It always befuddled Madison when her teammates arrived at a meeting with a single, unilateral focus to increase the bottom line. How? By increasing revenue, or decreasing expenses? With many of her clients, Madison was the top financial exec which meant the buck stopped with her—but, no matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t shift their focus from problem to symptom. Her view—which was rarely adopted—was the bottom line was still a symptom. Revenue, another symptom. Expenses, another. Well, you can see where that was going—symptom after symptom, the spiral continued downward.
It was a frustrating gig because Madison knew they should be focusing on the people. With a solid product or service to offer—developed by the people—the rest was easy—but, only if they sent healthy, happy, inspired people out to represent their products. What customer wouldn’t want to participate in that type of environment? You have to admit, in most people there’s a desire to be an integral part of a vibrant community. Realistically, it was a no brainer—sales would automatically improve—top line would go up bringing the bottom line along with it.
This didn’t just apply to customers. All people, even employees have this same desire and studies continually show when employee engagement goes up, productivity increases. So, doesn’t it make sense that fewer people will accomplish more if they’re empowered? If you’re in business, you already know—the highest single line item on the budget is often employee compensation. If you have fewer employees the expense will decrease and once again bottom line will soar.
It’s really pretty simple—when companies focus on their people by expanding and inspiring them, they create an honoring culture. Those existing within that culture are clear about how they can contribute—and, they know the companies will reward and acknowledge them for their efforts. The result? Skyrocketing profits! All because their people are healthy, happy, and connected to their purpose and passion. Not to mention, it’s contagious! They’re the types of people who attract sales, and that means increased profits. Feeling valued and acknowledged, they have a strong desire to contribute while performance and productivity soar, and costs automatically go down. With revenue up and costs down, the final result reflects on the bottom line as well as increase in shareholder-value. Ah—the original intent! The best part is it can be accomplished merely by implementing integrity into the corporate culture.
Take a second to think about the meaning of ‘integrity.’ Write it down. Of course, you know what it means, but when it comes to writing down its definition, it may not be so easy. Think back to your math days—‘integer’ means ‘whole.’ It’s a number that doesn’t represent a fraction, or a part thereof—it’s complete. Integrity is the quality of being honest, truthful, and accurate in actions—a state of being whole, entire, and undiminished.
If our entire corporate communities adopt a philosophy and practice of making our people whole, entire, and undiminished, our world would be a much happier, successful place for us, our children, and grandchildren.
Realizing the value of integrity within the corporate sector, Madison’s understanding was quite clear—organizations, no matter what they are or what they sells, have their greatest assets within reach at all times. Their people. Without the energy and ideas as well as attitudes and beliefs people bring to business ventures, corporations would be nothing but a shell. A container with no contents. Most important, the health of the people directly correlates to the health of the organization.