For a few hundred years, we’ve tried running businesses like the machines that initiated the industrial revolution. We’ve streamlined, optimized, controlled, organized and standardized everything in the hope that we can get as close to a lean, mean, organizational machine as is humanly possible.
But we forgot something.
Business is made by people for people. In forgetting this, we forgot the connection of a business to its community and began owing more loyatly to shareholders than the people who actually brought value day to day by working hard to create success. We gave up the biggest part of a business’ very purpose and sold it to fidiciary duty, placing the meaning of a business organziation in the hands of financial controllers and money men.
With this, here we are. The world is choking on noxious gas. Nature is denuded. Money won. And people lost.
The Human Spirit Model® is designed to help us address these issues with business. It is designed to place the needs of peope first – all people. Not just one group. Or the other group. Or the next group. But all people.
This means the leaders and staff, the owners, the communities, the suppliers and, of course, the customers.
The model is simple. Anyone can learn it – It is respect, expression, meaning and resources – four things that we all need to be happy. But the model teaches us something very important straight away – These needs change. And to keep meeting these needs, we must all learn to change too.
Businesses must shift focus regularly; people must be flexible in attitude and approach; we must increase sensitivity to needs throgh empathy, and we should avoid focussing on cutting costs but rather be single-minded in adding value to each group, constantly balancing needs that get out of harmony.
When we do this, something incredible happens. The world rights itself and contentment is possible for all groups of people and the indviduals in them. No longer are we so self-serving but seek opportunities to serve others’ needs. And, when those needs get out of whack, we have a model by which to restore balance, knowing that the imbalance we have attained is not a mystery – it simply a need not being fulfilled.
We know people have a tendency to be greedy, selfish and egotistical. Believe it or not, this is incredibly inefficient. Not only does it make working a painful experience for everyone in a business, it channels money to a few people at the top, which is why the world is so inequitable today.
A better way to run anything is to be fair. The Human Spirit Model simply asks people to look at what is causing unhappiness in others and to take steps to correct it. The safety value is trust and respect. If acts of disrespect can be identified in a system or relationship, trust begins to be eroded and inefficiencies accumulate.
Normally, to solve this problem, a business adds layers of control, initiating policies, procedures or disciplinary action. But this is incredibly ineffecient and causes much of the resentment, distrust and frustration that reduces a company’s performance to the speed of its most ineffcient element.
With the Human Spirit Model, all parties simply identify which needs are not being fulfilled, and correct them. It’s not about money or focus or ego. It’s about the simple premise that there is enough for eveyone and when we treat everyone with respect, the trust created enhances performance. This covers any additional costs of fullfillign needs with higher performance and better results.
Catching up from a model of business that is 300 years old is not easy,. But it has become essential. We can no longer linger in industrial revolution thinking because It is not revolutionary any more. It is destructive.
We need to address the needs of the human spirit and levae the ego behind.
The author, Michael Paul Stephens, is the founder of Provolution Consultancy, a Thailand-based corporate training business that helps companies build a better culture through The Human Spirit Model®. This model is the ultimate team-building program and has enabled dozens of businesses across Asia to develop a culture of trust and respect that balances human needs and business needs equally.