How has your company treated its employees? Are you satisfied with the treatment received by those who work there?
Also, do you believe that organizations that prioritize employees make less profit?
In the book “The Healing Organization: Awakening the Conscience of Business to Help Save the World” you will understand that a company can be much more profitable when it has a higher purpose.
Read this book summary and get to know several cases of companies that prospered when they focused on meeting genuine human needs and created value by being useful to others.
The book “The Healing Organization: Awakening the Conscience of Business to Help Save the World” was released in 2020 and has 288 pages.
Defined by the authors themselves as "a book of stories of companies that aspire to live the dream of what business can be", the work proposes a new way of looking at the business world.
Divided into 3 parts, "The Healing Organization" also explains that even if profit is not the main objective, organizations can serve the ideals of their owners and the entire community.
Raj Sisodia is co-founder of the Conscious Capitalism movement and co-chairman of Conscious Capitalism Inc, he is also a professor of Global Business and a Whole Foods Market Research Fellow in Conscious Capitalism at Babson College.
Michael J. Gelb is a strong defender of humanized leadership and is a consultant and coach to large companies such as Microsoft, Nike, and Unilever. He is a co-partisan of Conscious Capitalism.
A world-renowned authority, Michael is the author of 17 books such as "How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day", "Da Vinci Decoded" and "Body Learning: An Introduction to the Alexander Technique".
A Healing Organization gets stronger even amid crisis, it is not only a company that generates a lot of money but also a company that does good in the world.
This is essential reading for CEOs, leaders, and entrepreneurs who seek to create a society with organizations that do good for the environment while still receiving the proper profit for their work.
If you are an employee who would like to transform the company where you work, from this book summary you will change the way you look at the role of organizations.
According to the authors, healing organizations are the key to reducing problems that seem intractable. Changing the workplace is part of a process to make a company a healing channel for the world.
In the first part of the book, the authors explain what has historically made companies what they are today, meeting our material and developmental needs.
Raj Sisodia and Michael J. Gelb explain that capitalism is the cause of and solution to many of the world's problems, so the Healing Organization is a company that cares about the good of employees and society above profits and productivity.
In the United States, half the population lives on less than $5.50 a day, which means that life for a good part of humanity is a struggle for survival. In China, about 600,000 people die each year due to overwork.
For these and other data, this reformulation is urgent, so that the work does not take the lives of more people.
“Most people are relatively healthy and whole when they start their working lives. But over time, the stress of the workplace exhausts them and they develop chronic health problems.”
The authors explain that what is known as the "American Dream" is now a universal dream, the idea that an ordinary human being can achieve success with creativity, entrepreneurship, and hard work.
The idea of American society started with healthy elements of masculine energy, but the feminine energy was forgotten and gradually aggression and competitiveness dominated.
Raj Sisodia and Michael J. Gelb argue that to heal society, we need to balance and integrate the 4 archetypal energies which are: feminine, masculine, child, and elderly, meaning care, fulfillment, joy, and purpose.
It is often said that a successful company is an empire. The book's authors do not agree with this idea; big empires in history exert influence over humanity to this day, but they were maintained based on violence, slavery, and the conquest of people.
The metrics that measure the achievement of goals, if they are based only on the financial performance of the company mean that you are only causing more pain, for more people, with more efficiency.
Bad ideas have influenced the fields of business, some of them are:
Bob Chapman is cited in the book as an example of a healing leader. The entrepreneur buys and manages companies that were about to close their doors and turns them into great businesses, and he does this because it is as if he adopted them, welcoming and nurturing them.
"We measure success by how we touch people's lives."
This phrase is on the walls of the company's head office, he bases his professional performance on 3 epiphanies:
The authors believe that is time to stop causing suffering to ourselves and others, and then tell the stories of several companies that do good for people and the world, meet a few of them.
In India, people called untouchables (dalits) are given inferior services and start working at an early age. Often, companies that produce carpets use the exploitative labor of girls from this caste with very little pay, pushing them to work to their limits.
Mr. Nand Kishore Chaudhary, the founder of Jaipur Rugs, has three daughters. He didn't want them or any other girls to have to die from working for a minimum wage, so he started teaching the loom to other people and paying them in a dignified way.
The company generates high profits, not only for the quality of its products that are produced with love by someone grateful for the way he is treated at the company where he works but because the clients look for him because they know that the company is good and has even won awards for this.
“Companies know how to operate, how to serve customers, how to make a profit. But if a company is motivated by love, it can truly transform.”
When a crisis arises, the first cut commonly made by companies is in personnel, but when DTE Energy took the opposite position in the face of one of the biggest crises that have ever hit the United States, it not only avoided the loss but also had a positive impact on the lives of many families.
