How to do Beautiful Business.

A short review about my learnings and experiences at the House of Beautiful Business in Lisbon last week.

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the House of Beautiful Business in Lisbon — an event, set up “to humanize work in the age of machines”. These days were very intense, as people from all over the world with various backgrounds came together and have built up a powerful community for in particular one reason: creating a future of life and work in which the best is yet to come. The result is a lot of fresh perspectives, many great conversations, and an everlasting good mood. But when heading home, I asked myself, what principles to conclude from all of this. Within the following lines, I have written down my three most important ones.

Put People First.

Some people might put technology first, some their economic interest, and some even their country. However, in its core, human mankind tends to work with each other, not against. That’s why, there is a fundamental necessity of leading organizations, and thus business environments, in a way which anticipates this underlying message. And the more digital technologies increase the pace of innovation in this world, the more it requires to give everyone the opportunity to grow and unleash their individual potential continuously. If society, and in particular business leaders, avoid respecting this basic human interests, we might end up in a world which works for few but not for all —  and consequently, create a society fueled with fear and dissatisfaction. Let’s do it the other way round. Beautiful Business serves human stakeholders in an extraordinary way.

Embrace Progress.

It’s almost impossible to even have a good intuition of what is really going on in tech right now. What is Artificial Intelligence already able to do? What kind of use-cases could make the blockchain-technology a real game changer? And which industry will be disrupted next by applying suitable business models to the latest technological breakthroughs? Probably nobody knows, as Abraham Lincoln already knew: “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” In this regard, it definitely makes more sense, societal but also personally, to focus on leveraging the benefits. We currently live in the best of all times and technology has always made the world a better place by letting people get rid of jobs that were not really fulfilling. The only thing which might hold us back from an even brighter future is a lack of imagination. Beautiful Business enables to think different. 

The Beauty of Life is not always beautiful.

It might seem a bit confusing in the first place, but at least from my point of view, I suppose it to be true. Often these days it is told (or even advised) to experience the beauty of life as often as possible for getting happier. Basically, I agree with that — but I would add that, if to do so, it might make sense to forget about external expectations. I don’t expect life to always be beautiful and I would lie if I say it is, but seeing the beauty of life also in moments of deep sadness, massive failure or missed opportunities gives me a lot of gratitude. It frees me from spending too much time on thinking about the past or feeling too much pressure regarding my personal goals. And being able to completely enjoy the journey of life with all its ups and downs, that’s a beauty in itself. The same applies of course for professional life. Beautiful Business always keeps in mind that “you can only connect the dots looking backwards”, how Steve Jobs has put it 13 years ago.

> Picture is taken from Joao Nogueira <