Corporations & Consultants: Together We Are Creating a Culture of Conscious Capitalism
There is a certain curiosity or fascination among consultants, part of their inherent alertness and awareness to the world. A skill that is honed over time, the best consultants become highly conscious to their habitat (and the habitats of others, like those of corporate and government mansions) as they begin to translate their listening and observation skills into powers of perception, perhaps even prediction.
These skills are a valued commodity in corporate America; especially for those companies navigating their path toward “conscious capitalism” or “social response capitalism”. Social response capitalism is and evolving advanced form of capitalism by which many corporations are scouting their route to a new island of riches through a telescoping lens that includes corporate governance, social responsibility, environment excellence and product innovation as the pillars of financial growth in light of shifting consumer expectation.
There is no existing road, rail line or shipping lane toward social response capitalism. The path is being blazed by companies new and old, domestic and global, small and large, in an attempt to transition toward a stronger and more dynamic economy. Companies including GE, Wal-Mart, Suncor Energy, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Boeing, Coca-Cola, IBM, Intel, Baxter and Toyota are each scouting new paths in a dense rainforest of opportunity toward social response capitalism. And, with little light guiding their way along the forest floor of the new rainforest they find themselves in, many companies seek out the council and advisement of leading business strategists and innovators that have experience navigating new trails, cautiously and expeditiously.
As 2009 advances, ask yourself if your company is walking blindly toward its future or charting its course with the help of an adept scout that understands all of the emerging opportunities and risks associated with social response capitalism. The best habitat for some of the best consultants is often in the thicket of uncertainty, searching for an optimal opening to make sense of their surroundings. Another way of summing up the Best Habitat for Consultants is equating it as the levels of a Rainforest:
1. Forest Floor - scouring for food is never easy, but the adept consultant knows that the forest floor is often where best ideas are left behind, overlooked and sometimes altogether forgotten.
2. The Understory - this is the area where emerging breakthrough ideas and concepts emerge. They struggle and compete for attention and life, but the adept consultant can provide nourishment to the right Understory elements to add life. Success grows from passion and compassion in the competitive understory. Success requires continual open probing and articulate research…That reaches for the sun of good and useful findings.
3. The Canopy - here the consultant thrives by having direct access to seeing organizations for their full potential - with access to senior visionary leaders and knowledge of best practices that sustain the organizations Canopy.
4. The Emergent Layer - this is where the consultant's antenna is at full mast and the telescoping lens reaching far and wide. The consultant is best atop the emergent layer, but only after understanding how the forest floor supports the Understory and how the Understory brings new life to sustain the type of vision seen at the Emergent Layer level.
Consultants also thrive when their habitats are:
1. Dynamic - ever changing.
2. Rich with growth potential - it's up to the consultant.
3. Multi-dimensional - there is more than meets the eye.
4. Purposeful - both in monetary promise and with regard to the potential to influence change, otherwise we're wasting time.
5. Friendly - the habitat should be open to mistakes, change and understanding of risk, a non caring habitat does not nurture growth.
As your company studies and ultimately enters the “green economy” rainforest at the forest floor level where it is dark, mysterious and overwhelming in its stature and appearance; consider tapping into one of the numerous consultants that call themselves “conscious capitalists” which can help you navigate your way toward the canopy and emergent layer toward top line business growth. Through sound market diagnostics, insightful organizational knowledge and unique perspective and experience, consultants can serve your organization as skillful scouts and adept advisors, to help your firm position for growth in the green economy.