The change began in 2004, when CEO Gerry Anderson asked himself if this was a good company, then set out to overcome what he called the culture of mediocrity. When the proposal was already consolidated, the crisis of 2008 came.
Gerry decided that firing his staff would only happen as a last resort, and in communicating this to the team, he asked them to do their utmost to keep the company healthy.
The result of this action was not only to get through the crisis, but the team increased their productivity, they were all grateful to be seen, recognized, and truly valued by the organization. The next step was to start helping the people around them.
"I've learned an incredible lesson in leadership. I discovered what people are capable of when they believe in something."
Bernie Glassman was a rocket scientist who became a Zen Master, after reading the classic book "The Three Pillars of Zen", he decided to go deep into this knowledge. When he returned to New York, he was amazed by the number of homeless people in the city and decided to do something.
Greyston Bakery was born from a decision to help people not as a charity, but in a sustainable way. Hiring is done through a list, you just leave your name on it, and when there is an opening you are called, receive training, and start working. There is no selection process.
The company's motto is: "We don't hire people to make brownies, we make brownies to hire people." The company's profits support 130 jobs, affordable housing for 530 residents, daycare for 130 children, and medical care for 50 people with AIDS.
Greyston's brownie is the main ingredient of Ben & Jerry's ice cream, a company that, inspired by the other project, has already started to make changes in its recruitment process.
Tami Simon is the founder of a multimedia company that has transformed the lives of millions of people. She went to college for religious studies, but was disappointed by the academic approach and dropped out to live between Sri Lanka, India, and Nepal for a year.
Although she found herself spiritually, Tami contracted hepatitis and had to return to the United States where, after recovering, she started working as a waitress and volunteering at a radio station. When her father passed away, he left her a heritage that she wanted to invest with purpose.
After praying, she decided to record cassette tapes with copies of her radio interviews, after some time she invested in a studio and the recording with Clarissa Pinkola Estés, author of Women Who Run With the Wolves, was a success that helped make the book a best seller.
Tami is committed to applying spiritual wisdom in her organization as well. Sounds True motivates its employees to live their purpose, whatever it may be, she proposes that everyone be true in the workplace because it creates connection.
Florida Ice and Farm Company (FIFCO) started as an ice producer and grew into a brewery and then other products such as soft drinks and iced teas. In 2004, CEO Ramon Mendiola set a goal for the company to double in size (revenue and profits) within 2 years.
Despite the efforts of the executive team, social pressure about their products and how their production affected the environment was coming at them. Ramon faced these challenges and took the necessary steps to make the company admirable to customers and society.
By approaching social and environmental issues with the same rigor as the company's growth, FIFCO has solved its struggles and shares six lessons for reversing environmental impact:
A decade after the move, Ramon was proud of what he had built but felt that something was still missing, when an employee told him that many of his employees were living in poverty.
FIFCO hired a team of social workers to study the problem. Despite paying the best wages in Central America, financial education was lacking. The company then launched FIFCO Opportunities, a program that committed to lifting employees out of poverty within 3 years.
What FIFCO Opportunities has done:
At the end of 3 years, the goal was achieved and the next step in the company's social responsibility was taken with the entire community. After all the changes, the company's revenue grew from $150 million to $1.2 billion, and annual profits exceed $260 million.
Each of the company examples given by Raj Sisodia and Michael J. Gelb shows how empathy can exist in the business environment as well, they emphasize that empathy is only valuable when there is action. They believe that when we care about people, they give their best.
They identify 3 principles of the healing organizations:
Trust in your team is essential. They use Bob Chapman as an example, his first action, when buying a company is to remove inhumane practices, and explains that is not possible to have a trustful atmosphere when the politic and the procurements mean that the employees are not trustful.
If you commit to transforming your organization into a Healing Organization, place your left hand over your heart, raise your right hand and proclaim:
“Primium non nocere (First don't harm).
I will run my company in a way that will not harm others or the earth.
Malus eradicare (Eradicate evil).
I will never allow or condone abuse and exploitation. I will be a daily hero who stood up for justice, truth, beauty, integrity, and simple kindness.
Amor vincut omnia (Love conquers all)
I will function with love. I will measure success by the fulfillment, abundance, and joy I provide to others.”
“Firms of Endearment” was written by Raj Sisodia in partnership with David B. Wolfe and Jag Sheth, you will find experiences from other companies that have obtained impressive results while investing in social actions and improving the lives of their employees.
In the book “No Rules Rules”, Reed Hastings and Erin Meyer tell all about how Netflix's culture and philosophy came to be and what goes on behind the scenes of this corporation.
Luiz França teaches in the book “Cultura de Confiança”, how to use leadership to transform lives in a continuous improvement stage and learn how to promote a positive and direct engagement culture in employees and customers.
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