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RECENTLY I WAS READING an interview with Jay Gould, CEO of Interface Corp. He has wonderful experience leading a variety of companies, large and small.

He described a trend he’s noticed called “purpose-washing.” He uses it to describe companies that slap a message of purpose on their outreach to employees because they’ve heard that Millennials want that kind of thing.

That’s like declaring “New and Improved!!!!” because you want something to say on the box that looks exciting.

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PEOPLE OFTEN COMPLAIN that companies only worry about the current quarter, or even the current week.

I don’t care if you’re a one-person business, or a billion dollar mega-corporation. You care that the business is going to survive. For years, decades, even forever.

As a leader, your role is to plan for that future, to lay the groundwork and structure for enduring success. So don’t complain about the shortsightedness of the stock market, or the regulators, or your boss. It doesn’t help.

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WITH THE RIGHT ATTITUDE, building solid technical skills is much easier.

This is the philosophy of Canidium, a rapidly growing consulting business which focuses on sales and service performance improvement via strategic guidance and systems integration and support for their clients..

It’s a pretty technical set of services, but I was intrigued by the notion that this company puts people first: Both its customers and its employees. Read the rest of this entry »

THE PARLOUR is a Colorado chain of salons stretching between Fort Collins, Boulder and Denver.

Led by Gene Cahill, it was started in Fort Collins in 1998 to fill a perceived gap in excellent, personal salon services.

That’s what you’ll see from the outside. Read the rest of this entry »

DO YOU HAVE DIFFICULTY running the same old job postings that everyone else in your industry is doing?

Stop it!  As a mission-driven, values-based organization, you can take an entirely different approach.

Check out this article that I published on the Conscious Company Media site:

Values are king at social impact jobs

In my decades as a business consultant, I’ve learned that many of the technical skills — most of the stuff in the job description — are trainable. What really makes someone suitable for a job at your mission-driven enterprise is how well they align with your mission and values.

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flameHOW WELL DO YOU REWARD your employees for aligning with your company’s values?

OK, honestly, how many of your employees actually remember what your values are?

This is a critical question, because your people can only be expected to align with what they remember, and what is reinforced by your systems and culture.

That’s why I found the recent article by David Lee to be powerful: Read the rest of this entry »

Kathy Ziola2016 WAS A BRUTAL YEAR for relationships in this country.  With so much focus on political divisiveness, we took many steps backward in civility.

It’s time to repair the damage.

That’s why I was so intrigued by a presentation I saw this week from Kathy Ziola at the ICF Colorado meeting.

Kathy has spent many years studying and teaching about Compassionate Conversations.  As the head of Communication Works in Denver, she is dedicated to non-violent communication.

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REFUGE COFFEE is an amazing business based in Clarkston, Georgia, in the US. I’m going to let this video speak for itself:

 

 

They’ve structured this as a non-profit, but they don’t necessarily have to.  I’ve seen others who go the for-profit route, in order to maintain more freedom of operation.

What’s their true mission?  Selling coffee, of course.  But also job training, social network, and job creation for the huge diversity of refugees in the local area.  Coffee is the product, but social benefit is the purpose.

Go check them out!  www.refugecoffeeco.com

If someone were to create a video telling your deeper story, what would they focus on?

FORNEY INDUSTRIES is a powerful company in Fort Collins.  Never heard of them?

Well, it’s nice to know that the family-owned business was born and raised in Fort Collins.

Forney Industries makes welding and metal-working equipment and parts.  It’s a fabulous business, powered from a solid reputation for delivering top value since 1932.

With about 220 employees worldwide, most in Fort Collins, they deliver their products through hardware, farm & ranch, automotive aftermarket, and industrial distribution stores.  They sell online, and their sales force also works directly with customers who do welding and metal working as a part of their business.

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EmployeeYOU CAN TRY TO FIND GREAT PEOPLE for your jobs, or you can attract those who will really be energized to work in your business.

I’ve talked about this before.

The problem is that our standard approach to finding employees is to describe the technical skills that are needed, the great benefits package, and … that’s about it.  Potential employees really don’t know much about you and how you’re out to change the world.

You need to shift your thinking and change the messaging.

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