If Steve Jobs could unite his team to change the world by creating better user experiences then surely we can unite people for an even more urgent and existential task: that of transforming our economy to be more sustainable and inclusive.
It is a mammoth challenge but one that we are taking very seriously ever since some of us attended the Economy of Communion (EoC) Conference in 2017 where we met Pope Francis. He had challenged the whole movement to do more by working to change the rules of the economic system to help prevent future victims. As a small but global network of consultants and creatives present around the world, we said yes immediately. We did not know how but we knew we had to get to work by transforming our solutions and how we operate.
First, we realise that many victims of digital disruption are small and medium enterprises who cannot afford to hire big IT consultancy firms. So together with IT and organisational experts in our network, we created a low-cost consultancy solution to help small and medium enterprises review and transform their business and organisational models to meet the challenges of digital disruption. We call it DigitalCORE and it was launched in December last year.
Second, we realised that we cannot just transform companies or cities one at a time; it will take too long to have an impact. If we want to shape a new and more inclusive form of economy, then we will also need to shape leaders with a new mindset. So we signed a partnership with Sophia University to implement a different type of leadership programme.
Developed for over a year by leadership, business and creative experts in Consulus from US, Europe and Asia, it is targetted at leaders in public and private sectors with a high potential for growth. It is a 5-day experiential programme that covers disruptive trends, personal discernment, relational dynamics and how to transform one’s leadership approach to be that of inclusion and building great teams in a more complex world. It is called the Global Leaders for Unity Executive Course (GLUEC). This was launched in April this year.
Third, when we were in Sao Paolo in November last year in an event organised together with Anpecom, we learned that many people and organisations would like to find purpose as a way to transform their personal lives and business. But they lack the means and opportunity to do so. And due to the effects of economic disruption, many Brazilians and micro-enterprises are unprepared. So after extensive discussions with Anpecom for several months, we launched a comprehensive programme with them called Brazilian 4.0 where we will provide solutions from personal discernment, leadership development to digital transformation for micro-enterprises.
All these initiatives meant that we were stretched but I deeply believe that they are needed if we truly want to change the economy. To our surprise, more professionals and consulting companies started to request to join our Global Network. When we asked them to share their personal journeys and why they like to join, it became clear that many of them are not satisfied with the status quo of the current economic system and desire to make a difference.
The profiles of those Consulites who have joined include professionals who used to work in large global firms but were disappointed by the transactional nature of their past work. Then there are the consulting and creative firms who believe in our purpose of shaping a better world and want to be part of a bigger network to have a greater global impact. This year, we welcomed the largest number of Founding Consulites who will bring Consulus into their cities: about 5 of them.
The other reality is: if we truly want to shape an inclusive economic system then we must provide a credible and sizeable alternative to the large consulting and creative firms. But what kind of alternative? We believe that consultants and creatives must be driven by a sense of calling, that we are here as enablers of a sustainable economic system through our work.
To achieve this goal, we asked ourselves if our current organisational model works. So we reviewed and updated our constitution that governs our network to make it even more inclusive by creating a rotating chairmanship role to give every country partner a chance to help represent the global network. And we made sure that our global leadership team is well-represented from the regions. Then we defined the process of admitting new Consulites into the network to make it clearer in terms of process and helping them to discern if this is truly what they believe in and if yes, what will they do to meet this challenge with us.
Our Global Leadership Team now come from Italy, New Zealand, Singapore, Sri Lanka, United States of America, Vietnam.
Finally as part of the update to the constitution, here is our revised purpose statement so that we will remember what is at stake daily:
To be the world’s most influential company in shaping a better and inclusive economic system, by helping leaders, companies and cities discover their better selves by enabling them to become the difference they are meant to be from the inside out.
The challenges will be many and we are few. But we believe that there are thousands of individuals, small consulting or creative firms who care about rising divisions and inequality. That they also seek to build professional communities of purpose and unity. Above all, they want to do something to shape a better and more inclusive economic system.