The old ways of leadership and business are being disrupted. We are leaving the Information Economy behind and entering the next evolution: the Idea Economy.
In the Idea Economy, value — and the future of business — lies in ideas, innovation and implementation. The traditional mental models and application methods no longer apply. In addition, as the drive towards big data continues to grow, so too must there be a drive towards genuine consideration of the human element that contributes to these larger systems.
Complex systems naturally function at an optimal level, but much can get in the way. Businesses are complex systems that have human beings at their core. They must be attended to, or the many issues that plague businesses, such as decreased productivity, high turnover, workplace bullies, and the multiple costs associated with stressed-out workers, will only increase. Fortunately, the opposite is also true: It is possible to unleash and realize an innovative company culture, in which engaged employees communicate effectively, collaborate freely, and work enthusiastically to realize their company’s vision.
Employee engagement is more than just a buzzword. Genuine engagement involves a comprehensive understanding of the human element of your business.
Disengaged employees can cost your company a lot of money, due to declining productivity, turnover, absenteeism, poor customer service, and the inability to realize the full potential of the employee and the organization as a whole.
Actively engaged employees are three times more productive (Rapid Learning Institute “What Drives Employees to Disengage and How to Win them Back”). And, companies with a formal engagement strategy in place are 67% more likely to improve their revenue per full-time equivalent on a year-over-year basis (Aberdeen, The Role of Engagement in Performance Management, September 2016).
ic3 can help you improve engagement and effect positive change in your organization in three ways:
- Identifying outdated and ineffective patterns (symptoms)
- Teaching you how to change those patterns
- Guiding you through the process of intentionally creating the desired outcome
Identification only comes through awareness, and awareness must be consistently practiced. Otherwise, we become “lost in familiar places”, blind to the systemic dynamics and patterns that are driving less-than-optimal behavior.
Learning how to change takes consistency and training. This includes learning skills which once were pejoratively called “soft”, such as awareness, effective communication, collaboration, empathy, respect, and creativity. In truth, these are all mental skills of a higher order and are now considered essential to a high-functioning organization. Unfortunately, they are also some of the hardest to find in business today. This is because historically, these skills were not consistently valued, so they haven’t been consistently taught. Now that leaders are coming to understand their value, they are scrambling to catch up.
Intentionally creating your desired company culture involves understanding what isn’t working, learning the skills required to make the necessary changes, and fostering the ability to imagine new possibilities.
Imagination — one of our most advanced mental operations — requires us to work at optimal capacity. It asks us to move beyond fear of safety and satisfaction and to connect and collaborate with others. In addition, it requires proficiency in empathy and creativity as well as linear logic and analysis. It’s the evolution from “me” to “we” (e.g., from reactive to receptive mental states). From here, lasting positive change is possible, and consistently innovating with the end user in mind is an everyday occurrence. From here, purpose-driven, positive impact is achievable as well as genuine, lasting employee engagement.
In this environment, employees are genuinely engaged because their whole selves are being considered. They have a sense of identity, feel valued, are provided with growth opportunities, and feel a part of something larger than themselves. When this occurs, your company culture has become intentional.
So we ask you to start using your imagination now. Imagine for a moment what your ideal, fully-engaged, and innovative company would look like. What would be different in terms of culture, productivity and motivation? What would be different in your ability to use innovation and creativity to offer the best services and products to your clients? How could you impact your industry, and the world beyond, in a different way?
At ic3 consulting, we guide our clients to create insightful companies by building intentional cultures and fostering innovative collaboration.
No matter where your organization stands now, a more insightful, collaborative and intentional company culture can be as easy as ic3. Want to become one of the best places to work? Learn how in this video series delivered to your inbox. Each video is under 3 minutes.