Preface: This post continues our value immersion with ‘Ohana. If you are newly joining us, I suggest you start here: ‘Ohana x2 and the 10 Tenets of an ‘Ohana in Business.
Sharing in the ‘Ohana in Business
When you first read through my 10 Tenets for an ‘Ohana in Business (reprinted for your review below) it is quite clear that I am asking you to share your business in ways you have never shared it before.
I ask you to compensate people well, and consider those people your partners.
I ask you to minimize your ‘executive decisions’ in favor of more transparency and inclusion.
I ask you to consider your business model and business plan to be works in progress, works subject to a team approach.
I ask you to share your financial information for increased learning and engagement, and to work toward some form of profit sharing.
To sum these up more precisely, I ask you to let go of your ownership, control, and direction more than you presently may do so.
Employees readily welcome the OIB model, feeling they should indeed reap these benefits as fruits of their work, their commitment, and their loyalty as company ambassadors.
However, I do understand that deciding their business will be an ‘Ohana in Business is a more weighty decision for those who are founders, owners, and business executives. They see this as sharing their intellectual property —and it very well may be.
They also see the creation of an OIB as ignoring the sunk costs of the dues they’ve paid—shouldn’t they have, and keep having more? Don’t they deserve to be where they are?
If you find yourself thinking those thoughts, let me first say yes, you probably do deserve the earnings you’ve worked hard to attain, as do we all—everyone deserves the fruits of their labor.
Therefore, please focus on what you now have as your truly noteworthy earning: You have earned the right to lead this charge, and become a benefactor.
From Alaka‘i Manager to Alaka‘i Benefactor
The decision to have an ‘Ohana in Business is a recognition that, “This is an attitude change,” and it is therefore a conscious willingness to change, knowing that, “It’s an attitude which must start with me.”
The ‘Ohana in Business requires the attitude of Lokomaika‘i generosity, sharing one’s business ‘in good heart.’
loko = heart;
maika‘i = good;
Lokomaika‘i = the Hawaiian value of generosity
One’s attitude must shift, from keeping the rights and privileges one has earned, to genuinely wanting to share them for the good of the business itself, while elevating the earnings of everyone involved —BOTH are indeed possible; the OIB is not an either/or decision, but one of inclusivity.
This is what Merriam Webster says about benefactors:
Definition of benefactor
Someone or something that provides help or an advantage : one that confers a benefit a benefactor of humankind; especially : a person who makes a gift or bequest
“His endowments … placed him high among the benefactors of the convent.” — Jane Austen
“A benefactor may be involved in almost any field. One may endow a scholarship fund; another may give money to expand a library; still another may leave a generous sum to a hospital in her will. The famous benefactions of John D. Rockefeller included the gifts that established the University of Chicago, the Rockefeller Foundation, and Rockefeller University. Many benefactors have reported that giving away their money turned out to be the most rewarding thing they ever did.”
The Alaka‘i Benefactor who establishes and shares an ‘Ohana in Business is indeed a philanthropist, “one who makes an active effort to promote human welfare.”
Sense of WorkPlace delivers true Wealth
We commonly consider benefactors and philanthropists to only be those who are wealthy in terms of their monetary assets, however this is but another attitude limit we’ve placed on ourselves—we fail to see how wealth can more fully be defined.
We’ve spoken of this previously in terms of sense of place.
From A Sense of Place Delivers True Wealth
“Alaka‘i Managers know that this is what every single workplace represents: The wonderful opportunity to create a special place. They seize the opportunity to co-create that place with those who share it, and then they’ll shepherd it. This is their joyful work, their HO‘OHANA — how could it not be?
A managed with Aloha workplace delivers:
1. An ALOHA-inspired place of comfort — Wealth in safe-haven sustenance
2. A sense of personal belonging — Wealth in co-authorship
3. ‘OHANA community and connectivity — Wealth in partnership
4. Practical usefulness and relevance — Wealth in worth
5. Benefits in the promise of learning — Wealth in knowledge.”
These are the objectives of culture-building we all commit to as Alaka‘i Managers who have adopted Managing with Aloha as our professional practice.
