“We don’t need more high achievers, we need more people who care” – Dalai Lama
How to put the Heart back into Business
Putting the Heart back into Business is the life purpose of our founding partners and it’s why we exist as an organisation – our purpose is:
Heart in Business Limited will enable companies to put people and our planet first, trusting that profit will follow.
We at Heart in Business Limited inspire and advise companies who want to put the heart first, and make that transition from being focused on short-term profits towards putting people and our planet first.
Our approach involves putting the heart at the centre of the organisation and leads to more fulfilled and empowered employees, happier customers, better communities and less harm to the environment. As compared to the old profit focused approach, this in the long-term is far more sustainable and generates greater profits.
There is a view that the way we are working in organisations today isn’t working. We believe the reason for this is that, in their endless pursuit of ever-higher levels of short-term profit, many business leaders have become disconnected from what is important to them, their personal values and their feelings. As this profit demand is insatiable (no matter how high a company’s profits are, there will always be demands for more), this puts more and more stress on business leaders.
This is not a theory!
When our founder Andrew Isaac Thornton set out on this dream in 2013, he did this from the perspective of a business leader with 25 years experience running his own businesses. He knew there was a better way and realised all his life experience had been to prepare him for this idea – that running a business heartfully was better for everyone involved – employees, customers, community, the environment – and the shareholders.
Everything we do at Heart in Business Limited has been ‘road tested’ at Thornton’s Budgens, Andrew’s supermarket in North London. And the results speak for themselves:
Like for like sales (to Oct 2016):
Growth + 5%
- Budgens Estate – 5%
- Sainsbury’s -0.9%
- Waitrose -1%
Margin Growth over the last year:
Margin growth: 1.5 points
Average Length of service:
- 3.4 years
- Costa Coffee: 2 years
Team Survey results:
- Average Score: 4.12 (out of 5) vs 4.0 last time
- “I love working for this organisation” (4.13)
- “I feel I can make a difference in this organisation” (4.23)
We have learnt how to do this
We’ve learnt from our work at Thornton’s Budgens and with the other companies we are now working with, that there are 7 key steps you need to consider. In our experience, it works best if you follow this sequence, although of course each organisation is different. And while we believe that this works best if the CEO leads it, we also know its possible to make small steps in specific departments and divisions of companies.
- Intention: Your CEO and board say yes, we want to become a more heartful company.
- Measurement: of the heartbeat of the company through the Human Potential Index, a way of understanding how much of your teams Human Potential you are using and a far more reliable measure of shareholder value than quarterly profits.
- Heart Resuscitation: We get the heart of your company beating again by aligning each board members personal values to that of the company and getting everyone on the board doing the work they love doing.
- Purpose: Developing a new higher purpose for your organisation that shifts the focus from short-term profit maximization to long-term wealth creation for all. This will include re-defining your vision and mission.
- Being: Identifying new ways of being as an organisation and developing processes for how your people interact with each other, bringing heartfulness to life every day. This will involve creating a safe environment for your people to share their truth and identifying the right structure for your business. This is about identifying a new way of being and a new culture.
- Environment: Developing policy for being an environmentally responsible organisation, leading to a more sustainable future.
- Community: Developing policy for engaging with your local communities, ensuring grass roots support for you and your business.
And it is hard to capture what we do in mere words! So if what you have read so far interests you, come and visit us at the Thornton’s Budgens in Belsize Park, North London. Or read on for our dream.
The dream of Heart in Business Limited is that companies put people and our planet first, trusting profit will follow. The dream is of companies where we have a purpose, companies that make a broader contribution to society and see the world beyond the next set of quarterly profits. Companies where we consider all our stakeholders – our employees, our community, our planet and of course, our shareholders.
Companies that care about the impact on people, whether those people work in our company, are customers or live in the community in which we operate. Companies where everyone is doing the job they love doing rather the one they are good at, a place there is passion, authenticity and love, we are all making a difference, we are all heard and understood, we all hear and understand our colleagues.
Companies where there is heartfelt leadership, where we co-create plans and where wealth flows. Companies where people are themselves without fear of judgment or punishment.
Companies that care about our planet, that consider future generations, companies that take into account what we are leaving behind for our children and grandchildren. This is our dream of how companies will thrive in the future, indeed some companies already are.
In fact at Heart in Business Limited, we believe this is the only way forward.
And since we wrote this on our founding in 2014, we have proven our hypothesis – that this approach is actually better business, delivering better financial results.
Heart in Business Limited can help you develop and implement a strategy to become a more sustainable business, one where your employees are happier and more productive, one where the impact you have on the environment is less; AND one that is more profitable for your business.
Do come and visit us soon!