Catherine Bell is a serial entrepreneur and founder of Awakened Company, co-founder of the app, Awakenly, and business partner with Enneagram thought leader, Russ Hudson. She is also an award-winning and best-selling author, poet, finally a Social Eight and lover of life. Catherine talks about what inspired her to start the Awakened Company and dive into corporate culture work. She discusses what is the power of pause and self-awareness and why it’s important for leadership. She shares how to use the wisdom of the Enneagram to learn which tools are needed to become that positive catalyst for change.
Inc Magazine – The 10 most Innovative CEOs Revamping The Future 2022 – Cover Feature Story | Published Aug 30, 2022. (Catherine Bell: Building Highly Successful Companies (theincmagazine.com)
Catherine Bell: Building Highly Successful Companies
Thanks to the dissatisfaction with the status quo, Catherine Bell, a successful serial entrepreneur, business leader, and best-selling business author, founded The Awakened Company. This firm works to solve the planet’s greatest challenges by bringing humanity back to organizations. Its inception was fueled by Catherine’s award-winning and best-selling book, The Awakened Company.
She also founded BluEra, a Profit 500 executive search firm. As a top 200 growing company in Canada and top 10 in Alberta, and the best workplace, BluEra was the prime example of the Awakened Company System in action. Now with the sale of BluEra to DHR, Catherine entirely focuses on awakening the fire within organizations as the Founder of The Awakened Company.
As the leader of her organization, Catherine consults on creating Awakened Companies. She and her team’s aim is to ignite organizations with purpose, passion, and playfulness. Under her leadership, the Awakened Company loves bringing innovation and connection to people’s lives; the firm also merges wisdom traditions, business research, and practical know-how for better results. It helps leaders discover their inner castles and lead more effectively by cultivating and actualizing strategies with soul. It also has an experienced coaching team who are always ready to help with personal and professional development.
As the author of her revolutionary business book ‘The Awakened Company’ Catherine was awarded the Nautilus Book Awards in business and leadership. It became a bestseller within a week after its release; and was recognized as one of the top books combining business and mindfulness. Catherine has already been published in Fortune, HBR, etc. She has worked around the planet with many organizations from Fortune 500 companies to serial entrepreneurs. She has completed her MBA from the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University and holds a sociology degree from Western University, as well as her certification as a yoga instructor. She is currently teaching The Awakened Company Process to people in 23 countries.
Even after representing over half of the working population, women are severely underrepresented as entrepreneurs in Canada. They lack the needed access to the capital to grow their businesses. The International Finance Corporation of The World Bank estimates as much as 70% of women-owned small and medium-sized businesses are unserved by the financial institution, resulting in a credit gap of $285 billion globally.
Catherine feels angry about the under-representation of females in leadership positions. She often notices that she is the only woman in the boardroom and wants to change that.
So, Catherine partnered up with Shakti Jewelry by Sarah Bowker and Emma May of Sophie Grace, and Catherine soon created an Awakened Project collection where half of the profits go to a fund to help women launch their businesses and get out of poverty.
The firm has partnered with Momentum to manage the fund. The Awakened Project’s fund goes towards the Momentum Micro Business Loans program, specifically designed for women within the loan’s portfolio.
Catherine has also been a Board Member of The Distress Center and Open to Grow. Currently, she serves as an advisor to the Impact Society and Telus Spark. Additionally, she has completed the Institute of Corporate Directors Not for Profit Essentials program.
Picture of the Future
Intending to develop and improve corporate culture, The Awakened Company wants to inspire and enhance 1,000,000 lives in the next 5 years. It is also looking to expand its Executive Coaching offerings and continue with Enneagram and leadership webinars as a platform to inspire growth. Lastly, The Awakened Company is spreading their message through podcasts and creating an Awakened Company Certification; stay tuned.
This article “What Would It Take for Your Employees to Love Coming to Work?” was written by Indigo Ocean Dutton for HuffPost.
An Interview with Catherine Bell.
The Awakened Company gives full credit to the author.
You wake at 7am with a smile on your face and no need for an alarm clock. Your first thought is, “Mmm, nice. Today is Tuesday. I’ve got some cool stuff to do today.”
You take an extra couple minutes to just lie there in bed, savoring how cozy it is, and how good it feels to simply be alive. Then your thoughts turn to some of the projects you’re working on and the awesome people you’re working with. You practically leap out of the bed, eager to get on with what is sure to be a deeply fulfilling and creatively expressive day. Let the fun begin!
Does this describe a typical Tuesday morning for you? How about your employees? Would you like for it to?
