5 was formed with a higher purpose – to Help People.
That sounds overly simplistic. The natural tendency is to try to enhance this statement by adding a set of modifiers and details that highlight our impact related to energy and sustainability. We have tried on countless occasions to expand our mission and always find our way back to this visionary (and audacious) mindset that our company, teammates, technology, intellect, and passion are synthesized at 5 simply to Help People.
Collectively our team is comprised of subject matter experts that provide comprehensive energy advisory services and whole health energy plans for commercial, industrial, and public-sector clients. That description begins to paint the picture of the primary service we provide. It is the subtext to our overarching higher purpose. We Help People by changing the way business is done and creating value for all stakeholders.
We have been operating under these principles since our first brainstorming sessions prior to launching the company in the fall of 2011. We did not know it at the time, but we unintentionally built 5 on the same core tenets outlined by John Mackey, Cofounder and CEO of Whole Foods, and Raj Sisodia, in the Conscious Capitalism movement and in their 2013 publishing of Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business.
Conscious Capitalism advocates that business is “good because it creates value, ethical because it is based on voluntary exchange, noble because it can elevate our existence, and heroic because it lifts people out of poverty and creates prosperity.” The movement outlines the following four principles that are present in conscious companies seeking to elevate humanity through business:
Building and operating a company with these guiding principles is a journey, not a destination. In sharing this reflection of Conscious Capitalism in action at 5, we hope to inspire other businesses to become more intentional about their own purpose and impact. Conscious Capitalism provides the framework for success in all aspects of your organization, from culture building and innovation, to growth, profitability, and long-term impact. And while transformation can be difficult, our team and the thousands of other conscious businesses in the movement, welcome the opportunity to help other aspiring companies to get on the right path.
5’s Higher Purpose – to Help People. That’s it. We help others by transforming the way business is done. Specifically, our expertise and impact are centered around energy and sustainability as a service.
Stakeholder Orientation – A conscious business does not exist for shareholder value and does not attempt to find trade-offs among various stakeholders. Instead, the interdependent nature of all stakeholders is considered, and the business seeks to create win-win-win relationships as a normal course of action. Our stakeholders include our clients, employees, suppliers, vendors, local communities, and the environment. We even go a step further to acknowledge the often-overlooked stakeholder groups that include our employees’ families and even our competitors.
In a recent debate at 5, we grappled with the fact that many of our competitors attend our webinars and subscribe to our newsletters and blogs. Valid concerns were expressed that we are equipping the “enemy” with some of the industry’s best information and tools. Ultimately, we concluded that we should continue to welcome competitors that want to attend our events and receive our updates. The epiphany moment for our team occurred when our first employee and resident Pit Boss, Cady Thomas, appropriately observed that while this practice may not be “normal”, it is completely consistent with our values and our intent to change the way our industry operates and to improve the way business is done. We Help People, even competitors, because we are 5. It really is that simple.
Conscious Leadership – From our Founding 5ers to the front-line managers at 5, we believe in equipping and empowering the fully formed adults on our team to create, problem-solve, support one another, and be accountable for their effort and the outcomes. Our culture of coaching involves weekly, monthly, and annual investments in both team and individual development. We take an intentional approach to each relationship and process at the company, challenging 5ers to achieve breakthrough results and to compete with what’s possible. Ultimately our leaders are following the lead of our team members as we hold true to our mission and values while our culture continues to evolve.
Conscious Culture – The positive vibes at 5 are palpable. Our growth and commitment to excellence are not fueled by fear and stress; rather, our team trusts one another, operating with authenticity and vulnerability as we seek to create something special. Our high-performance culture drives peak personal performance while also expecting transparency and consideration from every stakeholder. Our conscious culture is the driving power behind our belief that 5 is the place where energy is made human.
The Future of Our Business (and yours)
We are on a journey and grateful to be among many great institutions in this quest to elevate humanity through business. As a member of the Dallas Chapter of Conscious Capitalism, we are engaged in formative conversations on a regular basis.
But what about your business? Why does your business exist? What is your higher purpose and how can you create value for every stakeholder while intentionally creating a conscious culture?
At 5 we are passionate about energy, sustainability, and culture, and we would love to share those passions with you.
“The business of business is people—yesterday, today, and forever.” Herb Kelleher