How would it feel to reach outside the confines of the status quo to have a positive impact at work and in your community? How would it feel to stay ahead of the curve and to set the standard for your organization? How would it feel to develop more meaning and purpose at work for you and your team?
Society is changing.
We don’t have to look far to see that individual’s interactions and expectations are evolving inside and outside the work environment. Change is accelerating. Signs of opportunities are everywhere, but so are signs of a crisis of trust. It can seem daunting to know which way to turn. How do you help your organization stay relevant and not succumb to the crises of trust? How do you deal with shyfting social dynamics?
Today, more than ever, organizations must make a concerted effort to build social awareness within their organizations. It is one of the most important skills leaders and organizations can possess and develop today. We are all in this together. What goes on outside the four-walls of our organizations impacts what transpires within them. To innovate and propel our organizations forward, we must engage, learn to navigate the shyft, and capitalize on the reality of what is.
Signs of Crises
Signs of crises within American businesses are everywhere. Stories of deception and abuse by social media giants, car manufacturers, airline industries, and pharmaceutical companies are plaguing headlines. Individual actions within organizations are bringing corporations to their knees with lawsuits and PR nightmares.
People are losing faith in corporate America to do the right thing at the right time. Organizations are in crises for lack of social competencies – dealing with sexual harassment, toxic work environments, privacy rights, and overcoming biases and gaps in social awareness. The status quo is no longer tenable. The tides are shyfting – and we must shyft with them to thrive.
Leaders of Industry are Shyfting the Status Quo
Leaders of industry are shyfting the status quo – they are innovating in ways to embrace social change, to build social awareness, and to leave a legacy of positive impact in their organizations and in the communities in which they do business.
Leaders of industry like Marc Benioff of SalesforceTM and Hamdi Ulukaya of ChobaniTM Yogurt have committed their companies to improving the lives of their workers and to building more equitable environments. Benioff is committed to eliminating pay gaps for women and minorities. Ulukaya challenges CEOs to create a new CEO playbook. He challenges leaders to take care of their employees and the communities in which they do business.
As Leaders We Possess the Capacity to Shyft
As leaders, we possess the intellectual capacity, expertise, and innovative capabilities to shyft the trajectory of business. We have the collective ability to create environments where everyone thrives, to lead our organizations into the future, and to build up the communities in which we do business.
Innovative leaders recognize that they must look for new ways to navigate and embrace today’s social dynamics. They must become more responsive to new challenges and new opportunities. Today’s best leaders are monitoring the fiscal health of their organizations while also participating in the development of a civil society, a healthy planet, engaged workforces, inclusive cultures, and strong communities.
How do you challenge the status quo?
The best way to start is to lead by example – start building social awareness from within. Social awareness is an understanding of why different people think, act, and respond the way that they do in different social situations. It is about patterns and trends. Social awareness is built on connecting the dots between what is and why, so that your organization can shyft to what can be and how.
Shyfting is built on uncovering the lens in which people use to view the world and developing an understanding of how our lens impacts our interpretation of events and the world around us. There is a constant feedback loop between what we think, what we expect, how we act, and the results that we experience.
To shyft the status quo, we must create spaces for learning, developing, and growing. We must have open and honest conversations about the reality of what is so that we can shyft to the possibilities of what can be.
It is time to ….
By Kristin Heck Sajadi, Founder and CEO at Shyft Strategies, LLC
Sajadi is a sociologist, entrepreneur and developer of the Shyft5 program – helping individuals and organizations build social awareness as a business asset to shyft the status quo.