Conscious Capitalism Great Lakes Bay Region, MI Chapter is your local branch of the global movement. We are dedicated to cultivating the theory and practice of Conscious Capitalism through events, presentations, and publications. We support the local community and serve as a resource on your journey to a more conscious business.
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Why Conscious Capitalism?
"Why Conscious Capitalism?" mbaBanking July/August Issue article, written by Gene Pickelman, CC GLBR Chapter Board Chair and Co-Founder, President & CEO, Tri-Star Trust.
STORIES OF LOCAL CONSCIOUS CAPITALISTS
Help Us Tell Your Conscious Capitalism Story!
Stories help teach and inspire. When we share examples of our stories, we take others to a higher state of understanding and consciousness.
Hausbeck Pickles & Peppers Clarifies its Purpose – Consciously!
You may have never seen a jar of Hausbeck pickles in the grocery store, but if you have ever eaten at Subway, Dominos, or one of many other quick-service restaurants, you’ve undoubtedly enjoyed them! A family business since 1923, Hausbeck Pickle has been delighting its customers with pickles and pickled peppers, served up with great customer service and high quality—with 100 percent locally grown cucumbers! Tim Hausbeck leads the company that was founded by his grandfather, which employs about 100 purposeful people proudly producing and packaging perfect pickles and pickled peppers in Saginaw, Michigan.
There’s got to be more to the pickle business than just pickles. As the company’s president, Hausbeck knew that as he invited his E-Team to join him at the Conscious Capitalism of the Great Lakes Bay’s introductory event at Saginaw Valley State University in May 2018. At the event they learned about Conscious Capitalism and the concept of lifting humanity through business. Hausbeck Pickles for three generations has had a purpose and a strong moral compass. The company had a vision and mission like most companies, do but after what they heard about Conscious Capitalism, the vision and mission seemed one-dimensional. Hausbeck and his team knew they needed to better define the company’s higher purpose, which is one of the four tenets of Conscious Capitalism.
What It Was Like Before
“I think that all business leaders see that there is more to business than simply gaining wealth. They search for ways to make it bigger than themselves,” says Hausbeck.
Hausbeck Pickles was very active in giving back to the community within the limits of its budget, but without a higher purpose the company was supporting opportunistically, rather than with a plan. The company over the years contributed to dozens of community organizations and causes such as The Saginaw Children’s Zoo, Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum, Child Abuse & Neglect Council of the Great Lakes Bay Region, Saginaw Hunger Solutions Center, City Rescue Mission of Saginaw, and first responder groups like the fire department and the Fraternal Order of Police. It also actively supported the arts through the Saginaw Arts and Enrichment Commission, the Temple Theatre, the Saginaw African Cultural Festival, and many other causes, including youth sports programs. Giving, however, was more a response to specific requests or community campaigns than a result of preplanning.
The company also cared for its employees. With many employees in renting situations with their housing, it helped by lending several employees mortgage money to buy a local home rather than continue to rent. It certainly was caring for its employees, but without a defined plan.
Once Hausbeck heard about Conscious Capitalism through local business relationships, he took immediate action. After the entire executive team attended the first Conscious Capitalism Great Lakes Bay Region (GLBR) Chapter event, the team read the Conscious Capitalism, by Raj Sisodia and John Mackey. Regularly, the team would get together to discuss the book and what they were discovering. Hausbeck knew the importance of including all of the team in understanding and shaping the company’s new vision, mission, and higher purpose.
Knowing that change doesn’t happen unless you make it happen, the team acted further by registering for a GLBR Chapter workshop called “Moving Concepts to Practice,” where they learned to focus and zero-in on their definition of Higher Purpose. The seminar went a long way toward helping the team work together. Additionally, the team took part in Our Community Listens, workshops to improve their communication skills.
Team members each wrote their own versions of a new vision, mission, and higher purpose, and would get together to discuss and improve on each other’s thinking. At one point, the company used internal surveying methods to gain input from every employee. The exercise of learning about Conscious Capitalism, educating and involving the management team, and involving the valuable input of all employees was no simple task and took nearly a year and a half! The effort was taken very seriously and resulted in the company’s changed thinking and bright view of the future. Here are their new Higher Purpose, Mission, and Vision statements:
Hausbeck Pickles & Peppers Purpose
“Elevate our Team Members, Energize our Community, and Enhance our Environment.” Elevate, Energize & Enhance: E to the power of 3!
