Women


The transformation of capitalism into what we call Humanity, IncSM is the process of tweaking the design objective of business to focus on the well-being of its stakeholders, i.e. humanity and all life on earth.  You could think of it as business returning to its roots:  to support society.   Rather than to concentrate financial wealth for relatively few shareowners.

And you could also think of it as the "Feminization of Business," -- not the womanization -- but the ascendance of the feminine principle of shared well being.  Listen to a brief statement of what I mean from a broadcast interview on Living Juicy. 

It's time to get radical, and heartful, men and women! To listen to our wise hearts for guidance.  After decades following the 'smartest guys in the room,' and the consumption principle that 'he who dies with the most toys wins,' -- the win/lose principle has pitted us against each other, and against the natural systems on the planet. Not sustainable. Not smart, after all, when we poison the well that all drink from.  

Guiding principles of mutual benefit are not the sole domain of women. But women have more permission in society to exhibit them. And it's time for all of us to put those principles front and center. In our strategic business objectives, in our marketing, in our relationships with suppliers, employees, customers.  And, if you are in communications, to lead reality in that direction. Women tend to concentrate in that field, and this message is for all professional communicators who would influence the zeitgeist.

THE DEMOS DEMAND DECENCY

Early in our research into evolving change-drivers of business, in the late 1990s, we heard the first waves of stakeholders crying out to business to stop ignoring their basic, unmet needs.  Needs for equal opportunity, needs for fair pay, needs for healthy working and living environments, needs for a healthy, balanced world and environment. Needs for respect as individuals, and fair and ethical treatment as employees.

Our research showed that those early voices were looking for the corporation to 'own up to' its humanity, or at the very least its obligation to behave in a socially responsible manner.  They expected business to authentically exhibit 13 characteristics, which we dubbed 'Soul Values', 'Human Values', and 'Feminine Values'.  I used the term 'feminine' reluctantly at first because we didn't want to imply they were exclusive to women.  After all, many men practice these values and many women do not!

DRUCKER SAW IT COMING 

In fact, years ago, Peter Drucker had identified a subset of those very values in prescribing the transformation that globalization would require of corporate management styles.  He rightly saw that the narrow definition of stakeholders had expanded beyond corporate management, employees and investors into the global community of persons touched by the corporation directly and indirectly. In fact, collaboration, cooperation, partnership would be the currency of the 'borderless' business world.  And that those values, would have to be taught from scratch to the generations of MBAs raised on competitive agility and short term profits above all else.

Drucker was prescient back then. But today, it's patently obvious that we are all in this together. Society has nearly drowned completely from swimming with the sharks for so long.  Instead, the life-giving impulse -- for collaboration, empowerment, team mentality, the greater good of the whole, compassion, balance -- the holistic view of mutual health and success for spaceship Earth is where management practice must go.  And it is going there.

WOMEN MUST TRUST THEMSELVES AND LEAD WITH THE NEEDED SKILLS

What is the role of women in this transformation? We've had society's permission to be that way, more than men have had.  And now we have an obligation to model it on the public stage. First, to come out of the shadows with your true spirit of mutual empowerment, collaboration and intuitive creation.  Second, bring others along in a spirit of inclusiveness and genuine caring.  No more hiding.  We know that precedent is keeping the world prisoner.  And we know that the world is looking for a new way through this storm.  It is the way of the oikos, the household, in the best sense, where caring, nurturing and excellence are applied for the health of the whole.

Many wonderful and important initiatives have mushroomed to reinforce women's unique capacity for leadership, especially recently.  Here are some that I personally have experienced.  Please investigate and share these, and others that you may discover.

  • McKinsey&Co's ongoing work on the holistic values set of women leaders, and captured in the book, Centered Leadership: How Remarkable Women Lead, 2009, by Joanna Barsh and Susie Cranston
  • The Women's Day of Silence, organized by the Ashland Institute, www.ashlandinstitute.org
  • DailyWorth, dailyworth.com a high-value, entertaining little new media letter empowering women's appetite for and ability to manage their finances

 ...and our own Women's Threshold Weekends, intimate gatherings in sacred places where intuition, right-brain and metaphysical discovery strengthen our conviction and spark our creative juices.

