Building a company inspired by Values Flow and Purpose instead of driven by Profit Strategy and Corporate Vision

Peter Buytaert

When I started GLO in mid 2013 little did I know about training or recruitment business. After more than 20 years in the corporate world of executive management It was more an overwhelming desire to make a difference and the opportunity to follow my passion that created the platform for GLO to be born. It was amazing how this perspective and trust in the flow of life and purpose brought me together with my co-founders Dr. Mike Thompson and Raf Adams (author of the Suited Monk).

Before sharing personal insights in the power of values flow and purpose in managing a business allow me to briefly introduce GLO to readers that have not heard from us. GLOs purpose is to bring more responsible leadership to the world and to help companies either develop or leaders of character which we associate with an agile (wise) Mind good Values and great Passion (MVPs). In addition we assess leadership and culture and soon will launch a new mobile learning platform that will help our community of leaders and candidates find their passion life purpose and become more happy in the process. Essentially these MVPs are authentic leaders who align their behavior and attitude (Suit) with their true self (Monk) and therefore realize to be Suited Monks! Overall we believe in the Return on Character. Great character is for companies and individuals alike the most important attribute and best possible guarantee for success and sustainability in our volatile uncertain complex and ambiguous world... As the late US General Norman Schwarzkopf famously quoted: "Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one be without strategy..."

Like any other startup we have encountered the usual challenges of cash and scaling compounded by the less visible and tangible obstacles in a competitive changing and less value driven Chinese market environment.

Rather than making 5 year plans we steered a speed boat along 3 months markers to adjust to new realities and to perfect our strategic positioning. Two elements never changed: Purpose and Values.

The 3 months markers are what I would call flow which is essentially taking a very agile approach to gaining new market and business insights continually developing foresight and adjusting the path accordingly. We experienced it as a very intuitive but powerful process to mitigate risks overcome challenges and strengthen our strategic positioning while connecting more formidably with the right audience.

It is the unwavering focus though on both values and purpose that also helped us to attract the right people with behaviors aligned with our values of excellence care and integrity who find meaning in their daily job making a difference for society at large...

I was recently inspired by a video of Apple on their culture and expected behaviors on the team and set off to explore what our team members experience as a difference to work at GLO. The attached video is the result that I am proud to share: GLO Culture Video

We are just at the start of our journey and being a foreign startup in China with global ambitions there will be many more challenges to come. Yet we see them as positive learning experiences that continually make us stronger as a team.

I would also like to share with you two other mind changing personal experiences that I believe can add great value and new insights to how we lead people and organize our businesses:

My first eye-opening experience relates to empowering the team to basically run their business (GLOpreneurs) guided by a set of behaviors aligned with values. We take a minimal approach on controlling processes rules and procedures while focusing time instead on managing culture and ensuring value compliance of behaviors with strong coaching support to team members. We call it trust and fly but with zero tolerance on value breach. It is amazing how we observe people to do the right thing and take ownership in this environment rather than just seeking compliance with processes and procedures. In our culture there is continual change as the drivers are the people and our values while processes and procedures follow rather than the opposite way around

Secondly unlike my previous experience being a corporate executive there is something tremendously enriching in trusting the flow and intuitively managing beyond rational understanding. It is also powerful to experience that the more you stimulate intuitive thinking the less fear you encounter and gain in resilience in the most difficult circumstances. It is frankly a dimension that I have sadly missed in my corporate years but that I would encourage any executive to tap as we continue to move through hurricane force changes in the world....

I write this article because of my daily experience meeting clients and coaching leaders who share with me how tough it is in the corporate world today. I hope that sharing these insights can at least trigger reflection by leaders on whether they should find a renewed balance between rational and intuitive management while balancing process control with stimulating trust based on hiring developing and celebrating employees of character.

Meanwhile we look forward to bring the GLO purpose in more and more locations around the world and to connect with leaders that align with our belief that living values following passion and finding purpose is a more secure recipe to bring high performance to organizations and find personal happiness in the process!