We see the word ‘Oui’ and our thoughts immediately transport us to a romantic and foreign land!
To a land that “embodies everything religious zealots everywhere hate: enjoyment of life here on earth in a myriad little ways: a fragrant cup of coffee and buttery croissant in the morning, beautiful women in short dresses smiling freely on the street, the smell of warm bread, a bottle of wine shared with friends, a dab of perfume, children playing in the Luxembourg Gardens, the right not to believe in any god, not to worry about calories, to flirt and smoke and enjoy sex outside of marriage, to take vacations, to read any book you want, to go to school for free, to play, to laugh, to argue, to make fun of prelates and politicians alike, to leave worrying about the afterlife to the dead. No country does life on earth better than the French.” (Comment from NY Times Reader)
In the past week, France has been the global face for atrocities occurring on its own soil and, by default, representative of other communities around the world whose voices weren’t quite so loud, colourful and collective. Communities such as Beirut, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Yemen and so many more.
What France did for the world was to allow us to embody a mass agreement frame… by having us share our thoughts of:
‘Yes, we all need to do life a little different’.
Without getting into religious or political dialogue, one thing is certain; we each need to look a little closer to home, inside our businesses, to our clients, within our teams, to what we are doing on an individual and a collective basis to conspire for the success of those around us to make that bigger, conscious difference.
‘OUI’ represents the most positive, affirming and accepting word in any language – the word ‘YES’, with one standout, central component being the letter U.
Yes, You! You are central to a better world!
WE also translates to ‘you together with one or more other people’, a collective of individuals and ‘Yes, You matter and so do We!’
My message here is not what to do, not how to do something, not the why behind what we do but who we need to be in order to do life and business better than we are doing right now – in order to grow and contribute and make a difference.
But we can’t do things on our own though. We need each other. If the French word ‘Oui’ epitomises agreement, then good business epitomises the practice of agreement.
And that means realising and accepting that we are also in the WE Economy, or the Connection Economy, where practices such as co-operation, collaboration and co-opetition amongst individuals and businesses are becoming more and more common. Just ask Uber, Lego and the famed Intel and Microsoft partnership.
It’s All About Conspiracy
Whilst a conspiracy is described as the act of plotting or conspiring, usually for an evil cause as we have so recently witnessed, the first known use of the word ‘conspire’ was back in the 14th century. It derives from the Anglo-French ‘conspirer’, from Latin conspirare to be in harmony and spirare to breathe.
So how, in this WE Economy, this Connection Economy, can we make our difference and act in harmony and agreement toward a common end with a focus on breathing growth and contribution into our conversations, our lives and our businesses?
We must be collegial, where the relationship between people is built on an individual respect for each other and when coming from a strong emotional and heart based intention, it creates a strong atmosphere of teamwork and co-operation. It is where who you are matters. It’s where your identity matters. It’s an environment where you can grow, be challenged, be listened to and accepted. It is an environment that allows you to show up as who you need to be in a manner that creates happiness and loyalty.
We must be cultural, where the real outcome of the business is purpose and profits, generating both meaning and money for stakeholders and shareholders. It’s an environment championed by leaders who are able to marry the emotional needs of their people with the logical thinking necessary to adapt and change strategically and tactically for the success of both the business and the people. To link your individual and personal goals and values to the values of the organisation will create real purpose for the individual and the business.
We must be commercial where the responsibility to generate revenue, save money and reduce costs occurs. Where the tasks, tactics and strategies, that include selling, negotiating and closing business happens at a logical, financial and operational level. In an era of increased competition, it is important to have a clear path of ‘this is what we must do’ to survive and thrive, so that the business continues to grow and benefits all through an alignment of those values.
We must be communal which, when prioritised, is the strongest factor to the overall success of any business – serving and contributing for the common good. Based on strong business values and introducing heart into the approach, focus and outcomes, is when real change happens. The social responsibilities of the business to the community, the investment in the growth and wellbeing of the internal staff community, and doing the right thing by serving the client community, are all ripple effects that, ultimately, impact the world.
It’s ultimately about accountability to objectives with opportunities to ask ‘How Can I Help You?’ and make a difference.
This feedback loop ensures loyal employees, strong leaders, financially successful businesses and delighted clients, so the cycle continues and strengthens, and success is sustained.
There are challenges in front of us on all fronts – local and global, personal and professional, cultural and civil – and real change can only happen when we decide to take individual responsibility for making the changes we are capable of making in order to reach a satisfactory outcome where agreement occurs – whether that be at a leadership, sales or operational level.
So, in saying ‘OUI’ to ‘WE’, what one change can you make when it comes to your approach, the focus of your conversations and your outcomes, in order to make a difference in your immediate environment?
Be Bold and Brilliant!
Bernadette McClelland works with executives and companies in growth mode, looking to jumpstart results by quickly bridging their corporate goals with revenue potential. She is an evangelist for conscious selling models and a mentor for women who sell in B2B roles. She is the author of the recently published book ‘The Art of Commercial Conversations – When It’s Your Turn To Make a Difference’
Image Courtesy of Letincelle