Does Organizational Energy Matter?

by Jay Deragon on 12/03/2012

Spend a little time in any organization and you can “feel” its energy. Engage as a customer and you “sense” what kind of energy is exhibited by the organization. Watch the online conversations about an organization and you can “hear” the energy.

All organizations create energy.  It is the force, which an organization creates and uses to move forward, stand still or go backwards.  The energy is fueled by culture, leadership and management practices. The kind of organizational energy exhibited illustrates the extent an organization utilizes its emotional, mental and behavioral potential in order to pursue its goals.

The quality of energy describes to which extent emotional, mental and behavioral potentials are aligned to business goals and how they are utilized productively, or rather, to which extent they are used destructively.

In most organizations one of the four typical states of energy is dominant:

In the state of comfortable energy companies are characterized by satisfaction with the status quo, a low level of action intensity, reduced alertness and low emotional tension.

Resignative inertia is manifested in disinterest, inner retreat and distance from company goals. The prevailing emotions are frustration and disappointment. The activity level is clearly reduced.

In the state of corrosive energy, companies are characterized by high activity, alertness and emotional tension. However this state is not used constructively but instead for internal conflicts, micro politics and the prevention of innovation and change.

Companies with high productive energy show intense, positive emotions, high alertness and high activity levels. The mobilized potentials are oriented towards common core goals.

Does Organizational Energy Matter?

For any organization to thrive it must create the type of energy that attracts (Pulls) people to it. In the SocialEra the engagement of people’s minds and hearts is where organizational energy begins. Increasing the energy requires continuous and satisfying exchanges of value both tangible and intangible.  It is the continuous ans satisfying exchanges that “pulls” people in and it is the continuous and dissatisfying exchanges that pushes them away.

An organizations energy decreases when:

  1. You listen to the few rather than the many
  2. You don’t do what you say you are going to do
  3. Employees are treated as machines of productivity and not people
  4. Profit is more important than purpose
  5. Buyers are just customers rather than relationships

When organizational energy improves, sales go up, stress goes down, tensions decrease, fun goes up, everything just works better. Improving the organizations energy starts with improving how leaders think and what they believe. What we think and believe is the beginning of all energy.


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