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
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.
Going Conscious Podcast
with Catherine Bell
In this episode we talk about how profit and purpose can exist together, and how we must first awaken ourselves and become mindful. We talk about creating something different, the importance of company culture, our magnetic why, how businesses need to start solving problems not creating more problems, bringing play into work and souls into businesses, how to awaken your power and the magic of serendipity.
Catherine Bell and Russ Hudson – Youtube Video
As a support for all of us as we navigate through these trying times, The Awakened Company Founder, Catherine Bell, hosts Russ Hudson in this free webinar that was recorded on March 15th, 2022. Russ Hudson shares some practices on how to stay grounded in the midst of stress and anxiety, falling in love with inner solitude, maintaining grace and kindness in challenging situations, and how to reconnect with the self.
What Would It Take for Your Employees to Love Coming to Work? | HuffPost Impact
“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.”
Money – Author & Mission Venture Capitalist, Joel Solomon
Money. How can we do better with our money? How do we help make the world a better place? Answers to these questions and more on this week’s Awakened Leaders Vlog with author and mission venture capitalist, Joel Solomon.
In this interview, Joel suggests some questions we can ask as a consumer and as an investor. At the heart of it, living an examined life, asking questions, doing your best, and ensuring that you’re all in on what matters will help when answering life’s tough questions.
This is part 6 of 6 in our interview series with Joel. Stay tuned for a new leader in the coming weeks.
About Joel’s Book – The Clean Money Revolution
The Clean Money Revolution calls for the reinvention of power, purpose and capitalism, that will generate the biggest money making opportunity in history.
$50 trillion will change hands from Boomers to Millennials in North America alone by 2050. It will remake the world. We are ancestors of the future. We must know what our money does to people and places, then take actions to align our dollars with our values.
About Joel Solomon
Joel is Co-Founder and Chair of Renewal Funds, Canada’s largest mission venture capital firm, with $98m under management. Renewal Funds invests in Organics and Envirotech.
With Founder + Funder Carol Newell, Joel implemented a “whole portfolio activation to mission” strategy as leader of her “activist family office”. As ED of the Endswell Foundation they spent down a $20m endowment, leaving Tides Canada Foundation and Hollyhock as legacy charities while supporting BC’s renowned environmental community.
As CEO of Renewal Partners‘ seed capital fund over $10m was placed into dozens of green companies.
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