Preface: This article relates to our OIB tenet on financial literacy:
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.
—See all 10 Tenets of an the ‘Ohana in Business model here:
The Alaka‘i Benefactor: Sharing in the ‘Ohana in Business
Conceptualize Your Financial Literacy
Are you aware of the Conceptual Index on ManagingWithAloha.com? If not, take a quick look here, bookmark it for your future reference, and come back (that click will open a new window for you).
Our Conceptual Index is the keeper of the Language of Intention of our Ho‘ohana Community of MWA practitioners (hopefully, that includes you!) —Language of Intention is Key 5 within our 9 Key Concepts, which are ready-and-waiting for you, as the 9 key intersections of the OIB, the ‘Ohana in Business model. Remember this?
Each one packs quite a punch, thus our curiosity and challenge in learning them, yet each can be reduced to a certain kind of personal exploration, the sum of which will define ‘IMI OLA, the best possible life of our own creation. They are all important in a good life, and that means they are fully worth our time and attention:
- In Key 1 we explore our SPIRIT — our source of well being.
- In Key 2 we explore the WORK we’ll devote ourselves to.
- In Key 3 we explore our VALUES — we practice value-mapping.
- In Key 4 we explore our ROLE — as chosen, not as assigned.
- In Key 5 we explore our VOICE — how we communicate.
- In Key 6 we explore our assembly with others — how we COMMUNE and SHARE.
- In Key 7 we explore our individual assets — our human TOOLBOX.
- In Key 8 we explore our PLACE(s) and sense of belonging in them.
- In Key 9 we explore the GROWTH possible for us.
The best way to attain a healthy workplace culture, is to be sure you have healthy and happy people. It really isn’t any more complicated than that.
—Excerpted from The 9 Key Concepts — Why these 9?
So… You are eager to be an Alaka‘i Benefactor, and you are ready to take your first steps treating your staff as true business partners: Where do you start?
My suggestion, is that you conceptualize your financial literacy —define it as a subgroup of the Language of Intention you anticipate your team will use going forward. As it says on our Conceptual Index here;
“When we say, Speak with Aloha, we mean, Get the values of Aloha into your language and all your communications. Talk the talk.”
Financial literacy is very similar: Get the knowledge associated with financial literacy into your language and into your communications. Talk the talk of your business partnership.
Not biz speak, but your insider’s talk, connected to what you feel is the key knowledge you will associate with the financial literacy of your workplace.
Draw your “financial talk” from your Business Plan
Let’s recall the difference between business model (the OIB in Managing with Aloha) and business plan, and why both are so necessary to business prosperity:
There are commonly two reasons a business will fail to achieve their vision and existential health:
One, they get distracted with other details, the ‘stuff’ every business is riddled with under the general category of operational complexity. These details are a combination of what you’ve outlined in your business model—the mechanism through which your company generates its profit—and the day-to-day busyness you’ll fall into as your how- to routine.
Two, they don’t have a business plan constructed with the financial acumen to support service-giving as mission-critical, non-negotiable, and never subject to budget cuts. A business plan complements your business model, by outlining your company’s strategy and expected financial performance over time.
Designing model and plan in a complementary manner, is what we refer to as ‘business savvy’ in Managing with Aloha. Without their harmony and strategic business sense, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to afford your mission and vision, no matter how passionate you might be about them.
Your business plan must be able to afford your business model.
Your business model must contribute to business plan growth.
—Your business MODEL outlines your basic how-to (mission and vision contribute the details with why, when, where, and who.)
—Your business PLAN outlines the financial acumen which will power your business model as the engine of production and service delivery it must be.
Draw that “financial acumen” from your business plan, and articulate it —transform it into the talk of your financial literacy. Make it the vocabulary of the conversations you will have with each other as business partners.
One of the basic expectations involved with USING a company’s business plan, is that you have to be able to explain it, and converse about it. Readily understood vocabulary is essential—it’s the primary tool of communication. Literacy is the ability to read and write with that vocabulary, thus the phrase we use in the OIB, of “financial literacy” as the essential skill of a business partner.
This may sound daunting at first, but it really isn’t. If you have a business plan, you likely have the financial statements that go with it, and the best place to start is with clarifying those statements and simplifying them so they are as useful, and as mutually beneficial as they can be.
Isn’t it high time those financial statements and reports you receive became more useful, and stimulated more conversations among you?
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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