Remember when you learned about primary colors in school?
Think back to kindergarten, for it usually was one of the earliest lessons we had, in which art and science blended so pleasingly well. It was back when we felt at our most creative and free-spirited selves, not really knowing what was ahead of us, and too young to give our future much thought at all, yet this color lesson was one that made us so energetic, and so hopeful.
There were crayons, pots of poster paint, and those magic prisms that our teacher would hold up to the sunlight and dazzle us with. Remember?
The teacher mentioned black and white in these color lessons, but she (or he) fully understood our impatience with them; they were kinda boring. Those connective impressions were left to learn later in a different context, and in a different age.
For now, our three primary colors of red, blue, and yellow were all we wanted, all we needed. The primary colors could mix for secondary colors, and my goodness, we’d blend, blend again, and blend again. There was so much experimenting we could do, and we did it tirelessly.
Sometimes we overdid it, and we got the colors of mud, a subjective stopper if there ever was one! The muddiness wasn’t that ugly to us, because we remained fascinated by the way it happened, and all it did, really, was get us to stop one batch and start another one. We quickly learned to wash our hands first so our primary colors wouldn’t be tainted, and then the teacher showed us another trick:
“Go back to the mud before it dries, and dip into it,” she’d say. “It would be a shame to waste that lovely brown. Try putting a streak of it into your painting.”
Who knew? Finger painting would one day be Culture Building.
Similar to those bright and cheerful primary colors of infinite mixology, I think of three primary concepts within the value of ‘OHANA; family, community, and chosen form. That “chosen form” we talk about in the Managing with Aloha philosophy is what we call the ‘Ohana in Business (Key Concept #6), and I will honestly tell you that I take supreme delight in the workplace mixology it creates.
Workplace reinventions can be messy, sure. But just as it was in kindergarten, messy means art!
The workplace canvas of an ‘Ohana in Business is the biggest one possible, one that swaddles us heart, mind, body and soul; the canvas of our Aloha Spirit.
These are the subheadings of my Managing with Aloha chapter on ‘Ohana; when a business owner asks me to help his or her management team in culture building, or with a healthier reinvention of what they’ve now got, I’ll usually scroll through them for inspiration that flows from each phrase:
- ‘Ohana is family.
- ‘Ohana is form for the sharing of one’s life.
- Acceptance in ‘Ohana is unconditional.
- ‘Ohana is all-inclusive.
- The best human circle you can bring to business.
- Work is personal: a story.
- Bringing the customer into your ‘Ohana.
- Bringing community into ‘Ohana.
- Managers create their own ‘Ohana.
- Who are those you choose to call ‘Ohana?
When we’re guided by ‘OHANA, we strive for the human circle of complete ALOHA. If you only model the conventional designs of the ‘family-run business’ you limit yourselves: It’s like starting with only one of those primary colors instead of all 3. Your art will flow when you go for the trio of family, community, and chosen form. It will be inspired by the designs of personal intention, passion, and purpose – another lovely trio!
The true magic of this is that prism effect of light shining through: ‘OHANA gives us a feeling of belonging in workplace culture. And that’s something we all need.
So mix your colors in freshly bright batches. Honor the browns of your storied history. Experiment on a big enough canvas so everyone can find their place on it. No lines of containment though: Be willing to get messy. You’ll be creating your ‘Ohana in Business.
Archive Aloha with related reading:
- The ‘Ohana in Business is a key modeling concept in a Managing with Aloha culture: Learn more here: The 9 Key Concepts
- A follow-up on the why of form and function is here: The 9 Key Concepts — Why these 9?
- We are guided by our values, in this case, ‘OHANA: why?: Let’s Define Values
- Just as color shines through a prism, you shine through a workplace which honors your Aloha Spirit, and celebrates your strengths: What is the Aloha Spirit? It’s you!
- My final caution to you was, no lines on your canvas! There are no silos in a healthy ‘Ohana in Business: Tear Down Your Walls
For more reading paths, follow the article links which tracked back to each suggestion above (they appear after the comments), go to New Here? or click on the tags found in each post footer. For instance, on this post, clicking on “managing change” brings up this article: Find your Doubting Thomases
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.