This journey into creating a culture of value in companies and organizations actually started years before I had any familiarity with the words “organizational development” It started with a core passion to see things done in the most optimized way possible. To see things done with wisdom and excellence. It started with the desire to see individuals, myself included, empowered to discover there key giftings or signature strengths then move forward with them in roles that gave them opportunity to use those gifts consistently so that they could be developed to a level of mastery. Really you can only reach a level of mastery in these areas of signature strengths. You can get pretty good at other things but you have to have this synaptic inborn talent in an area to really excel at a high level. In order to do this you first have to discover what those things are if you don’t already know. To move forward you have to deal with the obstacles that stand in your way. Believe me those obstacles will make themselves clear as you try to move forward. As you navigate these troubled waters character is developed that is a foundation for you to operate in the higher level of your calling with sustainability. In other words without ending in a big shipwreck. Nothing is more powerful than walking fully in the gifts and calling that you were created for…. but nothing is more destructive than stepping into that too soon before character issues are worked out and developed to a level of maturity that can carry the power in a healthy way.
The next step for me came as I was developing a value proposition for business owners to offer Aflac to their employees. The value proposition is this. “I help companies to increase employee loyalty and productivity by helping them to create or enhance a culture where the employees feel valued”
I started thinking about other ways that I could help my clients create this culture of value. It turned into a research project. I started having coffee with everyone met who had experience and expertise related to this. HR people, organizational psychologists, CFOs, CEOs etc. As I started having these conversations I was excited about how engaging this topic was for people. I started to become more familiar with Organizational Development and as I realized what it is I realized that it is the same passion I had to see transformation in individuals but it could bring transformation to whole groups of people! And transformation in a company means productivity, profitability and innovation both for new products and for how to do existing business better.
Some core elements are trust, authenticity and encouragement.
Trust relates to first trusting yourself, knowing that you are going to do what you say you are going to do on a personal level. Then it relates to being trust worthy, being trusted by other individuals whole groups trusting each other both trusting their motives and trusting their competency to accomplish what they are trying to accomplish.
Authenticity is where people discover their true voice. They find who they really were created to be and operate out of that center, no small thing. As this begins to happen within an individual then alignment begins. As it happens in group of working together out of their individual and collective authenticity then you get a synergy that really starts to gain momentum. When you get this with an whole company you have exponential growth and profit, not to mention job satisfaction, engagement, creativity and innovation. When you create an environment where people can tap into their
true gifts then you are tapping into so much more resource and brilliance than the average company does.
Encouragement has to do with how you communicate with one another in a way that continually calls forth that true voice in one another. It is a recognition an affirmation and proclamation of who you are and who “we” are and where we are going. When you walk more fully in authenticity, find and use your true voice its not just a good thing for you it is a good thing for us! I am sure we’ve all had times where there was someone on your team that was really not operating in their giftings, to say the least, and seen how it can make things difficult for everyone and put a huge drag on efficiency. I liken it to a jet boat. I used to work on a 49 passenger jet boat on the Yukon river. It had three jets that when working together brought the boat “on plane” and had a speed and efficiency that got us to our destination in about 3.5 hours. If one of those jets sucked a rock into the impeller either slowed or incapacitated a jet then the speed and efficiency went down not by one third but by much more. It could take us 6 to 8 hours. So you can see the importance of having all three jets working. When Turst, Authenticity and Encouragement are working properly then look out, there is power to really go somewhere!