“To produce and deliver the highest quality food products with enthusiasm and integrity while striving for win-win partnerships with our customers and suppliers.”
“To share the Fun, Flavor & Freedom of our food products with everyone, making the world a tastier place.”
What It’s Like Now?
Armed with a new higher purpose and employees on-board with the company’s direction, Hausbeck Pickles & Peppers is already acting “consciously.” Conscious Capitalism promotes keeping all stakeholder outcomes in mind when making decisions—and the company has been doing just that! Some examples of their conscious thoughts and decisions are:
Elevating Team Members
The company will continue to offer employees fair wages, health care insurance, personal and professional development programs, and, when needed, an emergency loan program. Additionally, they have figured out work-from-home programs and a flextime program that help employees manage the struggle with working and raising families at the same time.
It has offered budgeting classes to its employees in the past, but now that they are thinking consciously, they learned that their insurance provider will provide individualized plans for all employees who want them. That not only elevates the employees and reduces company costs, it also helps the insurance provider deepen its relationship with the company.
Energizing the Community
The list of community agencies and causes that the company has fit into its budget in the past is extensive, and the company will continue to fund as many as it can. But with their conscious thinking, those decisions will include the impact of community investment on employees, customers, and suppliers, and volunteerism is becoming more of a focus. There may be opportunities for several stakeholders to work together to increase the positive impact on the community.
Enhancing the Environment
The company is currently constructing an energy-efficient 80,000-square-feet warehouse on its Saginaw property, to relocate inventory from off-site warehousing. No longer will trucks be needed to carry product back and forth from warehouses, reducing the company’s carbon footprint. Also, the new warehouse is incorporating the latest technology to reduce energy consumption from what is used today.
And their environmental enhancement goes much further than just energy efficient buildings. The company has transitioned from using primarily rigid pail packaging to flexible film pouches, greatly reducing the truckloads of packaging material shipped to their plant. But the company didn’t stop there. By implementing flexible pouch vacuum packaging technology, they can use far less pickle juice and still achieve the same level of quality and taste. That simple technology allows them to ship even more pickles per load and reduce the cost and environmental impact of shipping pickle juice around the country, when it largely goes down the customer’s drain anyway. The company’s new thinking has resulted in benefits to its employees, customers, suppliers, and the environment!
On December 9, 2019, Hausbeck Pickles & Peppers rolled out its new Higher Purpose, Mission, and Vision to all its employees—with help from several members of the Conscious Capitalism GLBR Chapter. Having every team member onboard will allow the company to continue its conscious journey.
Tim Hausbeck, talking about the company’s future, said: “I am just so full of gratitude toward Gene Pickelman, president of Tri-Star Trust Bank and Bob VanDeventer, past president of the Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce—among many others—for opening our eyes and introducing Conscious Capitalism to the Great Lakes Bay Region. Now we have a language and a set of rules for our decisionmaking. With every decision, we consider its impact on our employees, our community, customers and suppliers, the environment, and, of course, profitability. Instead of reacting to opportunities, we are creating them!”
Yeo & Yeo CPAs & Business Consultants share their story, “Achieving long-term success for clients, employees, and the company.”
Yeo & Yeo CPAs & Business Consultants favors a team approach to supporting a family-focused culture for the benefit of all of its stakeholders.
Founded in Saginaw in 1923, the Certified Public Accounting and business consulting firm has grown to over 200 team members with nine locations throughout Michigan and three affiliates. Yeo & Yeo leadership believes its success is achieved by a conscious focus on supporting the success of all of their stakeholders, which include the partners, team members, clients, suppliers, and the communities they serve.
When David Schaeffer, one of Yeo & Yeo’s principals, learned about the Conscious Capitalism movement, its four tenets, and the formation of the Great Lakes Bay Regional Chapter, he realized that Yeo & Yeo had been practicing the tenets for a very long time and was anxious to share the firm’s story and its commitment to its values with others.
Achieving the firm’s “Higher Purpose” of providing outstanding business solutions, which exceed the expectations of their clients, requires a highly motivated, proactive team of professionals that are passionate about their work. After all, in the professional services business, the product is the intangible collective of the multiple teams’ ideas, creativity, knowledge, and experience.
