Every so often, as in nature, it is time for a death and rebirth.
Conscious leaders do this regularly as part of their commitment to self-reflective leadership. Businesses should build in a regular system of internal disruption too; unfortunately, most do not. Conscious Capitalism is at the precipice of self-disruption now. If it commits to improving governance diversity, it can gain exponential traction and soar to new heights. If not, it will still be disrupted, but by a terrifying force out of its control: irrelevance.
Diversity strengthens companies just like it strengthens nature.
Soil science studies have shown that eight or more plants growing together drastically improves soil health. Debilitating mutations and defects come out of gene pools that lack diversity. We cry out against mass extinction of animals from our planet because well-balanced food chains nourish us. Yet we seem to be missing the point when it comes to human organizations.
Scientists carry the burden of proof in their research: a thesis isn’t true until all possible conflicting theses have been proven false. Data isn’t secure until white hat hackers have successfully failed to hack into their own systems. And accountants calculate a final number multiple ways to ensure its accuracy. Thus diversity is a burden of proof to ideation, visioning, and leadership. Until an organization has searched low and high, assembled the most diverse perspectives it can, and reconciled these perspectives toward a common goal, its leader cannot truthfully claim right direction or path.
As a key driver of the socially-responsible business movement for over 10 years, Conscious Capitalism has a duty to show what right direction means toward a mission of elevating humanity. In this case, self-disruption is a necessary next step to bring its relatively homogeneous leadership into alignment with what we know to be true in nature: diversity leads to growth, quite literally.
Why is this a disruption? Because Conscious Capitalism needs to aggregate a new board that reflects its future members, not its current members. We know from basic economic principle that without a strategy to attract future customers, the pipeline of new customers dries up. Many professional associations face a member pipeline issue, and many have struggled and fallen as a result of not revitalizing their identity to stay relevant. Relevance in 2018 social entrepreneurship undoubtedly means actively working to close inequality gaps at all levels of your organization.
Luckily, the member-leaders of this fantastic nonprofit have enough personal experience with self-disruption to embrace their fears and take the plunge. If they do, they will forge new territory in conscious business leadership: the willingness to look in the mirror and publicly relinquish outdated governance models.
I’d love to hear your thoughts!