Kevin Hancock Addresses the ‘Elephant in the Room’ at the DO MORE GOOD Conference

DO MORE GOOD by Kevin Hancock

“There is no power for change greater than a community discovering what it cares about.”

Margaret J. Wheatley

May 18, 2019: This past Friday I spoke in Lincoln, Nebraska at the DO MORE GOOD conference.  Don’t you love that title, DO MORE GOOD?!

Do More Good Conference
Do More Good conference stage at the University of Nebraska Innovation Campus

The conference was held at the University of Nebraska Innovation Campus in the shadows of the giant Cornhusker football stadium.  It was an exciting opportunity for me because the event brought in some top business speakers from around the country.  Jay Cohen Gilbert, founder of the B Corporation movement, spoke.  So, too, did Rand Stagen, co-founder of the Conscious Capitalism movement.

The conference was a call to action for corporations to adopt a mission that was bigger than just making a profit.  Have a purpose that’s bigger than what you make or what you sell.  Stand for something important!  Your corporate purpose should solve a real problem.  These were the rallying cries of the conference.

My talk and personal mission were a good fit for this event.  I spoke about losing some of my voice to SD and then traveling to Pine Ridge where I encountered an entire community that did not feel heard.  The two events combined to give me the inspiration to use a company as a platform to strengthen the voices of others, and to create a culture where everyone leads.  So, my proposal was to create an EMPLOYEE CENTRIC company where the first priority of the business is to enhance the lives of the people who work there, by creating a safe and dynamic space for people to express themselves freely and self-actualize through work.

elephant prop
Kevin Hancock Addresses the Elephant in the Room

At the talk, my mascot was my Ringling Brothers stuffed elephant.  I introduced him as the ‘elephant in the room’, representing the traditional, top down, bureaucratic, power to the center leadership model.  The new model I am advocating for is one in which power is shared and dispersed, so that every voice is heard and everyone leads.

I closed the talk by returning to the elephant.  I acquired him on May 5th, 2017 at the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, Rhode Island.  I was attending the last-ever performance of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus.  It was an historic event –a tipping point in social consciousness.  The elephant, who originally helped make the circus and played the star role, ultimately helped end the circus and bring about its demise.  But, why?  The elephant hadn’t changed…

So, what did change?  Human perception changed.  The well-being of a handful of elephants had become more important to society that an entire iconic industry—the circus.

Do More Good
“Who knew that losing your voice could help you find it? That giving a voice to those not heard creates a better work culture? And that great culture disperses power to its people rather than consuming them?”

This subtle, but super important moment, is a sign of the times and a guide post for business in the 21st Century.  The age of the individual is upon us.  Corporations must do more than simply serve their own objectives.  Specifically, they must become a valued place full of life and growth for the people who work there.  If companies focus on advancing the lives of the people who work there, the people who work there will create—in turn—exceptional experiences for customers.  In this model, profit actually increases, but it becomes an outcome of a higher calling.

Everyone attending the conference received a copy of Not For Sale: Finding Center in the Land of Crazy Horse in their gift bag.

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Thank you for reading and please help spread this blog to others that might like to follow.  My next book is coming in the Spring of 2020 and my publisher, Post Hill Press, wants me to grow my blog follower ship in advance!  It takes a village to spread ideas and create change.  If the ideas I am writing about are of value to you, please think about your own personal network and share the link to this blog and invite them to follow.

Finally, Rosie Freire, the owner of the Singing Horse Trading Post (where I stay at Pine Ridge) drove down to the conference and attended.  I was able to introduce her to the audience during my talk as one of my personal heroes in business.  What I said about Rosie during the conference and what she thought of the event is the topic for another post, soon to come!

The title of my next book has been finalized and I will share it here with you now…

One CEO’s Journey into the Business of Leadership

Thank you for sharing your voice!

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Kevin Hancock, President + CEO