SVN – Values Driven Success & Happiness

Posted by | April 09, 2011 | General | 3 Comments

My favorite speaker of the conference thus far, John Miles, spoke to us today about Values-Driven Success through Happiness in Business.  Yes!  Business can be happy and fun.  For John, his company’s happiness quotient is an important measure of its success.

As a young boy in the 1970s John saw frustration, fear, and despair in business people.  As a result, he vowed never to become one.  Initially, he succeeded.  After college John became a climbing bum.  Climbing was mentally and physically fulfilling, but John feared his mind was atrophying.  Although climbing provided a flow experience, John felt he wasn’t contributing enough to the world around him.  He decided to start a business and Integritive was born with John in the role of Chief of What’s Next.

Recognizing the immense value in being present within our businesses, which then opens the door for greater happiness to emerge, Integritive started with a mission of “love & have fun.”  It also adopted an Ethos — values it would not abandon even for competitive advantage.  Initially, John wanted his business to be a place where connection was of primary importance.  As people joined the Integritive team, additional values were articulated as part of the Ethos:

Integritive’s values are listed in order.  The first value (Well Being) takes precedence over all others.  The second value, Mindful Expansion, would be trumped by Well Being, but not by any other, and so-on down the line.

Even though Integritive evolved this powerful Ethos, real understanding came from applying it during challenging times.  Faced with a dire financial situation, John chose to expose his vulnerabilities to his team.  He was upfront with them about his concern for the company and its ability to remain in business.  He promised them that he would continue working hard to make it work.  This experience taught John the value of being grateful and thankful during challenging times.

John defines success as the progressive realization of new states awareness.  He wants to make sure that his company’s work is worthy — worth trading life energy for — and fostering growth of its members personally and as a team.  Every week John’s team examines whether they are happy.  They evaluate whether they’re growing professionally, personally, and spiritually and whether they’re financially stable or abundant.

John uses three techniques to measure his team’s happiness:

[framed_box]

1. Daily — Taking the pulse of the organization through simple observation

2. Weekly — Asking each employee, “On a scale of 1-100, how happy are you?”

3. Quarterly — Sending an e-mail to every employee, asking them to complete this sentence:

“I’d be happier at Integritive if ___________

with the intent of making the requested changes whenever possible [/framed_box]

John explained that once you cultivate a culture of sharing, people will be candid.  As for finding the right people, John’s experience is that when the company ethos is strong it repels unwanted things and attracts good things that can support it, including people.

John concluded with this simple formula:

Ethics + Ethos = Wisdom

When you run your business from a place of wisdom, your business will thrive.

If you have the chance to see John Miles present, I hope you will!

Branding is not only external.  The success of your company depends on its team.  The happier your team is with the work they do, the more your brand(s) will succeed.

About Lara

Lara Pearson is a trademark attorney with Exemplar, where she also serves as the firm's Sustainability Steward. Lara's legal practice focuses on trademark and copyright law, including: intellectual property audits; trademark search & clearance; trademark and copyright registration & maintenance; intellectual property transfers; transactional work; and dispute resolution, including litigation when necessary. Lara primarily represents other social enterprises -- those leveraging their businesses and brands as catalysts for positive social and environmental change. Such businesses engage in CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) to have a positive "triple bottom line" of people, planet and profit. As Exemplar's Sustainability Steward, Lara works with others in her law firm to measure and reduce the firm's carbon emissions and encourage engagement in social responsibility initiatives, including pro bono legal work and volunteering. Lara is a proud member of the Social Venture Network. Brand Geek is a member of 1% for the Planet and a Certified B Corporation, whose Incline Village office is certified under the regional Keep the Sierra Green program. Exemplar Companies is the most innovative professional services firm in the New Economy. Our unique, diversified expertise spans the disciplines of corporate law, business advisory, and capital/investment banking to better meet the needs of our high-potential customers. We have assembled a comprehensive suite of service to meet the complex issues facing companies in today’s challenging business environment. Our unique, holistic approach ensures the growth and success – and greatly increases the competitive advantage - of our customers. The Exemplar team is comprised of knowledgeable, highly skilled experts in a wide range of industries and disciplines. They work closely with our customers to provide trusted advice, incomparable support, expert guidance and the ultimate competitive advantage as they accelerate their businesses and position themselves to transform industries.

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