called to build businesses which do no harm and are a force for good.
Conscious Leadership is making a huge contribution in the evolution of conscious businesses.
Developing these two aspects of our business give us awakening businesses.
And where is Finance in all of this? Mostly, silo’d and doing ‘business as usual’, which means ultimately coming back to one driver – profit at all costs.
Somehow, we seem to exclude Finance from the mix and this leaves us vulnerable when times get tough – we get hijacked by what I call our ‘money story’, the part of us which is tasked with ensuring our survival. This part of us is usually built on fear and scarcity so when we are pushed to this place, it is hard to make conscious, caring decisions. It is hard to uphold our values and our vision in the short-term, believing that if we don’t ‘do the necessary (just this time, next time will be different)’, there will be no long term.
As I see it, for a business to be a truly conscious business, it needs 3 components:
– Conscious Organisation (co-operative, B-Corp, shared ownership, for example),
– Conscious Leadership and
– Conscious Finance
When we have these 3 components in place, we have a SatNav system which helps us to stay rooted in our desire to do good business even when faced with difficult decisions.
Conscious Finance invites us to do 3 things in particular:-
– Take radical responsibility for our money story
– Deepen our understanding of what money actually is and what it can be
– Develop the Art of Conscious Financial Presence – where the rubber hits the road.
Art – it takes practice and the more we practice, the more beautiful it becomes.
Conscious – we are aware, alert, caring.
Financial – covers the day-to-day transactions as well as understanding how a business is funded, how risks are managed and how the rewards are distributed – as pay, benefits, interest, capital repayments and dividends.
Presence – is being here, now. Not caught in the past or the future. Trusting that what is here, right now, is what should be here and what we should be engaged with – or present to. This can be what differentiates a conscious business from other businesses and it’s what gives a business it’s edge, as such.
When we can infuse our Finances with consciousness, we become powerful engines for prosperity.