Most organizations are striving to help their employees improve their health and well-being. While intuitively, this makes sense – healthier employees are certainly happier and more productive – it’s also a sound strategy from a business perspective. A recent study from Limeade and Quantum Workplace shows that when employees believe their employer cares about their health and well-being, they are:
- 38% more engaged
- 10 times less likely to be hostile
- 17% more likely to still be working there in one year
- 28% more likely to recommend their workplace
- 18% more likely to go the extra mile for the organization
Culture is a hot topic. It was the Merriam-Webster “word of the year” for 2014. Leaders and experts across the world are talking about how to develop an agile culture, implement a lean culture, overcome the culture clash in acquisitions, and many other areas of culture change. Unfortunately, the reality is that most of these leaders and experts are actually focusing their efforts on climate and not dealing with the deeper, more powerful subject of culture. I didn’t understand the difference until the past few years.
Many modern organizations are locked into a mindset – an organizational culture – that began with the Industrial Revolution in eighteenth-century Britain and was fully developed during the Second Industrial Revolution in the US. The great success of these revolutions – creating modern business and generating huge wealth – makes it easy to believe that what worked as a way of managing great corporations in the early 1900s is still the best way to run an organization in the twenty-first century. But times have changed.
As the strategic planning consultant to the National Wrestling Hall of Fame I get some inside looks at the high performance culture of the sports world. A couple years ago I was sitting next to a very sweaty and happy Chris Perry, who minutes earlier had won an NCAA championship title. I asked Chris when he started wrestling and he said in 4th grade. It takes that kind of proactive plan to become a NCAA Champion. His dad was sitting behind us weeping tears of joy and relief having invested heavily in the sustainable approach to success over the past 12-15 years.
I think Rich Bender (head of USA Olympic wrestling) is weeping tears of another kind. The sport has been mostly reactive over the years. They thought by default they would always be in the Olympics until the IOC voted them out. The sport was fortunately reinstated after frantic action by FILA to “revamp the organization and reshape the sport to save its Olympic status.” The default/reactive approach resulted in the unthinkable, whereas Perry’s proactive approach has resulted in the mostly unachievable.
(AKA – Helping the Organization Get Where It Needs To Go!)
Let’s demystify the art and practice of leadership. There are many parallels to the aspects of riding a bicycle and leading the team.
First of all, the purpose or usefulness of the bicycle is to get from point A to point B. Clearly, leadership is focused on forward movement toward a vision of a future desired state.
The bicycle has a framework or structure that allows it to transfer energy to serve a positive purpose. Leadership, truly is about energy management and how to focus the individual and collective energy on meaningful goals of the organization.