These objectives also illustrate the way an OIB run by Alaka‘i Managers is inherently inclusive (Kākou) from the get-go: Our culture-building is already shared by all in Alaka‘i attitude, and it is not only the responsibility (Kuleana) of founders, owners, and executives.
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.”
—The ‘Ohana in Business Starts with “Why?”
If Managing with Aloha was your first choice, the OIB can be easily thought of as your second choice. Your next step, from Alaka‘i calling (The 10 Beliefs of Alakai Managers) to becoming an Alakai Benefactor is only a decision away.
The reality of the 10 Tenets of an ‘Ohana in Business is that they happen progressively; step-by-step, a little at a time via business model tweaking, and not overnight. Decide what you will share first, and where you will start, but know this will be your constant:
“This is an attitude change.”
“It’s an attitude which must start with me.”
There’s really no other way, for your partners will quickly sense any hesitancy or insincerity you may feel.
The ‘Ohana in Business is for the ‘you’ who wants to be an ‘us.’ The owner who once was a courageous maverick can begin to share ‘Ohana and become a generous benefactor. Let that be who you decide to be.
Previously: The ‘Ohana in Business Starts with “Why?”
We Ho‘ohana kākou (we work with intention, together), for ‘Imi ola—seek to live your best possible life.
The 10 Tenets of an ‘Ohana in Business
10 tenets are suggested for an ‘Ohana in Business: It’s a business model wherein cash flow must be kept constant, as is the challenge of all businesses. Revenue streams are actively and intelligently pursued to firmly support these minimum requirements as the ‘Ohana of its structure;
1. Everyone involved with the company—not just those employed by it—is considered both stakeholder and business partner in the “human circle of Aloha” the business identifies with.
2. Everyone employed, works ON the business as well as IN it, recognizing that both of those engagement attentions are necessary. All financial information is shared and discussed, with financial literacy pursued as learning crucial to effectiveness in these engagements.
3. The work culture’s trifecta is that it is values-centered, customer-focused, and mission-driven, with Ho‘ohana as a unifying value-driver. Therefore, the worthwhile work considered crucial to company Vision is the bar raised in all professional mission statements—it’s the Ho‘ohana sensibility of the trifecta.
4. There are baseline value-alignment requirements for each and every value articulated within the Value Statement the business upholds as its Ethos.
5. The worth of Alaka‘i management and leadership is understood and valued, yet organizational hierarchy is kept as flat as feasible. Employees’ interests are valued as highly as those of shareholders, and this fiduciary accountability extends to its board of directors.
6. The dignity and Aloha Spirit of each person is highly respected, and their talents and strengths are fostered, however the key sustainability target of the company pursues a thriving, healthy culture, regardless of the individuals working within that culture.
7. The ‘acid test’ of the workplace culture is Kākou communication: Everyone involved speaks up, and speaks freely regardless of their title or position. Problem-solving and cross-functionality are programmatically designed into this model for continuous improvement, fresh ideas, and dynamic energy generation.
8. Equitable compensation is defined similar to a ‘living wage’ i.e. high enough to maintain a normal standard of living as defined by the geographic Sense of Place the business identifies with as its resident community. Cost of living increases factor into the model as well.
9. Business reinvestment is made annually—not just in ‘good years’—whether the business is publicly or privately owned, and whether profit or nonprofit. Baseline reinvestment will include maintaining safety, adequate purchasing for operational competitiveness, research and development per industry standards, and providing all stakeholders with continuous training and education.
10. A paying-it-forward element gives back to the community the company operates in. In a for-profit model, there will be profit-sharing offered to employees as well as shareholders.
Would your company make the cut?
Read more at RosaSay.com: The ‘Ohana in Business
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Talking Story with the Ho‘ohana Community.
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