Preface: This is post no. 3 in our current value immersion.
If you are newly joining us, you may want to start with;
1. ‘Ohana x2 and the 10 Tenets of an ‘Ohana in Business
2. About our Practice of Value Immersion
Naming your initiatives is important, particularly when they aren’t just experiments or pilot projects, and you’ve high hopes they go the distance.
So why did I choose to call our Managing with Aloha business model OIB—the ‘Ohana in Business?
These were my five primary reasons, and I am happy to say that each has been continually reaffirmed as Managing with Aloha has progressed.
1. ‘Ohana is a value-driven way to look at ‘form and function.’
‘Ohana is rather unique in our complement of Hawaiian values, in that it can be so variable yet adaptable —‘Ohana can actually be thought of as a who (family), a what (the family construct), a why (the human circle of Aloha), a when (when in association with certain people), and even a where (home). ‘Ohana is, and must be purposeful: It can be both form and function. ‘Ohana can be chosen, and thereafter assumed evermore—you are my family if and when I say you are, and you remain my family unconditionally.
That said, all values need intentional work to be strong, and no family is perfect. Thus…
2. ‘Ohana can refine our feelings and conversation about ‘family.’
I did see ‘Ohana as a challenge, when it came to reinventing what it meant to work within a family-owned or family-run business: What incentive did professionals have to work with these companies, if they weren’t family members as well? What happens when a family grows to an unwieldy number over successive generations, and geographic moves challenge sense of community? What happens when family rights and privilege complicate business conventions, e.g. a felony conviction, or terminating for just cause? There are numerous complications, and the best possible with Aloha answer became obvious: Treat everyone as hānai family from their Day 1 date of hire— hānai is ‘adopted child.’
Related Reading: Start with two words: “with Aloha”
3. An ‘Ohana in Business would require meaningful partnership.
One of the defining characteristics of MWA’s OIB is that we consider employees, vendor suppliers and other key liaisons to be business partners, and we treat them that way. Employees are not referred to as associates or colleagues, employees or staff—we call them “business partners” to constantly speak our Language of Intention. We recognize, and want to affirm, that all who are involved with our business in direct connection with the work of their livelihood and Ho‘ohana have a stake in our business; they play an important role. They should never be taken for granted, and we should never fail to involve them and/or their concerns in our decision making and strategic initiatives.
“There are natural times people check in, and
there are also times people naturally check out.
With ‘Ohana, they are virtually guaranteed to check in.”
—What does ‘Ohana mean to you? (Archive Aloha, March 2014)
4. The generosity of ‘Ohana was a great way to deal with money.
There are businesses of countless variety, but they all have one thing in common: They necessitate the handling of money and financial transactions. In MWA we spoke a bit about that “my guests shouldn’t have to pay me” attitude of the Mea Ho‘okipa, and that’s but the tip of the financial iceberg. Whether you are profit or nonprofit, public sector or private, money and your business model factors into nearly everything you do. Currency however, is your means to another end, and the lokomaika‘i generosity (‘of good heart’) of ‘Ohana would constantly remind us of our business vision and mission.
One of the key gifts an ‘Ohana in Business delivers on to our business partners, is the gift of financial literacy packaged in respect, transparency and trust.
“Visions, mission-driven objectives, and Ho‘ohana strategies may differ, however all companies pursuing business enterprise have two structural necessities in common: They need a sensible and viable business model, and an overarching ‘big picture’ business plan which is realistic and doable.”
—‘Ohana x2 and the 10 Tenets of an ‘Ohana in Business
5. ‘Ohana completes a powerful values trifecta with Kākou and Kuleana.
Our OIB model has its own inherent set of 3 core values: ‘Ohana, Kākou, and Kuleana. It is almost impossible to talk about ‘Ohana in a meaningful way without talking about the other two, and appreciating what they deliver to our “human circle of Aloha.” As the value of inclusiveness, Kākou defines the way we communicate with each other—healthy communication is essential in any business, but particularly with the increased intimacy of the values-driven one. Kuleana addresses both the responsibility of the individual and responsibility with sense of place; it powers engagement, and it demands accountability.
Related Reading: In Culture-building, Start with Communication
Now that I’ve shared my Why? with you, read over the 10 Tenets of an ‘Ohana in Business (a new tab will open for you) once more. Do they pass the form and function test for you? I welcome your feedback,
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Preview the updates in Managing with Aloha, Second Edition, released July, 2016
Managing with Aloha, Bringing Hawai‘i’s Universal Values to the Art of Business
Our value immersion study for the months of July and August 2017:
The 10 Tenets of an ‘Ohana in Business