3 Reasons Why Change Is Good For You

There will always be times in your life when you have to deal with change, whether you are ready for it or not.

What you have always known becomes your past knowledge, a page in the book of your life and you write a new chapter based on the new things that you learn about yourself through change.

Charles Darwin was correct when he stated that the most strongest are those who are adaptable to change, because change will enable you to evolve through your experiences, through knowledge and give you the confidence and belief to achieve more, if you choose to harness the changes you face, to your advantage.

I know that I have changed as an individual, based on some key life changing moments – ranging from being beaten up once because I apparently ‘was not allowed have friends outside of my own race’ (which was SO narrow-minded and ludicrous), early business failures based on a lack of experience, losing more than 10 family members in the last 15 years, saved by a stranger whilst trying to commit suicide at my lowest ever point…

to..

winning business awards, speaking in front of crowds of more than 3000 people, having personally trained over 600 people as corporate and community mentors, sharing social impact leadership opportunities with International business leaders, I would say that I have both experienced some s**t and have had positive things happen, that have made me stronger!

Every good or bad experience in your life, has the potential to elevate your own level of self-awareness. Negativity can become your motivator for positive change, and being around and learning from other positive people with like-minds can literally change your world, and the world at large.

Maturity has truly helped me to harness and channel my experiences into the world of business – I still have a rebel mentality that likes to disrupt the status quo of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), but I genuinely believe that the results of what i do are much better for all who i encounter, both in the boardroom and in wider society.

My company advises corporates on how to measure their financial return on CSR and benefit from integrating social impact into the commercial growth strategies of their business. I have always viewed business as a way of helping to develop society and I was elated to hear Sir Ronald Cohen reiterate this very point, earlier this week by stating the importance of linking social performance with financial returns.

Whether it is in your own life or in business, how things are done will always change – when it does, it makes you much wiser and more equipped to deal with the future.

That being said, managing change is not easy.

But I hope my 3 steps on how I have used change in my own life, may help you:

1) Embrace change as it happens: Fear is a state of mind that can stop you from learning the wonderful lessons that change can teach you. If you choose to embrace change rather than fear it, then fear becomes a benchmark of progress, helping you to acknowledge that fact that you now have new experiences to encounter based on reality.

2) Learn to adapt with change: The lessons you learn from embracing change, will ultimately help you progress through life positively, in an emotional, spiritual and physical way. But you must be prepared to make the sacrifices that you need, to reap the rewards whenever they do decide to appear.

3) Implement a positive action immediately: Change will never make sense to you, if you don’t put it into a positive context and give it the meaning that you feel is both appropriate and beneficial to you and others. Be clear on why you are implementing the positive action and ensure that you are able to communicate the benefit for others effectively, for that provides a foundation for inspiration, motivation and legacy.

We are all different, yet change happens to us all.

So face it, learn from it, then do something new because of it.

Till the next time, J.

 

 

 

Why Should Corporates Measure Their Financial Return on CSR?

The modern world of business dictates that the true sustainable value of your business, is based on a combination of its financial value and its social impact.

But we need to be honest with ourselves too…

CSR and Social Impact activity is often regarded as a brand awareness strategy. CSR budgets tend to come under Community Engagement, Citizenship or sometimes Staff Training or any other title that effectively means ‘anything that we do for the people’.

I get frustrated when all I see is corporate staff being given on average of 3-5 days a year to go out there and plant a tree, do a charity walk, paint a school fence, pick up rubbish in the local park, dress up in a character outfit of choice and engage in some fun activity or whatever idea can be created, to tick the ever-present community box.

Don’t get me wrong…these can also be very admirable activities that do create a positive impact and, in some cases, can make a REAL difference in the lives of others.

But I’m a realist. The stone cold reality is that one-off, one hit ‘do good activities’ are not sustainable, the difference made is subject to time, resources and capacity and the level of importance is often down to the passion of the people, who have had to suffer first or simple go out there and deliver!

So why does this happen?

The truth is that many senior executives find it difficult to tangible quantify the monetary value of social impact, in relation to the commercial and strategic growth aims of their business.

But we do see this changing – in our business, we measure the financial return of our clients investment into CSR through the use of our Social Earnings Metric Tool.

