Our vocabulary drives our intention.
‘Employee’ is not a word I use much anymore, and never in my own business. I’ll use it in my keynote presentations and workshops because it’s common vocabulary for everyone else, but in our chosen business form, the working culture of an ‘Ohana in Business, we call each other partners instead.
It’s recognition that you’re way more than an employee-for-hire. You’re my partner in the followership we spoke of recently, where we join forces to champion an important and worthwhile mission. In our case (i.e. Say Leadership Coaching) we champion Managing with Aloha as a practical and useful philosophy.
We adopted our vocabulary in a Pilot Project.
We initially made the change to our vocabulary in working on our company-wide financial literacy: Our business plan is considered a guideline and a tool we all use, learning it for the full understanding we need — understanding of what makes us a ‘business’ and a self-sustaining one. Money is not inherently evil, for good money finances the worthwhile work of a very worthy cause. To be wise in using our money, fully aware of our possibilities, we need a good financial model. And what good would that model be, if everyone in our company wasn’t using it, constantly bettering it in actual practice?
This work on our financial literacy had all kinds of positive, healthy repercussions, such as with how profit sharing is woven into our model compared to the expectations of when profits are returned to the business through other investments, or tithed to charity. Can you imagine the conversations? (All Conversations Are Not Created Equal.)
It became crystal clear to us, how having the KĀKOU attitude that we are all partners saying, “we’re in this together” belonged in every other facet of our business, and not just in our approach to finance.
Is there a Project Pilot in partnering waiting for you?
Geoffrey James recently penned a good list for Inc. Magazine on what a better partnership involves. On his list:
1. Prepare to Relinquish Some Control
2. Understand Your Strengths and Weaknesses
3. Select the Right Partner
4. Build a Partnership Consensus
5. Adopt a Strict Code of Ethics
6. Go beyond Your Commitments
7. Be Patient With the Partnership
8. Monitor and Measure
9. Celebrate Frequently
His scope is more limited, for he seems to be talking about key partnerships versus the partner of our MWA vocabulary and Language of We, where everyone involved with us is either partner or customer/coaching client. But I do think it’s a good list to work with and aspire to in our own value-mapping.
A Journaling Exercise:
Write down the headings of James’ list, just as I have them above, and do some value-mapping: Flesh them out, with your Sweet Spot intentions instead of his, and Kūlia i ka nu‘u — strive for a higher summit!
- If you were to assign one of our 19 Values of Aloha to each point on the list, which would you choose for your alignment guide?
- How would you explain or qualify each one? Do our 9 Key Concepts help with your options? For instance, I immediately think about the Daily 5 Minutes in regard to number 8. Monitor and Measure.
- Is there anything you would add (or delete in your personal Drill Down), knowing of our MWA culture-building as you do? For instance, where is the talking story trigger in conversing, or in speaking up?
- Use your notes, by converting them into next-stepping action steps. Can you come up with a short list to pick from in daily effort? Where can more enjoyable face time replace email, voicemail or texting?
- Commit to being a better partner yourself before you levy these expectations on everyone else. Model the good behaviors you would love to see repeated in others.
Read more about piloting projects here: Choose your next Project Kukupa‘u. There was some sweet serendipity for me, in seeing how the words “relinquish control” (James’ 1st list point) popped up there too!
You might also enjoy a review of this posting: The Workplace Mixology of ‘Ohana for the value alignment it offers with ‘OHANA.
Key 6. THE ‘OHANA IN BUSINESS MODEL:
The best form for your life CAN be the best form for your ‘Ohana in Business® as well, where the objectives of each will support the other — they need not be mutually exclusive. A business can be more than self-sustainable and profitable: It can thrive in perpetuity though key people will come and go. In Managing with Aloha we learn a values-based business model and organizational structure simultaneous to learning productivity practices which drive ROI (return on investment) and ROA (return on your attentions). There is art and science in business, and we love it all: Business modeling is never boring in an MWA culture, and we value financial literacy in the complete education of sustainable modeling.