Yeo & Yeo communicates its higher purpose to team members through a statement of Core Values. They recruit, hire, mentor and manage employees with these values in the forefront. The Core Values stress maintaining complete integrity and honesty in all relationships and exceeding client expectations. Yeo & Yeo is committed to its family-focused culture and the long-term success of all stakeholders.
“At the end of the day, it’s not just about profit; it’s about improving the lives of all of our clients, our team members, and the communities in which we live, work, and play,” says Schaeffer.
It takes solid, conscious leadership to get over 200 professionals in nine locations all on the same page, but Yeo & Yeo leadership focuses on selecting the very best people it can recruit and then empowers them to creatively and proactively serve clients. The partners set the tone and the values from the top, pushing responsibility and decision-making downward. This enables team members to suggest and participate in policy decisions, business practices, and client solutions. Communication is both ways through anonymous employee surveys, which enable leadership to listen to, and support, the best ideas with resources. Yeo & Yeo also has a Young Professionals Group, which in collaboration with the firm’s Career Advocacy Team (CAT), is the birthplace of many company-wide policies and programs.
Yeo & Yeo invests in its recruiting process to be sure it gets the best people who are capable of meeting the high standards for serving its customers and other stakeholders. Then, as team members continue their career at Yeo & Yeo, they are guided by the Career Maps Program, which lets them know exactly what they need to do and experience in order to advance in the company. The company’s values are incorporated into the process.
Yeo & Yeo has some creative ways to enhance the family-oriented culture. For example, the company has a paid day off (PDO) donation program. So, if an employee has a real need for extended time away from the office, other employees are able to give some of their time. This creates a caring environment where colleagues can truly help each other through tough times. Also, team members have the flexibility to adjust their work schedules to meet family and community obligations—without always having to ask permission. The culture is a trusting, respectful, family environment. According to Cara Newby, Yeo & Yeo talent manager, “It’s not just a family culture, it’s a ‘Family First’ culture!”
Adding to the family environment are the mentoring programs at Yeo & Yeo, which include an onboarding mentor and a career mentor. The onboarding mentor can help new team members get acquainted with the company and its culture. The career mentors help with the growth of the team member throughout his/her career at Yeo & Yeo. Both of these programs were employee-driven initiatives.
The firm has segmented its clients into needs-based market segments. This segmentation allows for better understanding of client needs, and gives team members the ability to proactively anticipate needs that the client may not even realize. This segmentation also allows team members to become real experts in the clients’ business, adding tremendous value to the relationship.
Yeo & Yeo hires people who are active in their community and encourages them to become volunteers and board members in local community organizations. One of their most important hiring criteria? They hire competent people who are passionate about serving others.
Team members donate time and talent to over 200 organizations in their communities, and the company provides funding to hundreds more. The list of accomplishments and recognition received from community organizations is impressive by any measure. In addition to community giving, Yeo & Yeo provides scholarships annually to accounting students at five major universities throughout Michigan.
“The more we serve all of our stakeholders, the more we get back. What we have here is special! The growing and giving nature of our company helps all of us find true meaning in our work,” says Suzanne Lozano, principal and consulting service line leader.
Consciously Elevating Humanity with Silicon Technology
Hemlock Semiconductor Is Well on Its Journey into Conscious Capitalism
Morale is high, employees are engaged, and the journey to consciousness moves forward at Hemlock Semiconductor (HSC), the only US-owned producer of hyper-pure polycrystalline silicon. It hasn’t been an easy road to follow in recent years, what with unexpected trade tariffs, multiple changes in the manufacturer’s ownership structure, and a new leader. But with a strong purpose and a conscious culture, HSC is getting back on track.
What it was like before.
The company was full of uncertainty with the closure of its new plant in Tennessee before it even opened. The closure was due to trade tariffs enacted in 2012, which halted trade with the Chinese solar industry, the largest consumer of polysilicon. On top of that, it was spun out as a standalone entity as part of the DowDuPont merge-and-spin and has undergone multiple changes in ownership. That produced major doubt, to say the least! The uncertainty, even though beyond the control of management, had a tremendous impact on employees and morale.