Our tool has been designed SPECIFICALLY to measure:

  • the increase on the net worth of the company based on their social impact.
  • benchmark companies against competitors social impact based on market, sector and locality.
  • the ROI on CSR spend.

We can also create a bespoke version of the tool that is tailored to the individual business, rather than a one size fit’s all approach.

We are increasingly excited by seeing the faces of senior executives light up, when they realise that they can now increase their social impact in a more measurable way, invest their funds in the right projects, and measure what this all means as a FINANCIAL value to the bottom-line of their business!

There are a number of reasons why measuring the business value of social impact is not easy generally, but here are two:

1)ย  Different businesses support different causes, for different reasons – there is no industry standard for the ‘right’ CSR activity, so the impact created will vary based on resource, need, strategic influence and the people involved.

2) The focus of CSR investment is often on creating external positive impact, not achieving internal strategic KPI’s – the whole notion of Corporate Social Responsibility is on supporting the diverse range of stakeholders affected by the practices of your business. There seems to be an unwritten moral code which states that a business should not link financial gain with CSR investment.

But, here two other simple reasons that are often overlooked:

  • ANY form of spend made by a business, should be measured in commercial terms.
  • ANY business that can measure the ROI level of its social impact, can increase the net worth of the business.

Whilst there are a myriad of social impact measurement tools out there, integrating social impact as a strategic tool for growth, is not a natural thing for most corporates and not readily demonstrated in hard financial metrics.

But therein lies the opportunity!

The more CSR is integrated as a measurable strategic activity, the more corporates will invest MORE into the development of communities and wider society as a whole!!

Wouldn’t that make this an even better world for us all?

Why Is Fear The Key To Achieving Social Impact?

Having to integrate more socially driven outcomes as well as commercial growth, can create a real sense of fear for many leaders, within the modern-day world of business.

But this can also be an issue when you are primary aim is to create a social impact over profits – it can be just as difficult for leaders within the voluntary sector to handle fear, particularly when they face difficulty with not being able to access grant funding or the right level of corporate sponsorship / support, to enable them to achieve their social aims!The notion of fear is something that has a direct influence of the results that are achieved, regardless of a difference in priorities.

But what is FEAR? Why is it such a powerful emotion?

A quick story – back in 2011, I felt frustrated as to what was being accepted as CSR activity.I decided to create the region’s most impactful CSR Summit, bringing together the Top 100 CSR Professionals in the city. I wanted to get them together to share best practice on how the professional services sector in particular, was going to create sustainable social impact AND still be able to achieve commercial growth.

But I was fearful – how the hell could can I, a young black male who started out in a bed sit in one of the city’s most deprived wards, create such a forum and make it last in a city which by its own admission, can be a little cliquey and self-serving at times?

I looked at what I was both humbled and proud to have achieved so far – BYPY Winner 2010 for a business I was running using a second-hand laptop and mobile with a dodgy reception from the spare room, being a board director, speaking at events based on my journey too date….I came to the conclusion that fear was simply a state of mind; a thought process of the negative being real, without true evidence.

Fear became the driver because i knew that fear brought an intense understanding of my reality and required action, not procrastination.

I broke fear down into 4 key components, that i would like to share with you:

1) Conditioning: everything that you have been experienced, been taught, read, heard, seen, had instilled in you etc, all has an impact on what you believe โ€“ it is important to be aware of this, so that you are clear on what you donโ€™t what vs what you do, and the real reason why you want it!

2) Self-Belief: how you are conditioned, has a bearing on how you see yourself and the limitations that you then place upon yourself. You must decide if you are willing to allow those limitations to be enough, to stop you from moving forward.

3) Embrace: if you accept yourself for who you are and what you can do now, it gives you clarity of what you need,ย  in order to receive what you want in the future.

4) Failure: there is no such thing as failure, you simply learn how NOT to do something. You must accept that you can’t do everything by yourself, but you can be the catalyst for what is to come!

My passion for wanting to help companies achieve social impact and commercial growth together, is now the basis for what we do at Cultiv8 Solutions and I really thank the universe for giving me that sense of fear in the first place!