For most North Americans, whether they are the boss or an entry level worker, a typical morning goes more like this….
The alarm rings. Everything in you immediately rebels against the idea of leaving the sweetness of sleep for the harsh realities of the day ahead. You hit snooze. You try to fall back into the sweetness, but you can’t quite let go of the dread of what comes after you inevitably must get out of bed. You start debating just how long you can put it off.
The alarm rings again. Sometimes you hit snooze a second time. Other times you remember the disapproving looks greeting you as you walk into the office 5 minutes late, so you brace yourself and get on with it.
Who in their right mind would choose the second scenario over the first one? Who would choose it for themselves or for the people who work for them?
Wouldn’t everyone rather live in a world in which the people you encounter throughout your day are actually happy to be there? The people who provide you with services, happy to be doing whatever they are doing for you?
You may be asking yourself if it could really be the norm for things to be this bad for most people.
According to Catherine Bell of BluEra consulting, who interviewed thousands of employees across North American companies for her recent book The Awakened Company, the situation is even more extreme than I’ve described.
“It’s important for us to consider the data, and the majority of people at work are disengaged. Then you couple that with that the majority of people would rank taking out the trash and doing household chores as more enjoyable than spending time with their boss….”
And it isn’t only the employee having a rough ride. Catherine continues, “And then a whole other layer, is that the majority of business, over 80% of businesses, fail within the first decade. So from both the perspective of the leader and the person who is kind of leading upwards, we can do better.”
What do we do to get from where we are to where we want to be as a work culture?
Catherine sees the key to creating the kind of workplace we all would choose for ourselves as being a company culture that makes team self-awareness a primary objective for the work being done. In fact, she recommends selecting people to be hired by vetting candidates for self-awareness ahead of even job skills.
“The majority of people don’t even know, or aren’t willing to admit, what their blind spots are.
I interviewed thousands of people and asked, ‘What are your greatest gifts?’ And people could clearly explain what their greatest gifts were. And when I asked, ‘What are your work-ons? or ‘Why wouldn’t you be a fit for this role?’ The majority of people say, ‘Well there’s no reason.’
So there’s a self-awareness gap that we really need to be genuine about when talking about performance, when talking about hiring….
In interviews, when people say they don’t have anything to work on, I say, ‘Well I have pages and pages of weaknesses that I need to work on. And there’s a direct correlation between self-awareness and performance, so what’s going on here?’
Tony Hsieh of Zappos, Seth Godin, and Tony Robbins are agreeing with her. Not only have they endorsed her book, but they are also supporting the approach to creating a company culture that sees the self-awareness, personal fulfillment, and development of each worker as just as essential to the bottom line as any financial profit-seeking objective..
Patagonia has such a complete commitment to creating a values-aligned company culture that when a major company that didn’t align with Patagonia’s values approached them about buying Patagonia-ware they could put their logo on, Patagonia refused to make the sale.
You may balk at the idea of putting values ahead of revenue, but Catherine’s research has definitively shown that by increasing self-awareness and related personal responsibility, business profitability actually increases!
“What’s interesting is that when [corporations] are two-thirds about culture and one-third about profit, they’re more profitable.”
If you want to help build a happier, healthier, more profitable work environment at your company, then there are a few very simple things you can do:
- Accept responsibility for managing your own self-awareness and personal integrity, whether you are officially a manager or not.
- Start building your self-awareness skills, whether by meditating or using a resource like Calm or Headspace (originally written as “the free Stop, Breathe & Think app.” – this app no longer exists.)
- Take responsibility for your moods. Don’t demand that your external situation change before you are willing to contribute a positive mood to your workplace. Combine a joyful mentality now with a commitment to creating structural changes that will be conducive of well-being for all.
- Get real about where you’re in need of growth, and be willing to admit fallibility without shame, blame, or defensiveness.
What are you ready to do differently to create the workplace you want?
Curious about what else Catherine might have to say? Check out our Youtube for more free content : The Awakened Company
Interested in learning more about how we are changing the way organizations treat their employees? Follow along : The Awakened Company Instagram
This article “People Doing Cool Shit” was written by Cailynn Klingbeil on January 14, 2021 for SophieGrace Shop
The Awakened Company is posting this to support the amazing SophieGrace shop and gives full credit to the author.
This year, we’re going to start regularly profiling our customers. Yes — you! You’re all up to incredible work, and we want to support our SophieGrace community by sharing what you’re doing and why.