 

The following are highlights from our thinking about women's pivotal role in the evolution to Humanity, Inc.


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The Evolution of the Feminine Brand

PERSONAL BRANDING Magazine

May 2009, p. 23

Elsie reveals the new trend toward the 'feminization, not the womanization, of business today,' in this interview by pan-media journalist and work-life expert Judy Martin, herself a pioneer for balance and values in business.

+ Download article (PDF file l 148K)

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WOMEN LEADING GLOBAL CHANGE
Women's International Network Annual Forum (W.I.N.)
Principled Brands, the Heart of Economic Value
Milan, October 2001

Excerpts from panel keynote by Elsie Maio

One month after the 9/11 attacks in the US, Elsie outlined the nine pressures wrenching business toward a new paradigm in service to humanity, rather than to greed.  She exhorted the 500 women participants to be courageous and lead the way with their feminine values.  Some excerpts from that speech:

"As men grow older they become more conservative. As women grow older they become more radical," said Gloria Steinem, in a broadcast interview August 2001.  

The revolutionary shift that we sensed beginning five years ago was based on a challenge:  was economics in service to humanity, or was humanity in service to the economic system? Clearly, the times call for radical change.  

Have courage.  You know what's right! You know in your heart.  And there are others who are thriving by applying 'feminine values' to their businesses, like Continental Airlines, for example. Look for ways to bring these values into your workplace. To be a lever for change. Let your ingenuity, and creativity and intuition, spirit and passion tailor new models for your corporations, based on doing well by doing good -- models that we can all learn from, and strive to achieve with you."

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ASSOCIATION OF WOMEN IN COMMUNICATIONS

Women and Communications are Central to What the World Needs Now, In Business and in Society

Albuquerque, NM, USA - November 2001

Excerpts from luncheon address by Elsie Maio:

"Women in communications, like you,  play a unique role in the evolution of business today because:

  • communications have the power to lead reality, and you SHAPE those communications; 
  • and because feminine values are the foundation of the new paradigm for business...

Take your 'feminine values' to work.  And take them out!  Men and women have been acculturated to eschew the 'softer' competences for so long, we've become a little gun-shy about bringing them to bear without scientific evidence of their value. Now that studies have allowed us to exercise our "Emotional Intelligence," we're beginning to acknowledge that there's more to winning than overwork and predatory greed. Have the courage to apply your sense of inclusiveness, teamwork, receptivity, compassion, respect, sense of balance, integrity, humility. You will be at the leading edge of the next wave of success in business." 

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WOMEN, BUSINESS, SPIRITUALITY CONFERENCE 

SoulBrandingSM: Where Ethics and High Performance Meet

New York, 2002

Excerpts from seminar led by Elsie Maio:

"Look around the room and discover each other, discover what drives you, and what drew you together as a community of women in this seminar. Perhaps you will notice important points of shared interest, a mutual driver, or passion even. For me frankly, three dimensions of my life - my womanhood, business, and my spirituality - define my passion, my purpose. And integrating those three dimensions of myself more fully is my process of contributing to the world.  

I don't think I'm an exception. Rather, integration is what society is yearning for, and lurching toward today.  To embrace the whole life system, to be integral, healthy and balanced: to have integrity.  This is the foundation for high performance in globalized business, too.  And this is why it is so important for us women to come forward with the new agenda of social business."

Seminar ppt image: Venus of Willendorf statuette, 24,000-22,000 BCE, Oolitic limestone, 4 3/8 inches/11.1 cm high, Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna

 

 
Humanity, Inc is the successor company to Maio and Company Inc. © 1997-2016 Humanity, Inc  SoulBrandSM, SoulBrandingSM, Being the BrandSM are service marks of Humanity, Inc 1997-2016.