How This Business Consultant Brings Kindness To Tech Companies
The business world has a bit of a bad rep. Just think about The Wolf of Wall Street, or greedy, tax-dodging billionaire business moguls. Cole Baker Bagwell’s on a mission to change that.
When you think about the business world, what words come to mind? Drive? Success? Victory at all costs? We’re going to take a wild guess and assume you didn’t think of the word ‘kind’. Because… why would you?
Cole Baker Bagwell, founder and CEO at Cool Audrey, takes a different approach to business. Through her consulting and workshops, Cole’s bringing kindness back to the boardroom. Not because she’s a peace-loving yogi (although she is). But because it brings out the best in people and businesses.
It all starts with kindness
“There are a lot of companies that try to bring in change top down, or bottom up. But it doesn’t work that way,” says Cole. “It’s not my job to change people – it’s their job to change themselves. My job is to inspire them.”
“I help businesses bring in practices to make kindness their foundation by looking at values. Are those values connected to that thing they’re rooted in, kindness? If not, then that’s going to influence their policies, processes, decisions, everything they do. The way they hire, fire, promote, develop products – the whole enchilada.”
Cole continues, “Up from the roots of kindness we have people, and the trust that develops between those people – the ability for people to connect and trust. On the other side, we have all the stuff that companies want – market share, brand loyalty, innovation. My approach goes from bottom to top, all the way through.”
Kindness and Covid
“We’ve learned incredible lessons from this global catastrophe,” says Cole, considering the pandemic. “It’s been tragic but it’s also given us an opportunity to live into the best side of ourselves. We’ve realized that we can work remotely and be every bit as effective.”
“We’ve realized that we can work remotely and be every bit as effective”
“Covid’s also reminded us how much we need one another,” she continues. “We’ve learned how to connect with each other in a way that we’d sadly forgotten before Covid. It was being lost because we all had our faces in our phones, but we’re learning to make eye contact again and understand non-verbal cues.”
“Companies have learned that they can be successful with having employees in the same space. In many cases, companies have learned that employees are happier when they’re at home and not commuting, stuck in traffic, having to get dressed. People are more relaxed.”
“Companies have learned that employees are happier when they’re at home and not commuting”
“I hope we don’t go back to the way things were before. We talk about the ways we were isolated in 2020, but we were isolated before. It was self-inflicted isolation back then, like when you went to a restaurant and saw parents and toddlers with phones in their hands. No one was talking – I found myself wishing that the whole internet shuts down!”
How tech companies can help society
Cole believes there’s a huge opportunity for tech companies to bring more kindness to their work. “People who are designing technology need to remember that they’re designing for people. They need to ask themselves three questions: Who are we creating for? What are we doing? And why does it matter for them, not for us?”
“People who are designing technology need to remember that they’re designing for people”
“If people can start with those questions, it’s a form of kindness that can make design more human in these tech companies. I have a ton of optimism and hope because I’ve seen things turn around before.”