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We all know compassionate people, those who brighten the world by their very existence. You just know they’re making the world a better place.

Photo by Ludovic François on Unsplash

Business doesn’t have that reputation. It’s about making products. Delivering services. Being profitable. Attacking competitors.

That’s a very functional feeling, even hard-edged. Especially when you’re talking about the numbers.

As your business grows and matures, it is almost inevitable you will ask yourself whether to buy or lease space from which to operate. Here are a few key considerations when making this decision.

So what does it mean for a company to have a more compassionate approach? And does it matter?

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Like most people, my values have changed quite slowly during my life. I can identify a few distinct places where values shifted – like when I graduated from college – but it’s not common.

As I’ve aged, I’ve become clearer about what my values are – but it’s more about learning who I am, not becoming a different person.

When you’re looking to hire great people, this is a critical observation.

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Being driven by ethical values can seem a bit lonely.

After all, the world seems to be screaming at us to focus on making money. The money is great, it’s absolutely necessary. But what about making an impact?

Since you’re still reading this, I assume you’re one of the ones who wants to positively influence the community, world, and society through your business.

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In 1987, Warren Bennis and Burt Nanu created the term VUCA to describe the leadership challenges created from a world which was increasingly Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous. It became more popular because the acronym captured some of the tension that people were feeling in many industries and organizations.

There’s no question that most of us are experiencing this.

How do we deal with it? In the coming weeks, I’ll introduce you to a replacement VUCA which leads you to constructive action. It starts with Values.

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There are many times in business where it feels like you don’t know where you’re going. Employee issues. Customers giving you grief.

It just feels like the formula isn’t working anymore.

So what do you do when it feels like a need for change somehow?

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Amazon.com is now over half a million people. For such an incredibly automated service, this is an astounding number of employees.

But you’d be hard pressed to find ANY business where its success doesn’t lie in the hands of its people.

So how do they manage this?

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RECENTLY I HAD A GREAT DISCUSSION with a local service club about Conscious Capitalism. One of the members remarked that he’s heard about companies wanting to “do good” for decades. So what does Conscious Capitalism – and similar kinds of thinking – bring to the discussion?

This is a fabulous question! Because, in fact, some companies have engaged in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and other kinds of philanthropy for a long time.

What’s new is how this is growing and accelerating. First, because people have been developing some core competencies and given us a language.

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Your company is on a great and important mission. You’ve done the work to align your values and measures.

Fantastic!

And then you shoot yourself in the foot by being inconsistent. It’s a matter of trust.

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THE WORLD SEEMS like it’s sliding all over the place. Things we assumed were solid and unchanging are being constantly questioned.

Even my kids have noticed.

The honest truth, though, is that your business foundation is as solid as you want it to be.

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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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