First up is Catherine Bell, founder of The Awakened Company and best-selling author of a business book by the same name. Bell is a serial entrepreneur (she previously co-founded BlueEra) and also serves as an expert panelist with the Canadian Centre for the Purpose of The Corporation and an advisor with IMPACT Society.
As if that weren’t enough, she’s also behind The Awakened Project, providing funding to women entrepreneurs. Bell partnered with artist Shakti on a jewelry line, with 50% of profits going towards Momentum’s Micro Loans for Businesses program.
We chatted with Bell about her work, her values, and her favourite SophieGrace piece. This interview had been edited for length and clarity.
Why did you become an entrepreneur?
I really believe that business needs to be done in a new way: in a more feminine way, in a way that puts culture first, culture over profits, in a way that brings humanity back into organizations. And so I felt that the best way to do that was to start my own organizations.
What does The Awakened Company do?
We help organizations to ignite the fire within, and we do that via playfulness, passion, and purposefulness. We do strategy with soul, we do culture creation, and we host Enneagram workshops.
What drives you to support other women entrepreneurs, through The Awakened Project?
Basically it’s about turning my anger with male patriarchy into love. I was so angry about how women are treated in organizations. Often in boardrooms, I’d be the only woman, and I really wanted it to be different. I grew up with sisters, I love working with women. I wondered, what can I do, how can I take this anger and morph it into love and morph it into support for other females? It’s been great to work with Shakti, and I love working with Momentum, because they help funnel the funds to women getting out of poverty. They’re awesome.
You sound pretty busy… what does work life balance look like for you?
Things aren’t always in balance. For me, it’s about when we think of our lives, how do we create a masterpiece of music, with different notes at different times? So, for example, my sons are getting ready to leave for university probably next year. I could easily be an empty nester and then I’ll have a ton more time. I really see it as more like a piece of music, and finding how we can just be present in the moments that we’re here.
What drew you to SophieGrace and do you have a favourite piece?
I’ve known Emma since high school and I’ve always loved her style. I have a number of SophieGrace pieces; I’ll wear them on my YouTube channel, I wear them a lot for my webinars, and now on a lot of Zoom calls. What I love about them is they’re classically elegant, and yet they’re super sexy on; they seem to fit all my curves. I find them very practical. I don’t have to worry when I put the black Ashley dress on; I can wear it anywhere. The Ashley dress is a favourite, and I’ll often wear it with the Emma vest/dress over it.
We have to ask, what was Emma’s high school style?
I would always admire her black leather mini skirts. She’s always had this je ne sais quoi when it came to her fashion sense, always admirable. She’s definitely always had a flair.
Want to see the Ashley dress in action? Find Catherine wearing it on our Youtube : The Awakened Company
Strategy Skills Podcast
Welcome to Strategy Skills episode 215, an episode with an award-winning entrepreneur, business leader, and best-selling business author, Catherine Bell.
In this episode, Catherine spoke about the importance of humanity and trust in every organization. She highlighted that as a leader, we need to pause and understand where we are as a person, which allows us the discretionary space to make the best decisions. Mindful and self-aware leaders are higher performers compared to those who are not.
Stay Hungry Podcast
In this episode, Joel, and Andy speak to Catherine Bell who is a bestselling author, and a teacher at one of the world’s top business schools, Queen´s University.
The Leaders Who Care Podcast
Marian Temelkov hosts Catherine Bell
In this episode, Marian M.P. Temelkov, Global CEO of Dynamis Group, welcomes to the podcast Catherine Bell – Founder of The Awakened Company.
Encompass Business Podcast
Gurmeet Judge hosts Catherine Bell
The success of an organization lies in the strength of its leaders. The need for leadership development has never been more urgent. Companies of all sorts realize that to survive in today’s volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous environment, they need leadership skills and organizational capabilities different from those that helped them succeed in the past such as skills that are difficult to teach, measure, or even articulate; these skills include leading, communicating, relating, and energizing groups.
Catherine shared insights on the concept of awakened company and what it takes to build awakened organization and leadership team. She also explains that The Awakened Company’s aim is to awaken The Fire within Organizations with passion, purpose, and playfulness.
Calgary Business Podcast
with Catherine Bell
episode 300 | 14 May 2021
By Allen R. Wazny
Calgary Business Podcast is focused on meeting Calgary business owners, educators, students, influencers, artists, non-profit executives and other business leaders based in Calgary to discuss issues of importance to them. During the Covid-19 pandemic, I managed to reach out and interview several founders, entrepreneurs and investors across Canada and the globe including individuals from Victoria, Kamloops, Edmonton, Toronto, Kitchener, Kelowna, Dubai and Moose Jaw..