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Intent Shapes Corporate Self-awareness

Photo of Donna Hemmert, MJ Vilardi and Marcia Moran

Donna Hemmert, MJ Vilardi, and Marcia Moran. Courtesy of Natural Artistry Photography

Yesterday Positivity, a consulting firm that teaches companies how to improve their bottom lines through high-tech, high-touch positive psychology training, education and research formally announced that it’s open for business. By basing programs on proven methodologies in  positive psychology and emotional intelligence, Positivity plans to transform the way people think and feel to reshape the context within which they work. According to the press release, companies with:

  • Positive cultures have as much as 3x faster profit growth
  • Highly engaged employees increase operating income 19% and earnings per share almost 28% year over year
  • Low employee engagement levels show declines of 32% in operating income and 11% in earnings per share over the same period

We’ve known about the correlation between engagement and productivity (and thus profitability) for some time. The Gallup Organization has done extensive research and published a number of books about the subject. Positivity’s co-founder, Dan Baker, is also well known for his books on engagement, including What Happy Companies Know: How the New Science of Happiness Can Change Your Company for the Better

The ‘Magic’ of High Performing Teams

And yet, despite our knowledge of what it takes to build an exceptional company, few organizations have embraced the the practice of positivity. Facts simply do not motivate people to take action. Learning, however does. Positivity’s methodology strikes at the core of how to change human attitudes and behaviors. As people begin to experience what being a member of a higher performing team feels like, they glimpse the magic it entails.

Kadoo Team Meeting photographed by Modern DC Business

Kadoo Team Meeting

As fluffy as the word ‘magic’ sounds, the transformation from under-performing, perhaps even toxic groups, is grounded in science. Together, fully engaged members of high performing teams can achieve what everyone else deems to be impossible. When team members exhibit a high degree of trust and complementary strengths, the effort invested in achievement doesn’t feel like work in the traditional sense.

I learned this valuable lesson early in my career from exceptional leaders that included Roger Melanson and Donna Hemmert. Both of these mentors intentionally frame their perspectives positively. Yet, positivity cannot create an effective workplace on its own. It needs to pair with the basic mechanics (planning, goal setting, etc.) to enable a business to truly reach its full potential.

Intent Shapes Corporate Self-Awareness and Potential

It seems as if a lot of businesses simply go through the motions when it comes to business fundamentals. Does the mission statement inspire your people… or is it just a piece of paper that hangs in the lobby in a fancy frame?

Unless a company establishes a vision statement, mission statement and core values that correlate closely with the leaders’ personal values, the company will experience an identity crisis. These three components form the most basic elements that support a strong brand—and ultimately a high performing company. And they are only believable when the leaders’ stated intent and behaviors synch.

Let’s take the concept of behavior and intent one step further and layer in process.

Leaders who use vision, mission and core values as the yardstick to guide behaviors and decision making create a corporate self-awareness that can be communicated to employees, customers, and other stakeholders. Corporate self-awareness helps hiring managers and job candidates accurately assess predominant attitudes and cultural fit during the recruitment process. In addition to skill sets, managers can predetermine behaviors and complementary talents that will make a company strong.

If, for example you run a software company, you might seek to hire customer service reps that exhibit empathy as a signature strength. Highly empathetic people will naturally make personal connections with customers calling for technical support. In this manner you would embed a strengths-based business philosophy with business fundamentals and deliberately design a culture and an organizational structure that worked effectively and efficiently… and without bureaucracy and red tape.

Employee Experience Design

Companies design products. They design services. It’s hard to understand why we spend so little time thinking about how to design a fulfilling employee user experience (EUX™). If you think about how the positivity movement, neuroleadership, and business mechanics intersect, then it becomes clear that companies can infuse EUX by intentionally blending elements of the three disciplines.

To learn more about employee experience design, please contact us.

Good Luck!

Congratulations to Cary Chessick, Mike Maddock, Dan Baker on the launch of Positivity. If you live in the Metro DC area, please join Positive Business DC. We can watch the Positivity story unfold together.

© 2012. All rights reserved.

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