If karma is real, does business karma also exist? It stands to reason that if you believe in the concept of what goes around comes around, similar to personal karma, businesses too can be subject to its influence. What is the essence of karma? Rooted in religion, karma can be defined in many ways. At its core, however, karma revolves around the principle of cause and effect. In the context of business karma, it extends beyond small business and entrepreneurship and encompasses large multinational corporations that should prioritize it.
Business isn’t personal, on that we can all agree. But the way that a business approaches and conducts itself – the good, the bad and the ugly – says much about the culture and persona of the business. Ultimately the conduct and culture is what shapes its karma. Business leaders who consistently exhibit positive behaviour in everyday situations directly contribute to the success of the business they are in and foster good karma.
There are a few principles of karma that businesses should embrace to cultivate good karma on a daily basis.
Generosity lies at the heart of the philosophy of good karma. It goes beyond mere acts of charity and community contributions, although those are essential as well. In short, it could best be described as mentoring. Generosity involves giving of one’s time, protecting and nurturing others without expecting immediate benefits for the organization. It could entail helping individuals break into an industry through networking or volunteering to speak at school seminars. Let us not forget the age-old adage: Charity begins at home. Therefore, leaders and managers should extend their generosity to their teams and partners and that doesn’t only mean in monetary terms. In today’s environment, monetary incentive is only part of the bigger value need that team members are looking for. It’s about being supportive of all team members and paying it forward without any intention of receiving anything in return. Such generosity will undoubtedly come back around.
Practicing fairness in business means seeing situations as they truly are and setting aside our egos. Inevitably, businesses encounter challenging, messy, or ambiguous circumstances. We’ve all (unfortunately so) witnessed or heard of colleagues facing disrespectful situations comparable to emotionally painful divorces, complete with bullying and threats. When confronted with unforeseen or complex business challenges, it is crucial to approach them with a win-win philosophy. No one should lose face, and negative displays of power should be avoided. While ethics and professionalism should be standard in business, kindness and justice are often neglected in the fast-paced business world. Incorporating fairness into our business dealings contributes significantly to cultivating good karma.
Quick reactions and decisions made under stress or panic rarely lead to positive outcomes. Instead, they tend to amplify the bad karma that initially placed a business in a difficult position. In today’s dynamic market environment, businesses often face uncertainty and numerous impending changes. Navigating these challenges requires resilience and the ability to maintain a clear vision. Good karma thrives when a business remains steadfast, refrains from blindly pursuing alternative paths, and maintains a positive and optimistic outlook amidst setbacks. While it may sound “new age-ish,” maintaining and focusing on positivity truly pays off.
In our interconnected world, being mindful of the impact our businesses have on the planet is a definite must. Mindful businesses prioritize sustainability, environmental responsibility, and eco-friendly practices. They actively seek ways to reduce waste, conserve resources, and minimize their carbon footprint. Moreover, they recognize the social element of their actions. Social accountability has become increasingly important, with ordinary individuals, celebrities, and businesses being held responsible for their “not so nice” behaviour. Upholding ethical practices, transparency, and social responsibility aligns businesses with the expectations of their stakeholders and nurtures good business karma.
These four principles—Generosity, Fairness, Positivity and Mindfulness —serve as the pillars for fostering good business karma. How do you feel about this concept? Do you practice any principles that you believe promote good business karma? Share your thoughts and experiences here.