INCLUSION AND COMMUNITY: Conversations of commitment

Lack of results or failed businesses can be traced back to the breakdown in community.Peter Block

Here’s a “burst your bubble” statement: “We are not born with the innate skill to be team players.” Yep it’s true, we are born little ambassadors of selfishness and self focus. Almost as soon as we can walk we also start excluding others at an early age… from games to tasty treats.

The behavior of exclusion is an inborn “corporate” behavior. Learning to appreciate our differences as a community, to play together nicely, and be inclusive are learned behaviors. These behaviors are coached forward by great parents and leaders.

The middle ground in this domain of inclusion and community is a deep chasm. It is not easy to go against our normal nature  and strive to be more “in tune” on collaborating with others. We know that it takes time and focus to build relationships, yet so many times businesses and families choose to take the easy road.

Let’s all snap our arm with a rubber band and then recite the following…“The things I really want (or are worth having) in life take work, effort, and commitment”. Repeat this phrase as often as needed. To cross the chasm of self-centeredness to being more inclusive (and willing to invest in building community) you will need to be intentional and goal oriented.

Families and corporations are systems made up of human beings with needs, wants, and goals. At the same time there exists a complete set of accompanying circumstances that can either hinder or enhance the ability to achieve these desired outcomes. How do successful people and businesses overcome these road blocks and take advantage of opportunities? They choose unconditionally to work and support each other. Our business environments are filled with “conditions”.

Great parenting is leadership clothed in unconditional love. Successful families have an establish set of processes, implemented through parenting. These processes have the goal to generate important collaboration and cooperation for the greater good of the family and each individual collectively. Successful families are really practicing the very things that most corporate systems, filled with adults (by age calculation), really need in order to thrive and excel in most global economies and industries moving into the future.

Great leaders, like insightful parents, demand inclusion and design the conversation for community. That is, they influence what the community will talk about. This is not about control, but framing up the vision and building “the container for how and where a successful community can happen and produce results.

Commitment is a conversation about values and goals that will in turn define/lead to action for a desired future. Inclusion is what perfects commitment and builds a robust community that shares the incredible experience of being in action; action that truly makes a difference…action that matters. Not action that is busy work.

It doesn’t just take a community/village to raise a child as Hillary Clinton wrote. It takes a community that is actively involved in a conversation of commitment. The narrative within a business or family about “what is important” builds the community. When the discourse stops so does the community.

Business Application – The need for inclusion and community is evident in and reflected by the choices customers make regarding their purchases. Customers want to be a part of a community when they purchase. Think about how our purchases reflect our values and what we care about.  Why would your customers be any different? How would having a thriving community within your workplace impact the sense of inclusion with your customers?

© The Heartwood Group, LLC 2011

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