Whenever the word “corporate” appears, we tend to think of an enterprise well marketed and branded. Scratch beyond the surface and you struggle with the names of key leaders beyond the token CEO and imagine it filled with floating identities easily replaceable.
The word “consciousness” brings different emotions as we find it vaguely unknown though we know it’s inherent in us. Consciousness has been defined as awareness and the ability to experience or to feel and is a term that refers to the relationship between the mind and the world with which it interacts.
Combining “corporate consciousness”, I’m specifically referring to the individuals that make up a corporation and their collective consciousness that is the day to day culture displayed along the corridors. Not the culture espoused by the CEO during a fancy media interview, neither that which sits on a plaque above the gloomy receptionist. I’m talking about the culture that pulsates through the walls, evident in how individuals treat their customers, partners, suppliers and especially one another, irrespective of title.
Coming back to the source – individuals. What is important to you comprises of multiple factors, many which you may not even be aware of. A good way is to consider your needs and desires across the four realms of physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. The combined values you uphold define who you are and also what you’ll tend to expect from others and your organization. They define how you want to be treated, what you’ll willingly give and often, who you want to be with.
As we elevate these multiple values into a single entity called the corporation, we’ll find that there are many similar and many conflicting values in play. Contrary to what some believe, the differences actually enable new thinking and better ways to emerge; as long as the over-arching vision and focus is clear. When the vision is well understood and bought into, it forms the framework where behaviors are benchmarked, joint decisions are made and a strong vibrant culture forms over time.
Therefore, I define corporate consciousness as the relationship between the combined values of individuals (making up the organization) and the world with which it interacts. This relationship is represented in multiple tangible and intangible ways. Tangibly – it governs how we deal with external parties, the rules and unwritten ethics we abide by or don’t. Intangibly – it influences how we react to world issues and our perceptions of the impact towards us.
Adding onto the combined values is a corporation’s stated vision and the behaviors of their leadership team. This vision is only believable if it comprises what’s most important to the greater good – beyond profitability and sustainability, it must support humanity and the environment. Enter the leadership team whose main responsibility is to respect individuality while supporting everyone in the organization forward towards achieving this common vision. Fitting leaders are those who enable individuals to bond and form a shared set of values as groups; later cooperating with other groups to achieve larger goals together in harmony.
Paying attention to and harnessing corporate consciousness positively will not only increase an enterprise’s performance but also increase the well-being of all individuals involved. The process starts with understanding the values of the individuals and teams through assessments that Chai Coaching can help facilitate. The knowledge not only fulfills the needs of survival and relationships but builds cohesion, all towards the betterment of society. From “me” to “we”, from “balance sheets” to “well-being”, from “business corporation” to “social co-operation” – this transformation is possible as long as we’re mindful that we each have a role to play and much to gain collaboratively.