Welcome to the human-to-human purpose and experience driven era.
This is what the 21st century is all about. You may have been led to believe that it is about “things,” “big data” or even, “robots” and those are getting a lot of widespread development and coverage in the world. But we are in the human-to-human era where people will matter more and more when it comes to business.
If you look around, you will see a few trends not many are discussing:
This is a great time to put people at the center of business and make sure you have conscious 21st century leaders who: a) Get their hands dirty; b) integrate change into the daily cycle of the business; c) build relationships and communities and d) create the space for people to achieve the organization’s shared purpose. I recently spoke to someone who was the right hand of a very well known CEO and she shared that while they adopted a new organizational methodology, it needed more 21st century leaders in place for it to be successful.
It does take a village in the 21st century to take business to the next level. Are you a 21st century conscious leader?
Business and society are fusing faster than we ever imagined. We live in an open and connected world that allows us to connect with other people without the traditional gatekeepers. It’s a choice whether we use the tools that are available to build connected networks and communities or follow the 20th century marketing practices that no longer serve us. Today, you can read a book written by a best selling author who is still alive, for example, and then connect with them on a Skype call. Video technology is connecting us human-to-human and you can bring your own cup of tea with you. We can connect human-to-human in every aspect of our lives. Who are you connecting with? What relationships are you building?
Business is personal and people are at the heart of business. The movement has started and there is data to back it up. Purpose-oriented people view work through the lens of personal fulfillment and contributing to other people’s lives, according to the Workplace Purpose Index, a new report from Imperative and New York University. For 28% of the workforce who are purpose-driven, it is knowing who they are and linking their own purpose with that of the organization. They are very clear about the work they want to do in the world and according to this study they outperform the majority of the workforce who focus on money, advancement and competition. Having a shared purpose that everyone across the organization can articulate easily and simply human-to-human is increasingly important in business in the 21st century. You can leave your statements in the 20th century and move into the 21st century with grace and purpose. What’s your purpose?
Companies that do good in the world return more profits to their shareholders than their counterparts. Our 20th century practices are costing lives and it is time for a new path for business in the world. Shamini Dhana’s journey is one from successful corporate executive to entrepreneurial success as a B Corp Founder. Through her company,Dhana Inc., she not only provides an eco-friendly clothing line for babies and kids, she has a vision for sustainable practices and ethically made fashion so kids know the hearts and hands that make the clothes they wear. She is joining others to create a fashion industry that values people, the environment, creativity and profit in equal measure.
Most people are not aware that human and environmental abuses are endemic across this industry and that what we are wearing could have been made in an exploitative way. Shamini does not want kids to wear this story anymore. She sees fashion becoming a force of good. The first step is in humanizing fashion. By seeing who makes our clothes and fashion, new stories emerge. That is the opportunity in front of us is not only know the people making the clothes but how these people are being treated in their daily lives. Humans make and buy fashion — all our stories count. Don’t you want your kids and future generations to know “We’re Wearin’ the World™!”?
The times they are a changing.
We have moved from the Industrial age, where we had laborers, to the Knowledge era, where we had experts, to the human-to-human era, where we create experiences based on shared purpose. In the 20th century, we were told we were two people: professional self and personal self and somehow we needed to balance our work and our life in this illusionary separation of who we were. In today’s 21st century world, most of us are reminded that we are one whole person who wants to show up in life.
The 21st century is about LIFEworking, an era where each person has a life and decides what we want to create during this amazing adventure and who we want to co-create with. #LIFEworking: choosing your life over making a living and mastering who you are and why you are here. Which era are you living in? Welcome to the 21st century where people matter as business transforms to being a force of social good in the world. It’s time to let go of our attachments to how we run business today and consider that the old Industrial ways may no longer serve us. And most importantly, as artists and creators, we have a choice to be free of these beliefs and chart a new journey for business and humanity that has a different itinerary and a strong shared purpose.
The above are excerpts from our new book, Our Journey to Business Common Sense, which is being brought to life through this campaign and as I type this very sentence we have pre-sold 250 copies of the book. I am grateful to each person who is bringing this book to life so we can imagine a new path for all of us for business as a force of good in the world. And an editor is joining the journey so we can get it to everyone who is interested when it is birthed. Thank you for being part of the human-to-human era where we can be who we are. It is a privilege of a lifetime to tap into our humanity.
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Ayelet Baron is a global futurist who speaks and writes about the future of life and work, and a co-creator at CreatingIs. Her upcoming book, Our Journey to Business Common Sense, is a journey of possibilities for the 21st century leader. Ayelet was chief strategy and innovation officer at Cisco Canada, taking Canada from #6 in revenue to #2 globally. She was also an Innovator in Residence at Roche/Genentech and part of the senior leadership team of its Strategic Innovation in Product Development. Follow Ayelet @ayeletb