Oh yes…as for the Birmingham CSR Summit

…in 2012, I teamed up with the cities CSR network Thrive and Aston Business School and founded the 1st Birmingham CSR Summit with 75 of the top 100.

At our 2nd Birmingham CSR Summit in 2013, we had 85.

On Friday June 6th this year, fingers crossed, we will finally have the 100!!
 

 

How To Turn The Old School Into Social Leaders!

Gandhi famously encouraged humankind to “be the change, that we wish to see in the world!”

This is no different in the world of business.

Traditionally, success is defined through capitalism – In the words of Jay Z, the numbers don’t lie. But like Jay Z, your motivations for making money, are guided by your motivation for starting in the first place.

The more you create and sell, the more you earn. That is the aim of being in business these days..isn’t it?

Nope!

I would wager that CEOs who still strive for the ‘good ole days’ of money making face a daily dilemma – how do they turn their businesses from market driven sheep to social impacting shepherds?

How do they achieve the balance between healthy balance sheets and healthy social good?

I believe that it starts with what I call a Corporate Social Leadership mindset – a way of thinking that places social impact at the very heart of the business, in a way that encourages an inclusive level of self-leadership.

A way of eliminating hierarchy in its traditional sense and creating a culture of mutual respect, both of every individual and every position. An approach that integrates all stakeholders to have a sense of ownership and a sense of purpose within the strategic growth plans of the business.

Cultiv8 Solutions was founded to help businesses benefit from creating more social impact.

Let me share the ethos behind my 12 Step Corporate Social Leadership process, that we use to help CEOs, entrepreneurs and staff to become a social leaders:

1) Create an inclusive vision of the end game – if you give others a sense of ownership of what success will look and feel like, it actually encourages loyalty, trust and respect.

2) Embrace fear – fear is a state of mind where we act as if the negative has or will occur. But fear also provides an intense understanding of reality, that requires action. Without action, fear gets stronger.

3) Speak an inclusive language – listen to the needs of others and be honest in areas where you don’t understand.

4) Build a flexible plan – Business growth is important, but so is the ability to adapt to future social trends and changes as they arise.

5) Be committed – don’ t just talk the talk, walk the walk!

6) Make the necessary sacrifices – success is not a given. You must do what you have to do to, when you have to do it, or stagnation can occur.

7) Learn the lessons you don’t want to be taught – life is like poker, you have to play the hand you are dealt and be willing to learn harsh lessons along the way. Business is no different.

8) Beware of frenemies – suppliers, partners and other ‘allies’ must share the same values as you and you with them, otherwise the foundations of the relationship will crumble away over time. Trust must be earned.

9) Understand that mentoring comes in many guises – having the right support is crucial, but so is having a gut instinct. Not every avenue taken by others, offers you the same destination, so embrace guidance wisely.

10) Be a sponge – you can learn as much from a child who sees the simplicity in all things, to a sage with years of wisdom and experience. Learn what you can, wherever you can, but remember that knowledge is only potential power until you use it!

11) Celebrate successes – forget the stiff-upper lip attitude! It is ok to celebrate your achievements but do it with a sense of humility.

12) Move on – success is limited to what you last achieved. Once a goal has been meet, start again with the next one.

.The more Social Leaders that we can create in key decision making positions, the more sustainable both business and society becomes!

Till the next time, J

The Missing Ingredient Of A Modern Day CEO

It is fair to say that the world of business has changed!

No longer is it acceptable for a business to strive purely for profit or simply to provide a healthy dividend for shareholders – I think the past credit crunch / recession /aftermath has highlighted that!

In the modern-day world of business, it is both imperative and advantageous to strive for both commercial and social benefit, but CEO’s and Senior Executives don’t have to worry about turning the boardroom into a KUM-BY-YA session, fully loaded with 3 string guitars, marshmallows and the team from Marketing dancing around with flowers in their hair!

The world of Corporate Social Responsibility, Social Impact, Social Investment or whichever term you wish to use has shifted to now being the BUSINESS of business. By working together, an enhanced level of social innovation and impact can be created i.e. the ‘little guy’ can provide the local knowledge, support, agility and access to the right social contacts and community networks; the ‘big guys’ can provide the knowledge and capacity-building resources, that the little guy needs to deliver – it’s a WIN/WIN!!

