It seems odd to think that business leaders are just now recognizing that their business results have a direct correlation to the organizations ability to think, act, speak and feel in human terms. Yet instead of measuring the organizations human abilities leaders still focus on measuring, thinking and chasing outcomes in financial terms.
Consider what business has done as a result of social technology. For most instead of looking at the enhanced human dynamics created with the technology they have merely made it a tool to extend marketing efforts. Instead of using the technology to enrich their company’s culture they have restricted the use of it at work. Instead of using it to enable more human engagement they have written rules of engagement which basically say “we don’t trust you”. Instead of using it to enable people to “get involved in the business” they tell people what to do and how to do it as if the people had no valuable comments about how to do anything better.
It is no wonder corporations have lost credibility with people. Just maybe it is because they are acting anything but human.
Being Human Is Free Unless You Are Not
As humans we enjoy lots of freedoms and the greatest of all is choice, or used to be.
We are free to think, feel, act and speak unless we choose to use such things to cause undo harm onto others then our freedoms become reckless. Reckless suggests wild carelessness and disregard for the consequences and such actions or decisions are not typical of being human.
The human network has watched the behaviors of corporations for decades in bewilderment of their recklessness. From insider trading schemes, politics as usual, top down controls and total disregard and disrespect for the value of human capital and now business expect people to believe they can suddenly be “human”.
Meanwhile the same people who buy from businesses go to work each day for these businesses and see the high cost incurred by themselves and others for environments, processes, products, engagements and mental models that do not reflect the natural dynamics of a human. And then people wonder if business leaders are really interested in improving their results when they know what business leaders ought to know such as:.
- U.S. employee engagement is still stagnating at just 30 percent of the workforce, according to Gallup’s 2013 State of the American Workplace report.
- As a result, U.S. employers lose between $450 billion to $550 billion a year in productivity.
Additionally people know more about the value of creating the right organizational culture than most organizations know. Yet corporate culture seems like an intangible concept to most organizations.
In many organizations, there is a huge difference between what the company says it values and what people believe it values. That is the credibility gap that produces the disengagement and distrust that has a direct correlation to company performance and growth.
An 11-year study by John P. Kotter and James L. Haskett included 207 companies in 22 industries. The results showed that companies that managed their corporate culture significantly outperformed similar companies that did not. Between managed and unmanaged corporate cultures, the research found:
- Revenue growth of 682 percent (managed) compared to 166 percent (unmanaged)
- Stock price increase of 901 percent compared to 74 percent
- Job growth of 282 percent compared to 36 percent
- Net income growth of 756 percent compared to just 1 percent
People enjoy the freedoms provided to the human race. Take those freedoms away and you pay a higher price. Enable those freedoms and you’ll get a better return. Get it?