You’ll never go back to consulting as usual

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By: Kris Schaeffer

My year of earnest study.

I enrolled in the Conscious Capitalism Consultant Certification program in earnest, with the zeal of a convert who was following a Calling. Actually, that was my exact intention. On a Conscious Capitalism Site Visit to his plant, Bob Chapman gave me a puzzle. “You don’t quit when you have a Calling.” What Calling? Aha! Conscious Capitalism would be a way to integrate all the years of volunteer work for non-profits at the same time I was a consultant to large Fortune 500s.

I was a gung-ho student. Nathan and Amanda, the program’s creators and facilitators, probably figured that out by the time they read my homework for the second lesson. I wrote about six different ways that our case study client could use stakeholder orientation.  And if they give you the same case study about the soft drink company in South America, you need to know that I posted my homework. When the lessons turned to my professional expertise in Change Management and Organization Development, I wrote a “white paper” each month to encapsulate the entire subject. I posted those papers too to leave a trail that others could improve upon.

The Consultant Certification program had a great design in building community among us. We divided into smaller groups so we could work more closely with other classmates. When someone with an MBA and 15 years of work experience said “I’ve never even I met a conscious capitalist;” I replied, “I can fix that.” She met me at an affordable housing project in San Francisco where we interviewed the founder about his purpose and how he cobbled together many stakeholders to get a deal done.

The program makes you stretch so, of course, Nathan challenged me about whether being an affordable housing developer is a State 4 or a Stage 5 conscious capitalist. The Consultant Certification program is a year of transformative thought.

Kris Schaeffer & Associates version 3.0

Once I was certified, I went back to that question about what is my Calling. I decided to build Kris Schaeffer & Associates (version 3.0) as a conscious consulting company that would transform its offerings with a higher level of awareness.

I had spent thirty years creating sales and customer service cultures. But this time, conscious culture means something different and more. Culture comes from clearly stated purpose and values. Training would include changing hearts as much as changing mind. The role of the leader becomes one who practices CARE. And leaders care about employees who, in turn, care about customers.

Now I have new tools from the Consultant Certification program. I designed a Customer CARE Summit that integrates Purpose and Stakeholders, an iterative consulting process that spirals deeper and deeper, all wrapped with the sustainable systems that maintain the caring culture.

When I expounded about the virtues of Conscious Capitalism to some of my past clients, two of them stepped up to join me. Our calling is to build a cadre of caring leaders. A year in the certification program gives you great zeal in filling the airways with stories of goodness. It attracts others.

And then the world changed.

COVID hit as I was completing my application project. The change I’m talking about is George Floyd’s death. It shook me to the core. It made me realize that social justice needed to be a part of conscious consulting. Diversity is our employees. Diversity is our community. I’m from the San Francisco Bay Area. Diversity are my next door neighbors.

I had to do something about it to change on the personal, institutional, and systemic level. So I chose to change what I could change. Myself and my company. I needed my company to reach an even higher purpose.

So I wrote a social impact statement for Kris Schaeffer & Associates. (If you want a copy, please ask for this imperfect and ever-evolving document.) I have committed to diversity in my associates, my staff, my supply chain. I have committed to ensuring that our offerings are sensitive to the lived experiences of our diverse clients. I am committed to leaving my intellectual property as a legacy so that others may use and improve it.

And I am committed to ensuring that others get the same education that I have had — the transformative year of becoming a certified consultant in Conscious Capitalism. A program that teaches you how to apply the principles to your consulting practice to serve our diverse world.

Some wonderful things have happened as a result of declaring my commitment to social justice. Others followed that example. My two associates have also pledged to use their consulting superpowers to work on social justice.

That is consistent with what the Consultant Certification program is like – you’ll learn from a rich group of participants as well as the instructors and speakers. You’ll be inspired to take your consulting practice to a higher level. And you will be part of a growing group who are helping capitalism be a force for good in the world.

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Kris Schaeffer is a conscious consultant who builds caring organizations. https://www.consciouscapitalism.org/certified-consultants