By Suzi Kondic – A few weeks ago, our CEO Liz Shephard shared what she “made from lemons” at an event hosted by Stay Local, one of our valued partners. Not only was the event a great space for inspiring and networking, but attendees also got free admission to the 2015 Sage Summit, which took place last week at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.Sage Group, the world’s largest supplier of enterprise resource software to small and medium businesses, hosted the Summit. So naturally, the conference’s theme focused on supporting and encouraging innovation in small and medium businesses.
I had the chance to attend Sage Summit and was pleasantly surprised to hear several panelists delivering messages that directly echo LifeCity’s work in New Orleans. The Keynote conversation on the first day featured Colin Powell, former Secretary of State under President George W. Bush, and Dr. Deepak Chopra, a spirituality thought leader and author of more than 80 books. Both were asked how they thought the world will change in the next ten years with regards to how small and medium businesses can plan on being affected.
In response, Secretary Powell began by declaring that our nation’s greatest threat is domestic. By neglecting to invest in infrastructure, treating workers unfairly, and failing to provide decent wages, our nation’s businesses are in danger of falling behind internationally. Addressing the small and medium business owners in the audience, Sec. Powell called on them to maximize their businesses’ efficiency or risk being left behind. He also offered this advice for the incoming president: remember that the power of this country does not rest on Wall Street but in small and medium businesses, who should demand more of their government.
In his response, Dr. Chopra predicted the next ten years will require us to recognize the interconnectivity of the different types of well-being. He encouraged the audience to incorporate practices that simultaneously support the physical, financial, and social aspects of their business practices and team members. According to Dr. Chopra, only 20% of American workers are content with their jobs, and the US economy loses approximately $300 billion annually due to disengaged workers. He also noted that the employee turnover rate is an illustrative indicator of a business’ economic success.
Clearly, disengaged workers not only impact the productivity and spirit of their fellow team members, but they also hurt their companies’ bottom lines. To combat disengaged workers, Dr. Chopra called on business owners to put their employees first, foster inspiration, and create a shared team vision. In doing so, companies can support team well-being at the same time as achieving their financial goals.
This synergy between team happiness and economic return is a key tenet of LifeCity’s consulting work with our business members, and its importance was certainly reaffirmed at the 2015 Sage Summit by two of world’s greatest leaders. See here to learn more about LifeCity’s mission.
Written by Suzi Kondic