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Flexibility, Agility, Strength – Om

This morning I had my cup of expresso and scurried out the door to my Saturday morning yoga class. I cherish this Saturday ritual, a little bit of “me time” with people whose only agenda for that moment is mindfulness, their health and community with others. People don’t go to yoga to flex their opinions or say negative things. Rather, it is 90 minutes of respect, honoring everyone’s personal space and doing our level best to stay focused on our own pose and set our monkey mind aside.

That is incredibly hard these days, isn’t it? It’s not just the daily news that shows up on our smart phones minute by minute, it’s the fallout that comes with it. If I’m not worrying about a nuclear war or a school shooting, I’m worried about tornados or hurricanes. Angst and rancor have permeated into our personal and business relationships. People feel like they can say anything they want in the name of free speech and being forthright - even if destroys a relationship that was meaningful and significant at one time, a relationship that lifted you up rather than tore you down.

My yoga teacher said that today’s focus would be on “Flexibility, Agility and Strength” and though I was supposed to be concentrating on my sun salutations, I found myself repeating the words over and over throughout the class. They seemed so apropos for our business world today, not just for me individually. For just as I can’t maneuver through my days without these adjectives, neither can a business in this new paradigm that we live in.

Information and new circumstances happen fast and furiously. How does your business handle change, does it stay ready, Plan B in place? In many respects, five-year business plans are a thing of the past. We are zigging and zagging as identical products show up, as we lose the history and knowledge of one generation retiring and welcome a younger one that does not view long term commitment as a plus. Consumers and investors expect to be active participants in your day to day business and market trends are mercurial.

What exactly are you doing to stay agile and flexible? Do you revisit your business strategy quarterly, if you even have one that is well thought out? Are your succession plans in place? Ready for catastrophe God forbid? Is growth hacking part of your process? How exactly will you hang on to your talent, make your customers your brand ambassadors, show your investors you are in it for the long haul and stay ahead of your competition? Although these may not seem like new questions to business owners, what they do need to consider is that this is a new business world, the rules have changed.

To show strength, you must show that you are fully transparent in today’s world and that you are a strong corporate citizen, prepared to assist in the resolution of issues that face all of us individually, not just sell us product and services. Products and industries are homogenous, how are you different? How do I know that you actually care about me, my family, my community and my planet? Why should I buy from you if price and quality are the same in my Google search?

Ultimately, the key to success is all about participating in respectful, conscious and sustained business, understanding that the collective is at stake, not just the bottom line. We are each just a grain of sand, lost without all the other grains that make up the beach. Loyalty comes to those who understand the ins and outs of social impact.

At the end of many yoga classes, the word Om is chanted. It means many things, but I like “The past, the present, and the future, all that was, all that is, and all that will be is Om.” This is the business world of the future.

Copyright © 2018 Linda Lattimore – all rights reserved

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