Have you ever considered the possibility that what you do on a daily basis and what you strive to achieve throughout the course of time in your business, profession, career(s), or even a lifetime for that matter, could be contributing to some higher purpose?
Now, this of course will mean different things to different people, but it is no surprise that having this sense of purpose or mission, can drive both individuals, through to the largest businesses, to do great things.
So, that is why we believe at The Startup Business that our last practice of The Seven Practices Of Highly Effective OutsourcingTM is the most important of all the previous six – Expand Your Global Mindset.
Never in all the history of time, have we been so connected with each other as we are today.
A mining disaster in regional China can be news around the World in minutes. A fireworks celebration on New Year’s Eve on Sydney Harbour, can be broadcast live to billions of people. A teenager, still in school, can share to the world in the most intimate of detail, their personal story to a global audience while sitting in their bedroom – and they have probably monetised their shows and are now making more money than their parents may have done in a lifetime!
The old rules of business are being broken.
The Sharing Economy, The Me Generation, Internet Of Everything, Wearables & Virtual Reality, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Automation, Big Data, Everything As A Service, The You Economy is today’s language.
Companies like AIRBNB & UBER are fast becoming old school… the next wave of players are entering the market, contributing to greater disruption than those of their predecessors
However, there is a dark side to all this disruption.
People are losing their jobs to outsourcing and automation. Infrastructure development is destroying arable and natural landscapes and polluting our water and sky. The gap between the very wealthy and the poor is extreme. In fact, according to a 2017 report by Oxfam, this gap is so large that just eight individuals own the same wealth as 3.6 billion of the world’s poorest people.
Clearly, there is much to be done – and we can take positive steps in a way that not only it is good for our business, but also for our communities, societies, and our planet.
You see, today success is achieved through partnering and collaboration – not going at it alone.
Our global ecosystem is borderless, tightly integrated, highly interactive, and technologically revolutionised. Synergies, innovation, and excellence are a team sport. Finding new ways of working with each other, challenging the status quo, moving beyond the mediocre and being socially responsible, must be today’s imperative.
At The Startup Business we believe you can do this in three ways. Firstly, it is about having a Philosophy of how you see this world – a global mindset, then developing a set of Principles, followed by implementing specific Practices into your business and then initiatives that contribute to your ecosystem.
Philosophy & Beliefs
Having a philosophy in business is important because it guides you in how you go about achieving your ultimate vision and mission. A philosophy has a lot to do with how you see the world and why you do what you do and that of course leads to how you go about the decisions you make.
We are also, by our nature, attracted to individuals and organisations that stand for something. When this happens, it is often because we feel a sense of connection. A sense of common humanity reaching out. A feeling that we are all in this together to achieve a common goal or cause.
This philosophy must also extend to your outsourcing partnerships. They are part of your ecosystem. So, for you to achieve your vision and mission, they also need to buy into your philosophy – otherwise we are just working together for the sake of a transaction, and not connected at a higher level.
Principles & Ethics
Principles and ethics are the rules on how you conduct yourself and what your actions are judged by.
At The Startup Business, as a service organisation, we are defined almost entirely by what we do and say each day. For us to be successful, it is therefore critical that we model exemplary behaviour. Our ethical principles are the values that set the ground rules for all that we do at The Startup Business, The Startup Business School and associated companies including Phykon.
As we seek to achieve responsible commercial success, we will be challenged to balance these principles against each other, always mindful of our promise to our stakeholders that we will achieve responsible commercial success.
Sometimes ethical demands and economic realities conflict. In such cases, exhibiting high ethical standards should always win. We cannot justify or rationalise illegal or unethical behaviour because it undermines trust.
The Ethical Principles and the Guidelines For Ethical Decision Making have been adopted by us to support these objectives. They may also provide an example on how you may like to address them in your own business – even if you are just starting out…
The Ethical Principles
Honesty: We will not say things that are false. We will never deliberately mislead. We will be as candid as possible, openly and freely sharing information, as appropriate to the relationship.
Promise-Keeping: We will go to great lengths to keep our commitments. We will not make promises that can’t be kept and we will not make promises on behalf of the The Startup Business, The Startup Business School or associated companies unless we have the authority to do so.
Fairness: We will create and follow a process and achieve outcomes that a reasonable person would call just, even-handed and non-arbitrary.
Respect For Others: We will be open and direct in our communication, and receptive to influence. We will honour and value the abilities and contributions of others, embracing the responsibility and accountability for our actions in this regard.
Compassion: We will maintain an awareness of the needs of others and act to meet those needs whenever possible. We will also minimise harm whenever possible. We will act in ways that are consistent with our commitment to social responsibility.
Integrity: We will live up to our ethical principles, even when confronted by personal, professional, and social risks, as well as economic pressures.
Guidelines For Ethical Decision Making
At The Startup Business, to guide us in making ethical decisions, we apply the following questions.
While they do seem obvious, we suggest you trying some scenarios of your own, starting with the first question on top of the list and working down in that order. The way in which these questions are designed is to shed a light into that often-grey area of business decision making…
Is it legal?
Is it a violation of the company’s Code of Business Conduct?
How will it make you feel about yourself?
How will others who are affected react?
How would you feel if the world knew about it?
Does the behaviour make sense?
Is the outcome appropriately fair to everyone involved?
Will your leader and your leader’s leader approve?
For example, you may be deciding around offshore outsourcing, in which your current local support team will no longer have jobs in your business. While this decision to outsource is aligned to your overall strategy, how you go about implementing this strategy will have different outcomes depending on the approach you take. In the case of your local staff, how you communicate to them, and when you do this, and which ways you will support them through this significant event will be influenced positively if you use the Guidelines For Ethical Decision Making, or potentially negatively when you do not use the guidelines.
Practices & Sustainability & Social Responsibility
Our final way of developing a global mindset, is about who you are as a member of the community.
Are you and your business a role model and example, and are contributing your influence and resources to a greater cause which is encapsulated in your everyday actions? For example, this might be in terms of your environmental footprint. This might be in ways of embracing diversity in the workplace. Maybe for you, it is about sharing your rich insights more broadly by speaking out in publications, social media and events? Perhaps one of the things you are doing is volunteering for local causes – either participating, supporting, promoting, or funding.
There are many things you can do – and they do not need to cost money for you to do them either. Of course, some activities may provide you with greater exposure and even potentially lead to business opportunities – but of course that is not why you do them.
You embrace practices of sustainability and social responsibly because you believe it is the right thing to do. You and your business have a higher purpose that is greater than just the day to day transactions that may be providing an economic benefit.
You are about making a difference.
You & your strategic outsourcing partner need to be aligned …
That way the power of one plus one will always be greater than two
So, having an outsourcing partner that believes in the same things as you is also important.