Isn’t it all great?

The stone cold reality is, that many CEO’s find it difficult to embrace this change in business culture easily.

The missing ingredient…themselves!

Used to being driven by profit margins, reducing costs, provided healthy shareholder dividends, keeping loyal staff etc, many CEOs must now adjust to achieving all the above and more PLUS, ensuring that they increasing their social impact, engaging with diverse stakeholders from strategic levels right down to the shop floor, face instant ridicule via social media when things go bad, which in turn, has an impact on their brand value and much, much more!

So how does the modern CEO cope with this?

The fact of this matter is that CEO’s need to take a step back and review themselves – leadership is as much about following, as well as leading from the front, but often using gut instinct, raw passion and a strong sense of purpose. The modern-day CEO must feel as comfortable in the local church hall or community workshop, as he / she is in the boardroom or conference venue, in order to truly understand what it means to be a Corporate Social Leader!

So how is this possible? Here are my top 5 Ways that a CEO can become more socially focused:

1) Renew the company vision – every great plan, needs constant revision. But every great vision, needs renewal in order to stay adaptable to changes that occur. This is not about creating a new vision, but about making sure the old one is still relevant.

2) Make fear a companion, not an enemy: fear has a way of reaffirming the challenges and hurdles that lie ahead. But fear is simply a state of mind; an expectation of the negative before it happens. The key is to have a strategy in place to deal with the negative, and this can only be achieved if fear is both embraced and welcomed, alongside a mindset of openness and curiosity.

3) Walk the talk: What you say you are, is something that you must both believe and can demonstrate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. End of.

4) Embrace the nappy of change: like fear, change is something that must be embraced otherwise, one runs the risk of missing out on powerful learning and opportunities. But like a nappy, change can also be a little stinky and nasty – but you still have to change that nappy, to protect the person who is wearing it, don’t you???

5) Commit, don’t admit: If you are serious about making a difference, then commit to making a difference. Better still, BE the difference. Admitting mistakes later down the line is too risky for both the business and your sense of leadership – committing to dealing with future mistakes because you are committed to the end result, is much more honourable!

For most CEO’s there needs to be a starting point, to make a change. We offer a free Social Value Metric Report that enables CEO’s to understand the position of their business, based on their investment into socially focused activities, but also help to bring more innovation to this area.

But more importantly, the key starting point is a genuine passion to do more for others!

 

Why Giving Up Is Not An Option

There is a special ingredient inside you, that allows you embrace the abnormality that your own journey to success creates.

It is something that only appears, when your back is against the wall and you know that you either have to push on or give up.

That ingredient is resilience.

Resilience enables you to learn the lessons that you don’t wish to be taught. Resilience fuels the motivation and inspiration you need to face challenges, deal with the lows and reality of life/business and be humble when the highs come along.

Resilience forces you to learn more about yourself, your character, your relationships with others and to truly identify what is really important to you.

At age 24, I was in my full-time dream job – I was Birmingham’s leading Mentoring Trainer for corporates who wanted to engage staff in social activity and we also had a baby on the way. Life was great!!

One night I woke up in cold sweats, finding it difficult to sleep. Something was not right and I did not know why.

I went downstairs, found a pen and ending up creating a simple business plan on one side of A4 paper.

Within a two week period, I had left my job, negotiated reduced rent a one-man office, designed my own two page website, made my own business cards using a laminator and card, and was hunting for my first client.

Many said I was crazy, many said it would not work. People said “you are the wrong race, you come from the wrong class, you speak funny, you never went to university so what do you know etc etc” I got it all!

I doubted myself countless amount of times, ended up taking on ‘proper jobs’ on more than one occasion to supplement those Sahara desert months of no income and was a nightmare to live with.

But something inside was always burning away. A feeling of hunger but not for food, a desire to help others but not in a way I could articulate to others. You know that feeling?

I took some time out to really reflect on how I was, who I was becoming and who I really wanted to be. I realised that for me, business was not about the media hype perspective, but more about creating vehicles that help to add value to the personal, social, economic and commercial lives of others.

