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By Catherine Bell

Catherine Bell is the bestselling and award-winning author of The Awakened Company, a thought-provoking read that explores how treating businesses as communities can transform them for the better. With more than a decade of international executive search experience, Catherine speaks around the globe, and offers The Awakened Company’s services to help other teams awaken to a new concept of success.


If you’ve read my other Women of Influence articles, you already know that I believe we need a new model for doing business. And I understand it can sound like an overwhelming task. In practice, it’s possible to build a powerful team—and start on the journey of becoming an “awakening company”—with a few small steps. Incorporate these ideas into your own business, and you will soon see the results:

Make gratitude part of your everyday culture. Catch people in the act of being awesome, and thank them for the things they do. Don’t underestimate the positive impact of a card expressing your gratitude.

Take time in each team meeting to focus on the team. At The Awakened Company, we check in at the beginning of a meeting, and check out at the end. Check in is where you share how you are really doing; what is going well in your life and what isn’t going so well. Check out is your opportunity to express how the meeting went for you, how you are now, and what you are grateful for.

Take time in each day for mindfulness. Research has clearly proven the benefits of practicing mindfulness, and it doesn’t require an unreasonable investment of time to see the results. Find moments throughout the day for mindfulness exercises individually, in pairs, and in larger groups.

Find unique ways to reinforce your values and vision. How unique? I have sent a cake with our vision written on it in frosting. Just remember to get other people in your organization involved if you are setting a vision and values, and consider reinforcing your strategy with rewards.

Once you have your basic values established, let them guide your hires. Each new employee needs to be a fit. While you are hiring and onboarding, go through your vision and values clearly. Let them know what their measurables for success are, and then give them the responsibility to achieve them, including control over their own work hours.

Bring back play into your organization. Our corner office is a yoga, meditation, and ping-pong room. If you don’t have the real estate for something similar, think about fun on a smaller scale. Like having Play-Doh on your boardroom tables.

Where will you begin?

Ready to awaken your own business? Get your copy of The Awakened Company, enlist The Awakened Company’s services and learn how companies are achieving a new standard of success. A best-seller within a week, one of Eight of the Best Business Books of 2015, and a Nautilus Silver Medal Winner for Best Business Book for 2015, it explores a new way of doing business: incorporating mindfulness and wisdom traditions to ultimately benefit companies, those involved in them, and the planet itself. It has earned praise from business leaders and industry experts, and is the blueprint for the successful executive search and team transformation company, BluEra, which was recently bought by DHR International, one of the largest executive search firms in the world.