How often do you think about BUSINESS KARMA?
DO YOU BELIEVE ‘WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND’ WHEN IT COMES TO YOUR BUSINESS & NETWORK?
How much energy, time and attention do you put into personal relationships?
How often do you have people suggesting they ‘take a cut’ of every introduction they make?
Does that reflect how you think about business and what you stand for?
What happens when we have the opportunity to do something that matters for a supplier or client? Do we jump to what WE will get from it…or do we do what we believe is the right thing to do for them?
We meet lots of people & firms at CRUXY. One thing that people always underestimate is the power of the first impression.
From the ‘feeling’ as you walk in an office, to the room you are left to wait in.
The receptionist’s welcome, the artwork on the walls, the drink you are offered (or not in some cases) – everything speaks so loudly about the kind of firm you are creating.
We often talk about the ‘climate’ that would be created by cementing an ETHOS.
Have a listen to what Prof. Sumantra Ghoshal has to say in this video.
It is an easy thing to aspire to – to create some kind of culture, a ‘vision’ that serves well for investors. But is that the last thing you discuss in a management meeting?
That is not taking culture and an ethos-driven firm seriously.
HOW DO YOU RESPOND WHEN SOMETHING SLIPS?
We urge you to think about how your firm responds when things go wrong.
We have experienced some behaviours that we think are a good ‘test’ for culture.
It is human nature is to want some sort of compensation to make up for whatever wrong-doing occurred, sometimes even when there was no direct impact on the business.
You may have the ‘right’ to withhold payment, or claim breech of contract… but what do you do?
Do you pick up the phone, act as one team and find a way to make it right? Or, do you start to blame, and pounce on outlining the details of everything that went wrong?
What is this behaviour saying about you as a firm to work with?
How do you value your network?
We know lots of people ‘charge’ for introductions.
Is that right for the way you work, and what you believe in?
We recently introduced someone to an investor and they are now working together. We charged nothing. WHY? It was the right thing to do. The two parties should have met before now, but hadn’t. This was a way to do good.
It’s about a belief in Karma.
We practice Cruxy Karma – what goes around, comes around. It is something we’ve lived from day one.
We’ve had our fair share of situations where we could have pointed the finger at a signed contract and demanded legal action be taken. But in most situations we believe in giving the benefit of the doubt – being fair and coming to a solution that just works.
Why does it matter?
Practising some business karma now, can pay dividends in the future. Maybe your client remembers that favour you did for them when you’re looking for an introduction to a prospect. Maybe they appreciate the gesture and keep you on as a preferred supplier beyond the term of contract. The options are endless. Stepping on someone’s toes today, could become a headache in the future.
The bottom line is that we shouldn’t think of things in isolation. There is a knock-on effect to every action. Burning a bridge today could have major implications for tomorrow.
All the small things…
Business Karma isn’t a new concept. In fact, many businesses, or individuals within major corporations, live by this principle. It can be used internally to cultivate a positive culture, or to nurture and grow business leaders. Equally, it can be used externally to drive long-lasting relationships.
One way of doing this on a daily level is to recognise your unconscious biases, and consciously remove them. This starts with paying attention to the details of our interactions, and turning ‘micro-iniquities’ (unintentional events that create and reinforce barriers against those whom we perceive to be different from us) into ‘micro-affirmations’ (small daily gestures of dignity, that make the person with whom we are interacting feel welcomed, included, and valued) (Rowe, 1973). By doing this internally and on a regular basis, we start to project this on larger scales when bigger situations occur.
Business Karma is a bit like philanthropy. It feels great to give, but there are also benefits you will receive for doing so.
THE FIVE KARMA QUESTIONS
Ask yourself these five questions:
- How do you respond when things go “wrong”?
- What is the ‘trail’ you are leaving behind?
- Do you hear the signs of a blame culture?
- What story will people tell others about your business?
- How could one small gesture impact your business in a big way in the future?
Your reputation precedes you, whether good or bad.
Culture is what defines your behaviour when someone leaves the room, and no one is watching. It is about the innate reaction you have as a firm.
Take the time now to make sure it is positive.
“Culture eats strategy for breakfast”