I learned 2 things about myself during that time, that I would like I share:

1) Your purpose is never about you: we all have something special to contribute to the lives of others and the world. You may already know what your purpose is, but if not, have a think about what truly makes you happy; what gives you that funny happy butterfly feeling whenever you think about it, a bit like when you saw that girl or boy of your dreams and you got all giddy ๐Ÿ™‚

I know some days it may be hard to, but you must believe in yourself to realise the power that you have within you, whether it is through a job, a business, family or whatever route you can – no one has the right to stop you from maximising your potential to fulfil your purpose.

That includes you from stopping yourself..

2) Be humble enough to never think you have all the answers, but confident to ask the right questions: life is like poker – you get dealt the cards that you don’t expect, but you must play with those cards whether it is a good hand or not.

Real learning comes through resilience refusing to give up, reminding yourself daily on your big picture, thanking those who try to hold you back for the motivation and staying true to yourself!

Ask the right questions of yourself and of others, but ALWAYS from an authentic, real and genuine perspective – enjoy the ride, but don’t get sucked into the hype!

Like you, there is still a long way ahead before I fulfil my purpose and that’s ok! Life is for living and learning – it’s better to remain its keenest student!

Please feel free to share / comment on what you have learnt or are still learning from not giving up ๐Ÿ™‚

4 Reasons Why The 50p Man Can Make Us All Feel Rich

It has been no surprise to see that the Channel 4 series Benefits Street, has been the topic of public conversation this week.

From many people slating the media for the portrayal of the residents of James Turner St, to those defending the plight of real people going through real situations and all in between, the debate has been crazy!

You can choose your own side and forge your own opinion, but the good to come out of all that was the inspiration of Stephen Smith AKA Smoggy.

His courage to try and better himself, his willingness to accept where he has gone wrong and use those lessons to be positive and his compassion for creating a positive social impact in his community, was simply sensational and it’s great to see that he has received a number of job offers to help him move forward – it’s nice to see the good guy winning for once!

His story shows that we all have the ability to help others, even when we are in the same circumstances, whether you succeed or not. The courage to dare, to dream but more importantly, to take action for the greater good, is something we can all learn from.

Unfortunately, there are others like this man who are a little extreme and take things to a whole new level!

But what can Smoggy’s journey teach us about Social Leadership?

Well, I believe that Smoggy highlighted a number of things about the importance of Social Leadership that are relevant for both business and the community – here are 3 of them:

1) Be true to who you are:

Authenticity is the one thing that allows us to connect with others – people are attracted to or repelled by people, based on how you make them feel, good or bad. In business, people also BUY from people first – remember that, next time you think it’s all about your goods and services….

2) Give without expecting to receive:

It’s human nature to want something, to receive from others – love, money, time etc are all resources that we expect for example.

But to give with no expectation of receiving is liberating!

It makes you feel good to know you are genuinely helping others. Karma is a female dog (think about it!) but she can be really kind too if you just give – it does not have be money either, sometimes the right words at the right time, is all someone needs…

3) Do the right thing, even if the world around you does not:

4) Never forget where you come from, but know where you are going:

That speaks for itself ๐Ÿ™‚

Let’s be real.

Every community has good and bad points. I know from personal experience, and many others can relate, that inner city living is hard, tough and a matter of survival. You can find yourself surrounded by a ‘crabs in a bucket’ mentality and it takes a lot to be you in a world, where everyone expects you to be the same as everyone else.

But Smoggy represented what I know many young people and adults, especially in Birmingham, are doing -believing in the right thing to do, even sacrificing what they are doing and in some cases, their own lives to help someone else who had nothing to give them in return.

We all make choices in life and no one has the right to judge your fellow man (or woman). Birmingham is not perfect, but this city loves it’s people and really cares for others who show the city and it’s people the respect it deserves!

We all have leadership abilities that can help others to achieve. Our communities are trying to survive in a time of hardship, deprivation and poverty – our young people are suffering out there, yet many decision-makers simply don’t have the answers.

Ordinary citizens with a heart, like Smoggy, are the real community heroes – I’m not saying they are perfect themselves, but no one in life is.

We all have a responsibility to maximise our potential and do whatever we can to use our influences and motivate others, to maximise their own.

