Today’s compilation features excerpts from two interviews: Raj Sisodia, co-author of The Healing Organization and Conscious Capitalism, and Bob Thomas CCO of YMCA of the North (the Y). Both leaders speak on the importance of connecting purpose to their work.
Raj Sisodia is focused on how business should act consciously (and conscientiously) in order to save the world. As a professor and co-founder of the Conscious Capitalism movement, he specializes in fostering leadership that steers organizations in the direction of building a more cooperative, positive, and humane future.
Bob Thomas of the Y shares that he was always driven by mission-focused work, and tells us how his desire to positively impact his community, along with the support of the Y’s leadership, helped him revamp the foundation of the organization’s non-existent CX team.
These are two great conversations in which we’re able to really dig more deeply into the ways you can weave humanity into your business. Enjoy!
Beloved Companies Have a Sense of Shared Purpose
Raj shares that beloved companies who are mission-driven, are bound together by a sense of common purpose; they have some shared core values which guides them and unites the stakeholders. He explains that leadership in conscious companies care about purpose and aren’t as specifically ROI driven as some other leaders who focus very heavily on metrics. Just because these leaders don’t focus on ROI upfront, doesn’t mean that they don’t see a great return on the work.
“World class companies profit from passion. We did the financial analysis at the end, fully expecting that these companies are not seeking to maximize profits. They’re actually seeking to achieve their purpose and treat all people, and that maybe they don’t have outstanding financial outcomes. But they’re also looking after their customers much better. They’re investing in their employees and paying them much better,” says Raj.
He goes on to say, “They’re providing much better benefits and investing in their communities, investing in the environment, and they’re paying their suppliers well. What we actually found is that these companies outperformed the market by a nine to one ratio over a 10 year period. So, this is not a trade off between financial performance and being good to people on the planet. Those two things can actually go together extremely well.”
Beloved companies who are mission-driven, are bound together by a sense of common purpose. They have some shared core values which guides them and unites the stakeholders. @RajSisodiaCC Click To Tweet
A Conscious Leader Takes People to a Better Place
According to Raj, when you have a conscious leader within the organization, the employee experience and customer experience becomes elevated. He explains that conscious leaders are selfless and help create a vision for what’s possible. These are the people who can see what others can’t see; they can inspire employees to work towards realizing the vision.
Raj believes that a conscious leader can effectively develop a strategy towards building a company which allows its employees to develop their skills in a way that benefits all of the stakeholders. He also stresses the importance on being able to come from love, not fear.
Understand What You’re Doing for Your Audience and How You’re Meeting Their Different NeedsBob Thomas shares that he was interested in working at the Y because he saw it as a great opportunity to do purpose-driven work that helped people improve their mind, body, and soul. Prior to his role at the Y, Bob worked for a company that also had a strong mission focus, so when offered the opportunity to lead at the Y, he was inspired by the ability to continue serving people in his community, but in a different way.
Bob shares that he realized that even when doing mission-driven work, it’s necessary to establish fundamental operational processes before truly tackling the CX strategy. When he first joined the Y, there wasn’t a CX team and the marketing needed more directional focus. Bob explains that in addition to implementing a CRM system to properly manage communications, they needed to improve targeting so they could enhance the Y’s storytelling and connection with the community.
Since connecting with the local community is a big portion of the Y’s mission, getting a true understanding of what needed to be done for the people was a critical part of Bob’s initial work in the role. He shares that since the Y has multiple customer bases, he learned the importance of developing segments so they could effectively reach the people and their specific needs.
Bob stressed that though categorizing people into segments may have seemed like a less personable way to view their audience on the back-end, it was important to not lose sight of who they were truly speaking to and how to be of service to them.
Support From Leadership Strengthens the Mission
Bob shares that he was able to dedicate focus to the Y’s CX efforts because he had support from the CEO. The CEO created the role and leaned into innovation and change. Bob says, “He trusted me and I think those factors alone gave me the ability to stand strong and say, ‘Listen, we’re not doing any development on the digital side until we fix the CRM system, because you’re going to put a shiny chassis on a car that doesn’t run.’”
“If you don’t have a leader that believes in what you’re doing and that you can speak honestly to and that will back you up and invest in you in the right way with the right challenges, I just think you’re gonna stall; it’s going to be way harder,” says Bob.
About Raj SisodiaRaj is a founding member of the conscious capitalism movement and is co-founder and co-chairman of Conscious Capitalism Inc. He is a best selling author, publishing ten books and over 100 academic articles. His work has been featured in the Wall Street journal, The New York Times, Fortune, Financial Times, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, CNBC and more.
About Bob ThomasAt the YMCA, Bob is responsible for engaging community members to help them meet their personal goals, while ensuring a great Y experience through marketing, membership, and healthy living programs. Prior to joining the Y, Bob held marketing, sales and sales operations leadership positions at Boston Scientific. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and English from the University of St. Thomas.
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