In an increasingly globalised economy, the prevalence of practices and ideals that are not of the Western line of philosophical thought are becoming more common among Western enterprises. This adoption might be because of the non-secular basis for moral standards, or because of the easy adaptation of Eastern philosophy to business practice.
Whatever the reason, there seem to be four main ideas that have been integrated into Western business with great success. While some of these ideas have been moulded to suit businesses’ needs as they arise they hold value that companies can aspire to and which transcend language and cultural differences.
Zen philosophy teaches peace, hope and goodwill as the basis for interaction. Suffering is a human condition created to teach us lessons about how to move toward happiness.
In business, this translates as having an optimistic attitude. Finding the best in an undesirable situation means that as a business we can grow. Learning from mistakes is important, and approaching mistakes as opportunities for grow affords your business buoyancy in times of stress.
Focusing on the things that can be done and shifting perspective, be it a frustrating situation with an employee or a stressful transaction with a client, can lead toward greater communication, better future interactions and deepened trust.
When we try to control our lives, we create more stress and drama for ourselves and move away from the calm we desire.
In business, this could translate as micromanaging. When we have managers who are controlling, it can ruin creativity, slow production, and create resentment. While having an understanding of the details of operations is important, business leaders need to trust that the people they employ and those they work with are committing to their duties. Oversight without interference in minute is the key to retaining high quality staff as well as developing strong B2B partnerships.
If we accept that we really don’t know everything, we start to open ourselves to learning more. In business this means listening to those we work with and collaborating to ensure that best-practice initiatives are implemented.
While you might be an expert in lead generation, Sam in web development might be a wiz at interface design. If Sam has a brilliant new idea about how to improve your cart, listening to the idea as a team and supporting the development of the design would see Sam more satisfied at work, and you with a loyal and experienced employee.
Saying that we don’t know everything is a strength. Leaders who are humble and willing to listen to those who are working ‘on the ground’ or closest to the source are successful in business.
When people in the workplace are shown respect and kindness, they become more productive. Studies have shown that those who form friendships in the workplace tend to become less competitive and more collaborative. Bonds between employees increases production and job satisfaction rates.
Showing respect in the form of human compassion is easy. By giving people the trust that you would like them to give you, you create an atmosphere of trust. People who are committed to their work are inspired by respect. Allowing people the space they need to have a work-life balance, meaning that you understand that some days we all have bad days and we all need a break sometimes, you actually inspire people to work harder when they are able to.
Why are these values so important? Because B2B eCommerce is global. If you are a successful B2B, having a business philosophy that communicates with people all over the world means more than having a philosophy that is localised. If your B2B has teams based all over the world and is working with B2B’s internationally, it is important to show that your business has an understanding of the values of other cultures as well as your own.
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