There will always be the few who may make choices that may tarnish the reputation of others, but feeling rich is about the happiness you feel and the reward that does come in some shape or form when you least expect it, by doing what you can to help others!

3 Ways To Make Corporate Social Responsibility Personal

As we enter a new year, it is easy to set off with the best intentions to achieve your Corporate Social Responsibility objectives and create business value.

But what is often missed, is a clear understanding of the personal foundation needed to achieve those objectives, the stability needed to overcome challenges and the cultural belief that the company will create holistic impact, in the lives of those affected by your efforts.

This ethos is relevant to businesses working towards CSR objectives, but also to you as an individual – the notion of CSR is often seen as just a business imperative, but the principle of creating holistic impact, is something that is relevant to both commerce and personal achievement.

So how is this possible?

Overall, one must have an inclusive and open mindset. There is beauty in embracing differences, whether that is people, perceptions or any other factor. It is never a straight line and good intentions do not always give you the results you desire, so you must be open to change.

But here are 3 Ways To Make CSR Personal:

1) Lead from your values: knowing who you are and what you stand for, is fundamental to achieving your objectives. Customers, staff and humans in general want to be associated with businesses and people who share similar values, so make sure yours are aligned to ensure success.

2) Create both social and economic value: Social outcomes must be aligned with rewards and incentives, and form part of the overall business strategy agreed from the top down. Personal growth must result in emotional fulfilment achieved through effort, whether you are dealing with staff or yourself.

3) Develop the right strategic alliances: You can’t do it alone. Everyone needs support – corporates can benefit from the agility of smaller businesses; you have the skills and resources to fill in the gaps that others have and vice versa, to achieve greater results for all – having the right alliances can save time, money and resources!

At Cultiv8 Solutions, we help others to create CSR activities that have a personal impact.

If you need any support on achieving your personal and corporate CSR goals, come and say hi!

Why Corporates Need More Intrapreneurs

We know that the economic crash of a few years ago, affected many businesses across the globe.

Lives were thrown upside down, careers were crushed, and the world was forced to give itself a major spring clean. Cobwebs of the past, were ritually brushed away to make way for a new dawn, though the spiders of capitalism have found new gaps in the ceilings of commerce and continue to weave new webs of financial opulence.

However as a consequence, intrapreneurship is becoming the new cool in business. It is the new corporate action hero, here to save the bottom line.

Integrating the principles of entrepreneurship into UK boardrooms is a badge of honour, no longer earned in the battlefields of breakfast networking sessions, swanky soirees and the loneliness of the home office, but in the innovation teams and creative minds of motivated soldiers, marching to the beat of the salary drum.

It is also essential and about time too!

The way that business is done has changed dramatically. Customers now have more than enough tools to dictate what they like, how they like it, when they like it, what they are prepared to pay for it and why they are not buying it from you.

To succeed, corporates now have to be more innovative to not only keep up with their own competitors in their key market sector but, to do so across diverse markets in order to be sustainable. It is no longer a them and us society – every corporate business must be able to influence the citizenship of others, not just satisfy shareholders.

In our business, we have seen an increase in demand of how we can help companies be more innovative with their CSR and Diversity strategies, but it is fundamentally clear that morality is not enough. Their customers are savvy enough to know that this is a business imperative, and the use of entrepreneurship in a corporate context creates a more tailored and bespoke solution for them.

More and more companies, are seeking to learn from icons of entrepreneurship – british stalwarts such as Richard Branson, who was once questioned about the price of milk and did not have a clue, yet is the head of, arguably, the greatest British company and brand EVER! Mavericks like the late Steve Jobs, who had a reputation for being mercenary in his vision and on those who did not see it, yet taught us that there is nothing greater in life that the power of self-belief to change the world!

STOP NEWSFLASH!!!

Not every corporate is ready to be more intrapreneurial. The idea that being more dynamic and innovative as an organisation, will lead to an instant increase in productivity and, ultimately, a more healthier bottom line is imbalanced.

The stark reality, is that most companies need to review their own governance as a business, need to ensure the CEO is entrepreneurial by nature and that the organisation has the processes in place to harness the output of entrepreneurial staff. Like real entrepreneurs who are often skint, and live the type of abnormal life that many would not dare, an organisation wishing to be more intrapreneurial, must be willing become more of a risk taker, visionary, a more egotistical yet humble entity.

