During my induction at Tetem, the director of this development institute called for a meeting to talk to me and my colleague (another inductee at the same time as me) about Tetem’s approach to marketing and decision-making. This meeting sparked my memory of John Mackey’s book Conscious Capitalism. In his book, The Whole Foods ex-CEO and cofounder advocates for a business that has all stakeholders in mind when making business decisions. This includes investors as well as employees, and clients. The conscious capitalist business will not see profits and growth as the main pillars of work but will see the goal to be a composite pie of different variables, including profits, employee satisfaction, client’s best interests, and the environment. All these variables will hold equal weight in the company’s eyes, and decisions will go through an analysis of effect on each of these variables. Tetem, perhaps unknowingly, is redefining the meaning of business into one that has a true holistic view of its impact in multiple people’s lives, and works the same neighborhood of Mackey’s concept of conscious business within a capitalist society.
As a Colombian educated with American approaches, I have had the opportunity to work and be around American business practices, especially within the technology and startup fields. Even though I cannot put startups and stable businesses in the same hand, daily workflows seem to hold up in several different industries and circumstances. In previous positions I have found a mindset of getting to the goal no matter the amount of work or collateral effects of the approach to be prominent. Marketing decisions will be based solely on getting more exposure and profit, data collection will have as much information as current technology can provide, and employee conditions will depend on how much ROI investors will get that year.
I always thought that this was standard practice in professional settings, however since my very first interview with Tetem I have been encouraged to deprogram these approaches from my mind. Tetem works with a human-first mentality in all levels. The institution’s leaders have made out-of-the-ordinary decisions in the name of truly holding up their values, proving that it is possible to hold space for the necessities and desires of everyone involved, as well as growth and future proofing.
One example of Tetem’s morale showing up in the meeting room is the application of Public Spaces’ values in marketing. As I have learned in my journey within Tetem, data collection is a very delicate and conservative process. The team shows care for who gets access to what data from our public. Some types of cookies which would have been standard practice in any other company and in my own mind, are minimally collected by Tetem, if at all, in the name of giving the public their internet sovereignty back. This completely broke down my belief that marketing should have a tunnel vision of growth and reach, like my American experience silently programmed in me. Even though as a team we understand that we will have to do our digital marketing with a different, maybe even harder approach, we can sleep at night knowing that the values we preach to our stakeholders and to the public are genuinely being applied to everyday work. When I think about it as a public member, I very much appreciate brands and companies not taking a back door into my life without my conscious consent, and I believe Tetem’s community appreciates respected boundaries as well.
Tetem’s morals can be spotted in every decision, strategy, and project created within and outside the office walls. I thoroughly believe that Tetem is also shaping employees, such as myself, into being valuable community leaders that are ambassadors of morale and voices that might have been muted in conventional fast-paced business environments.
~ Blog geschreven door Juanita Pineda Oviedo, Programmamedewerker Talent en Publiek