January 24, 2014

Conscious Capitalism: 14 Ways to Be More Creative in 2014

According to John Mackey and Raj Sisodia, the authors of this semester’s Omniquest selection, Conscious Capitalism, the difference between an unconscious and conscious business is the difference between work which is “an ordeal to be endured” and “a great source of achievement and authentic fulfillment.”

Unconscious businesses focus on profit margins over everything else. This results in a work culture where team members are encouraged to maximize their own profits and “give as little and take as much as possible.”  In contrast, conscious businesses focus on creating “financial, intellectual, social, cultural, emotional, spiritual, physical, and ecological wealth for all.” Not surprisingly, the net result in a conscious business is a culture which treats every stakeholder as “both a means and an end, an instrument of value creation as well as its beneficiary.”

As we move forward in the new year, we should look for ways we can consciously and creatively serve all Northwood’s stakeholders. While the options are seemingly endless, here are 14 ways we can start today: 

1. “Be” The Northwood Idea in all you do, say, and think.

  • Outside our typical workday, we are representatives of our University. Even before we began our employment, something attracted us here, and it’s human nature to gravitate toward a place that emulates values similar to our own. By “being” The Northwood Idea in all we do, say, and think, we create a positive dynamic that attracts the attention and focus of others to all we are and all we offer.

2. Help grow a Northwood culture of trust, support, and encouragement.

  • Everyone’s participation in generating ideas related to growing enrollment was the first step in identifying areas of opportunity, and a very important part of the exercise is to expand on these ideas so they can be implemented. Work with your department leaders to encourage and support ideas aimed at promoting operating efficiencies.

3. Find new ways and settings for promoting our specialty degree programs.

  • It’s surprising how often informal opportunities arise to mention our many program offerings.  Even if it plants a seed, you never know when it will result in a new Northwood student. Contact Admissions to learn more about our full program offerings so the next time an opportunity arises to talk about our University, you can take it.

4. Stay current with Admissions updates; share your new ideas with Dr. Brian Sandusky and his team.

  • Growing enrollment is always at the forefront of the Admissions department goals. If there is something that could positively impact enrollment, don’t hesitate to share.

5. Volunteer for Admissions-related events.

  • This is the best way to become more familiar with our Admissions department, and have fun interacting with students. It will give you a great perspective and purpose for all we do at Northwood.

6. Endorse our University using your personal social media. Highlight and promote key Northwood…

  • Social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter.
  • Events like guest speakers, Stafford Dinner, Fashion Show, Auto Show, Athletics.
  • Successes, including new degree program launches, student competition wins, Auto Show attendance, athletic victories
  • ePublications/articles like IDEA Magazine, Ideas Newsletter, Monthly Economic Report.

7. Discover and devise ways to increase operating efficiencies within departments.

  • With fewer resources—whether it’s fewer students in the recruiting market or fewer dollars in our budgets—finding ways to operate efficiently and streamline processes is more important than ever.

8. Put the spring ’14 Omniquest selection to work.

  • Form an interdepartmental agenda aimed at implementing key lessons from John Mackey’s Conscious Capitalism in our daily work.

9. Actively participate in employee events and gatherings.

  • Our fellow employees are our “internal” customers. Through active participation in employee events and gatherings, we foster the same positive and vital energy as when we actively engage our external customers.

10. Serve as a student organization advisor and/or supporter.

  • As the adage goes, “You have to give to get.” Serving as a student organization advisor or supporter is a great and lasting way to make a positive difference for the future—both for our students and ourselves.

11. Jump-start your professional networking efforts.

  • The benefits of personal connections and relationships cannot be overemphasized. The more we network with others in our professional and personal communities, the more we do to promote Northwood University. It’s one thing for others to know about us; it’s quite another for them to know us.

12. Get involved with C2 and other volunteer opportunities.

  • C2, or Campus Connection, is a way in which United Way Midland County, the Dow Chemical Company, and Northwood University students, faculty, and staff in Michigan partner to serve area organizations and communities. Our communities are only as strong and vibrant as we are individually. By volunteering our time and talent, we invest in the very communities which invest in us.

13. Proudly sport Northwood University gear (clothing, license plate holders, window stickers, etc.).

  • One simple but very effective way to grow our brand awareness and recognition is simply by wearing Northwood gear and lapel pins as part of our regular apparel.

14. Consider supporting, or increasing support for, the Capital Campaign, and scholarship efforts such as Dollars for Scholars.

  • Whatever we do to support Northwood University financially, big or small, makes a positive difference in the lives of current and future students as well as our entire University.

As we reflect on these and other ways to be more consciously creative this year, please check out Focus on Priorities, the 2014 edition of CEO resolutions collected and edited by our very own Dr. Todd Thomas.

Have a great weekend,

Keith

Keith A. Pretty, J.D.
President and CEO
Northwood University
4000 Whiting Drive
Midland, MI 48640
989.837.4203

pretty@northwood.edu