I’ll often encourage you to “start with why” whatever your pursuit, and I strive to do so too. In this article, I’d like to share my why behind the 9 Key Concepts, and why I chose them.
Managing with Aloha is a philosophy with two main constructs giving it form, cognizant of that undeniable connection between form and function. Those ‘constructs’ are,
(a) The 19 Values of Aloha
(b) The 9 Key Concepts
We have a reference page for each one here on the site, and each has a book dedicated to it:
- Managing with Aloha is about the 19 Values of Aloha, and
- Business Thinking with Aloha is about the 9 Key Concepts, using them in the critical thinking applied to our life skills
The student of Managing with Aloha, studies both constructs to be thorough in their learning. For instance, both are taught in the MBA curriculum I have personally taught or certified, using MWA as text. Alaka‘i Managers will adopt both constructs as their own, to be thorough in their ongoing MWA practice: They adapt both constructs as they define their own Ho‘ohana — think of HO‘OHANA as their function taking shape as managers with the intention of ALOHA.
I consider “business thinking” to be a crucial life skill, and not just a workplace skill, and so BTWA wasn’t only written for managers. The phrase I use most within its pages, is “the business of life” for our quality of life will indeed benefit when “form ever follows function” too! For instance, the business of life requires financial literacy, including skills and strategies with choosing a bank, balancing your checkbook, doing your tax returns, and deciding what kinds of insurance you’ll carry, if any — all on a personal basis, no matter your job.
Reading, Writing, and Ready: “[A profound change for our world would be] teaching every child on the planet the basics of literacy, mathematics, life skills, and critical thinking… most experts feel this proposed quartet of grade school basics is the foundation for self-improvement, which is obviously abundance’s backbone. Moreover, self-improvement doesn’t mean what it used to. Since the advent of the Internet, these basics are the background needed to understand a significant portion of online materials, thus providing the fundamentals necessary to access what is clearly the greatest self-improvement tool in history.”
“This emphasis on personal growth and personal responsibility is key because we are in the midst of an education revolution…our current system is built around fact-based learning, but the Internet makes almost every fact desirable instantly available… Teaching kids how to nourish their creativity and curiosity, while still providing a sound foundation in critical thinking, literacy and math, is the best way to prepare them for a future of increasingly rapid technological change.”
— Steven Kotler and Peter H. Diamandis in Abundance, the Future is Brighter Than You Think
And not only for our children! We adults must unlearn and learn anew as well.
Therefore, the 9 Key Concepts originally came together as a construct that would serve two purposes for me as the author of Managing with Aloha, and as someone intent on sharing MWA as a lifestyle philosophy AND workplace culture-builder (my Ho‘ohana!)
First, they would sort the 19 Values of Aloha relevant to a person’s greatest need, AND/OR a workplace culture’s greatest needs. No one juggles all 19 at the same time.
Second, they would sort the business thinking scattered throughout MWA-the-book (and by extension, my subsequent writing about the philosophy) for either “business of life,” serving the individual, AND/OR “entrepreneurial business,” serving a workplace, by outlining the basic needs of a sensible and sustainable business model within a healthy culture.
I like sensible. I like sustainable.
I like practical. I like useful.
And I like the brainy and brave nature of business.
Ever since, the 9 Key Concepts have been the way I sort my ongoing learning, in business, and in my life. They filter and sort my findings, and they weave them in with value-aligned, all-with-Aloha emphasis. They have served me so wonderfully, (remember this, on Intuition?) and it’s my hope they serve you too, thus their application here as site categories.
Here again, in short form is the list: They are the “conceptual convictions” of Managing with Aloha as a philosophy.
- The Aloha Spirit
- Worthwhile Work
- Value Alignment
- The Role of the Manager Reconstructed
- Language of Intention
- The ‘Ohana in Business Model
- Strengths Management (and including innate talent, learned skills, and relevant knowledge)
- Sense of Place
- Palena ‘ole (Unlimited Capacity)
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.
Thank you for being part of the Managing with Aloha community, and for doing this with me, and for you. The journey is so much better kākou, together.
Review more about the 9 Key Concepts and how we use them here: The 9 Key Concepts (our Reference Page). An excerpt:
[Alaka‘i Managers use] the 9 Key Concepts to learn, and to design strategic approaches to the work at hand (for their workplace locations and missions differ). They ask themselves a series of questions for each of these concepts, and their day-to-day work gets shaped by their individual answers:
- How does this conceptual conviction support our values?
- How does this support our mission (i.e. current work) and our vision (i.e. our best possible future)?
- How can I help the work make sense, using this concept to continually improve our systems and processes?
- How will this conceptual conviction fuel positive energies, helping us grow and get better as human beings?
- What more can we learn about this?