If you are one of those that believes that the status quo, or way of managing business isn’t working, you’re in good company. Increasingly a new vision is taking hold of what it means to be successful and thrive as individuals, corporations and societies. Welcome to Plan B. Co-founded by Richard Branson and Jochen Zeitz, members of the B Team are determined to change the values that drive businesses, to prioritize people and planet alongside profit and to move beyond Plan A’s obsession with quarterly earnings and short term growth.
The Plan B Team: Street Cred
Members of the Plan B Team include some of the brightest and most successful business leaders across the planet: Indian businessman Ratan Tata, Unilever CEO Paul Polman, micro finance pioneer Muhammad Yunus, Kering CEO Francoi-Henri Pinault, British-Sudanese telecommunications entrepreneur Mo Ibrahim, Brazilian entrepreneur Guilherme Leal, Group China Chairman Zhang Yue and the Huffington Post’s Arianna Huffington, to name a few. To see so many global business luminaries get behind this movement, one that I’ve been talking about now for a decade, is very encouraging.
Plan A Isn’t Working
Plan A’s pursuit of short-term profit at the exclusion of everything else is not working for anyone. The economic model of constant growth and ever increasing profit has pushed both people and the planet to the edge. Businesses’ long-term sustainability and employees’ well-being are sacrificed at the alter of short-term gains while we burn up the planet. People are working longer hours, are more disengaged, are experiencing more work stress & related illnesses, and are increasingly dissatisfied with their lives. Businesses with tired, anxious and stressed out people are less productive, innovative and competitive.
Well-Being Ain’t Soft
Well-being is an integral concept at the foundation of Plan B. Well-being encompasses one’s whole life and having high levels of it helps you to function better everywhere. Companies that pay attention to their employee’s well-being reap the rewards of a healthier, happier and more productive workforce.
How an Employer Can Improve Well-Being
What if you could make sure that your people weren’t stretched to the breaking point? What if you could assist them so that their lives felt ‘in control’ instead of ‘out’ of it? They’d work better, right? Absolutely, and numerous studies have shown this to be the case.
To really affect the well-being of your people, you have to target what’s actually affecting them. Like many employers and senior leaders, taking the time to personally deal with this is impossible. However, throwing all of your support dollars at very general things like health benefits, or a few random perks – maybe a subsidized gym membership or a trendy perk like onsite massage and yoga – simply doesn’t go deep enough. You need a program that addresses what’s really affecting your people. You need a program that uncovers where there life is hurting their ability to produce solid results, like the Engage 360 Program.
Will You Rise to the Challenge?
As Arianna Huffington sums up, this is a time when many governments are gridlocked and paralyzed and unable to pursue big, bold and far sighted goals. But the private sector has a unique opportunity, and responsibility, to become the catalyst for fundamental change.
It is a time of great possibility and opportunity for all of us to join the B Team. It is a time for all of us to do our part in course-correcting and leveraging the best parts of business and entrepreneurship to bring about fundamental changes to the ways we do business. Individuals, communities and companies will all benefit.
Are you in or are you out?