The Conscious Company: it’s that buzzy piece of corporate speak we’ve all been hearing and using without really thinking about it. The irony is that we’re not conscious of what so-called company consciousness actually means.

What most organizations really mean when they call themselves “conscious” is conscientious: wishing to do what is right. There are tons of post-millennial “conscious” companies that show compassion, prioritize ethics, and give back to communities. Consider, for example, the charitable policy of Tom’s Shoes: for every pair of shoes you buy, the company donates a pair to a child in need. (more…)

Skeptical man in suit cutting text on paper with scissorsYour most loyal followers of the future just might be the skeptics who doubt you today. The story of disbelief turned into belief is one that happens all the time, in every discipline. Consider the path of great Nobel Laureate Max Planck who started off as a fervent skeptic, who didn’t even believe that atoms existed. But once he accepted atomic theory, he became such an ardent disciple of the field that he went on to found quantum physics and act as a mentor to Albert Einstein.

The people putting up the biggest fight against your innovation are actually the ones most poised to accept it later on. The problem is that we leave our doubters in a reactive position, where they judge what’s wrong with our idea without offering an alternative. That’s because they have no stake in our project. We need to bring our opponents inside the thinking process, make them co-creators of the very thing that they think they don’t believe. (more…)

At the heart of every great innovation is a great compromise: in order to start something new, we have to stop something old. Think of it as a deal you make with yourself–the things you’ll give up in order to make room for future growth. Our days are filled with countless small tasks–activities that prevent us from pursuing the bigger, more substantive creative projects on our larger horizon. There will never be enough time to write that novel you’ve been dreaming about or open that business you’ve had in mind for years. That’s why it’s up to you to free up your world and carve out the space for innovation.

We cram our lives with stuff that makes us feel comfortable, objects we irrationally hold onto far too long. They’re in that filing cabinet we put into storage because we couldn’t bring ourselves to purge those files. Or they’re in that garage we should’ve cleaned out years ago–the garage that was so full with old scrap that we couldn’t ever do something new in it. (more…)