We’ve all walked into a lobby with dead plants, cobwebs and a receptionist giving eye signals suggesting he’s in a hostage situation.  We’ve listened to a friend (or been that friend) kvetch about pointless meetings, decoding unspoken meanings from the passive/aggressive boss, and WTF performance reviews. The red flag indicators of a badly run organization should be acknowledged for what they are, then addressed mindfully to ensure good leadership and business value in the community.

Red flags like those listed above are a signal of wasted resources, human potential, and lost value all along the chain. These red flag organizations have one thing in common. One thing you will find very little of – beauty.

What does beauty in business look like? Take a quick look at the six practices below. Is your organization on track or does it need a make-over?

  1. Everyone embraces the organization’s vision and mission as worthy of their time and talent
  2. Everyone agrees the work of the organization enriches the community, as well as its members and staff
  3. No matter what, each person gives their point of view with the goal of contributing to the best solution for the organization, its members, staff and the community
  4. When a process no longer works, those affected speak up and become aware that doing so will initiate process improvement
  5. Regardless of position within the company, members and staff hold each other compassionately accountable for behavior
  6. Continuous improvement and exploration embraced by leadership on how the organization can be better stewards to the vision/mission

What do you do if you own or work within an organization that doesn’t follow this check list? The most important thing you can do is take a moment to reflect on your own behavior and perspective. Can you more closely follow some of the above? You can influence your environment by holding true to your own values.

The outcome will be to affect change within the organization to align with the values you exhibit, or you will find another organization that does.

For example, one group of people actively exploring how to build beautiful business are artists. Artists won’t stay long in red flag environments because there isn’t enough beauty in the design or in the execution. This is why Sacramento artists can be found in places like Sol Collective, The Alternative Arts Collective, Capsity, HackerLab or the Arts and Business Council (ABC) located at The Urban Hive.

Artists find value in a business development environment where they can master the elements (business plans, accounting, customer service, etc.) while holding true to their artistic principles. Business professionals and fellow artists volunteer as mentors and advisors in the effort.

How do these artistic principles influence their business decisions? According to Michelle Alexander, ABC Executive Director and founder of the Flywheel Incubator,

“Artists are more likely to make business decisions in alignment with their values. They typically won’t make a decision based solely on profit, for instance. What the Arts and Business Council does help artists see all the possibilities for making a business successful while maintaining the integrity of their vision.”

We live in a time where mindful individual action ripples tangibly through a global consciousness. As you make changes in your perspective and behavior, notice how quickly people around you adjust. Take advantage of this opportunity to bring beauty into the world.

Practice your art.