We all have the mental capacity to THINK like an entrepreneur. In the Hot500Club, young entrepreneurs are constantly told that whether you are working for yourself, or working for others or both, you have the ability to be innovative, to think outside the box, to search and find the solution to the problem, to help other companies to develop intrapreneurs in order to create more social impact.

But how can organisations grow, in their youthful phase of intrapreneurship? Here are 5 tips:

– Separate your company WHAT vs WHY: Your WHY is the purpose, the real goal, the overall impact or value you wish to create. Your WHAT are the tools, resources and efforts that you need to achieve your why.

– Executive teams must live and breathe the vision: You should be able to describe in detail, what your collective vision is – you must be able to almost taste it, smell it, know who will be there when you achieve it etc. It must be so clear, that it is as if you have already achieved it.

– Embrace your fear: Fear is a state of mind, because you are fearful of negative consequences or results. Put in place a strategy that you would execute if that consequence took place – you will soon realise that there is nothing to be fearful of!

– Make the necessary sacrifices: Forget what the organisation thinks it should do, to become more innovative. It must DO what It MUST in order to succeed. Learning from those choices is the key.

– Be willing to learn the lessons you don’t want to be taught: A business that wants to be more intrapreneurial, must be willing to learn harsh truths about itself, and seek to learn and integrate the results.

We all have to be entrepreneurial just to survive in life..

But isn’t that what business is about?

What is your PSI level?

You often hear about an organisation doing great things for their local community, their city or their region.

If you listen and look hard enough, you can also find out about global initiatives that are changing lives, such as the ones you that are often mentioned atย @CSRWire

But, when was the last time you reflected upon your PSI (Personal Social Impact) level? When was the last time, you stepped outside your own comfort zone and achieved the extraordinary, for the sustainable benefit of others?

Far too often, CSR strategies, policies and programmes are created by individuals who may not care to step into the shoes of the very beneficiaries, that they aim to support – as I work with more clients in the area of CSR, I get more used to seeing that.

Being frank, there are some people who have lived in such a bubble for such a long time, that it has become a steel cage that they have used to protect themselves inside, rather than the dreamy rainbow and light entity that fascinated me as a child!

I know you had the bubble-blower and chased those bubbles till they popped, come on, I know you loved it really!

I digress…people have different experiences and how their life has panned out, is how their life has panned out. You must embrace this fact, to be able to appreciate others from how they see things and support them to view the wider picture – education is not just found in books, it is found inside us all regardless of any differences and that is a beautiful thing.

However, we all have a choice to decide how we wish to support others. We all have the choice to give to others, in ways that enable them to feel empowered enough to succeed!

Your PSI is the level of effort that YOU put in personally, to help achieve more for others – regardless of your role at work, your place in your community, the level of qualifications you have or the amount of resource, you can do something!

Personal Social Impact can be something that you give to your family, your friends, work colleagues or a total stranger – but how?

Here are my top 5 tips to help you increase your own PSI level:

Do something that fulfills you: Human motivation comes from a selfish benefit, good or bad. If you feel fulfilled, then nothing becomes a barrier – rather, the barrier becomes a lesson that you are willing to learn.

Do something that challenges you: If you don’t stretch yourself, then how do you know what your really capable of? Enough said.

Find a reason NOT to have an excuse: Bit of a mental shift here but being solution focused causes you to achieve more faster, instead of identifying all the reasons why you can’t.

Seek constructive criticism: There is a stark difference between feedback and worthy feedback. Constructive criticism should evoke a sense of self-reflection and purpose, not anger and frustration. Which leads me to my final point:

–ย  Not all your advisors, can give you the advice you need: Learn to see things from the perspective of others, then compare it to your own. Acknowledge where there are differences and more importantly, why they are there..

Increasing PSI is something that we strive for at Cultiv8 Solutions, helping key decision-makes step outside of the norm, in regards to how they approach CSR.

Why not come and take a look at the ways, in which we help key decision makers increase their PSI, through their strategic activities?

Till the next time,

J