When Mark Bassett became chairman and CEO of HSC in 2016, he had some tough decisions to make. After surveying the situation, he decided the best way to move forward was to give the company renewed goals and a purpose the employees could believe in. The employees knew the company had to change and were ready for whatever was next. With those decisions made, the remaining employees needed clear direction for the future.
“We owe it to our employees to create a positive culture where they are valued, recognized, and rewarded; we owe purpose to our employees!” – Mark Bassett
With input from employees, HSC created its new purpose statement and blueprint goals.
“Our purpose is to transform people’s lives by energizing and connecting our world through silicon technology.”
With the company’s two main markets in solar energy and semiconductors, that purpose was right on target. The new guiding principles are:
- A market presence of value rather than volume
- A drive toward operational efficiency
- Define and create an employee-centric culture
The purpose statement and guiding principles turned out to be the first steps in the path toward “Consciousness.” Without knowledge of Conscious Capitalism, Bassett had started to define a Higher Purpose and had chosen the first of its stakeholders to work on: its employees.
The first two of the guiding principles are regarding the company’s business and financial goals, and help to provide purpose. But the third, creating a conscious culture, was a bit more difficult to do, especially under the stress of so much change and uncertainty at the time. HSC started with a Culture Statement that employees could embrace:
“I am part of a winning TEAM. I understand that I am ALIGNED to our vision and strategy. I KNOW MY ROLE to help achieve them. I am RECOGNIZED for what I do. I am coached and DEVELOPED. And we have FUN together.”
What’s it like now?
But with a new aspirational culture statement, action and new behaviors were needed to make the culture a reality. HSC engaged employees to operate in an environment of trust where they feel safe to ask questions and present their ideas. There is a new way of working where three important principles are kept in the forefront.
- Challenge each other to get better each day
- Be courageous
- Assume the goodwill of those who may challenge you to improve
Critique is taken without defensiveness, and HSC has a program in place where employees can reward each other person to person for the improvements made and goals accomplished, including monetary rewards. Those three principles have grown into a conversational and coaching style of management.
“Connecting heads and hearts can be the biggest challenge,” states Bassett. “We engaged employees in continuous improvement projects throughout the site. They have good ideas, especially when they understand which product attributes are important to the customer and why.”
Now, the team not only understands the new culture, they practice it everyday.
Employee updates and education are delivered through company-wide townhall forums and frequent personal visits from the leadership team. Bassett maintains his visibility and easy access as he rides his bike around the plant site, occasionally dropping into team meetings to update employees on the bigger picture, or just stopping to talk to employees. It is safe for any employee to express their opinion or add to ideas for improvement. The team members are more engaged and want to learn more, especially with the knowledge of how their work improves people’s lives everyday.
The employee-centric culture doesn’t stop at the plant fence line. HSC is not only interested in employee well-being where they work, but also where they live. HSC has always contributed to community events and interests but their conscious journey has taken it to a new level recently. With employees living all over the Great Lakes Bay Region, HSC supports efforts in the whole region and has increased its support of charitable and non-profit causes. Many HSC employees are involved in a variety of community causes. Among the ranks of the team:
- At least 25 are volunteer firemen
- HSC has an ambassador program where HSC employees maintain connection with many civic and charitable organizations throughout the GLB Region
- 16 are on the Care Committee, which reviews grant requests submitted through the Saginaw, Bay, and Midland community foundations, always looking for ways HSC can leverage its support and resources, which have grown under Bassett’s leadership
- Mark Bassett was the Saginaw County Chairman for the 2019 United Way Campaign
- HSC is the premier sponsor for the Temple Theatre and Saginaw Art Museum
- An uncounted number of employees engaged in local community organizations
To keep the leadership team up-to-date on its conscious leadership style, HSC conducts bi-annual leadership retreats. At the retreats, teams review company goals and milestones and learn more about courageous leadership, insight principles, coaching techniques, and the conversational style used to manage the entire team at HSC.
What lies ahead?
The future looks bright for HSC. Its employees are more engaged and eager to learn more about ways to improve products and processes and the opportunities they can create for HSC and its customers. The team has created a strong higher purpose and a conscious employee-centric culture, and has adopted a conversational management style based on trust and openness in everything they do.
“No doubt we have a long way to go, but our journey into Conscious Capitalism has us on the right path. We are well on our way to energizing and connecting the world with silicon technology.” – Mark Bassett