This passage was written a short time ago during CoLab’s strategic planning session for 2014 (we call them summits). A longer form, collaboratively written piece is in draft, but we felt eager to share this moment in potent realization with you, transparently.
The work social enterprises and purpose driven organizations do with our help is important. We want to recognize the meaning and intention behind that work, too.
We’re deep in our collaboration summit: sitting 5 minutes before and after each session, reviewing the successes and challenges of the past year, and revisiting our work’s alignment with our personal aspirations and visions of what CoLab can be.
In the middle of it all, Rylan says “it’s as if our business has a mindfulness practice.”
Our business has a mindfulness practice.
What does that mean? We don’t know yet.
Like any mindfulness practice it is going to be an exploration, an experimental journey. We have set — and will continue to set and re-set — our intention for 2014 to be a year of mindful business at CoLab. How that concept unfolds, and how it impacts us, will be tasted in the pudding. And we are excited to share the journey — it’s insights and challenges — with you all.
It has already played out in profound ways, in our goal setting for 2014. Mindful Business is intertwined with spaciousness — similar to “slow design” (or “slow engineering” or “slow food”). A focus on spaciousness in work fundamentally re-orients our approach to business fundamentals. Like more ecologically rooted approaches to residential development, mindful business focuses on sustainability over optimization and profit.
Articulating that our commitment for 2014 is to develop the mindfulness of CoLab as an organization brought us to the realization that our goal is not to increase our gross margins this year, but is to execute our work more efficiently, more elegantly, more economically... with more grace. At the bottom economic line, this comes down to targeting profit and efficiency over sales growth and gross income. But it’s rooted in something much more potent and rich: a commitment to work and co-create through work that is full of reflection, intention and full of growth.