For the past week I have been thinking about what Social Entrepreneurship really means.
Today I realized that it is a shift of paradigms.
Business is not what it used to be. When I say business, I mean all aspects and everyone involved with it. That means YOU! There may be a few exceptions to this, but if you think you are one of those exceptions, keeping reading...
As a business owner, it is up to you to stay current about and implement the best ways to create ideal working environments. Help your managers and employees see why their actions are important. Allow them to see how their contributions add to the whole company. If it were not for them... Be honest and transparent with how the company operates. Everyone can find out this information anyways, why don't you tell them? Have you ever been in a relationship without honesty? How well did that work? If you begin to think about your employees as the other person in a relationship with you, you will make mutually beneficial decisions together. I know it sounds kind of lovey dovey, but see it in action. Zappos.com, Mind Valley and of course Virgin are great examples of this kind of business. See how it is working for them!
As a manager of a business, it is up to you to stay current about and implement the best ways to creat an ideal working evironment for your team. Happy team = productive work. I know it sounds simple, but if you can master this art, wow! It's time to allow your team to let their creative juices flow. Encourage the people in your team to come up with ideas about a project, the work environment, the business, etc. You have to mean it. Even if you are unable to implement some of their ideas, hear them. People need to be heard.
"The reason history must repeat itself is because we pay so little attention to it the first time." ~ Blackie Sherrod
My question to you is, are you paying attention the first time? If not, are you always coming up against the same issues at work?....
As an employee of a business, it is up to you to take charge of your own job. It is YOUR job after all. If you have a manager that uses tactics that don't work to motivate you, tell them that...nicely. Don't look outside of yourself for motivation or answers. You already know what you have to do. Think one step ahead and no one will be hounding you all the time. Be innovative. Don't be afraid to speak up about changes that could improve the company environment. Do this constructively and tell the right people. It doesn't take long to know who the decision makers are in a department. Find them and discuss your ideas with them. If they are innovative and fresh, they might just go for them. It's your life at the end of the day. Make it count, regardless of what you are doing.
Try to leave everything a little better than when you found it, whether it is your mess or not. This can apply to any situation from interactions with others to cleaning up to doing something nice without being asked. Try not to fall into the "that's not my job" mentality, whether in daily life or work.
Basically, what I realized is that this shift we want to make to a more socially based business model is up to every one of us. Don't wait around for your company, managers or employees to change. YOU begin the change. It's not all up to you, but some of it is. If no one starts, nothing changes.
Tomorrow I will discuss the non-profit sector and how it fits into this model. I haven't forgotten about you...you are in a business as well. Businesses don't have to be profitable, in fact many are not! I have run a few of those myself!