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corporate-empathy

Corporate Empathy on the Rise?

Each year that we conduct leadership development courses for businesses in the Perth area, we see the continuing evolution of modern business first-hand. One of the foremost trends in that evolution is towards corporate empathy.

Due to the proliferation of social media, the business world has become increasingly smaller. It has become increasingly interactive, intimate and immediate. Customers and employees are producing more demand for organisations to engage with them in a way that produces authentic dialogue.

The bottom line: savvy organisations and their leaders are becoming more aware every day that displays of genuine empathy towards employees and customers are one of the more powerful and reliable methods of increasing profits.

However, many executives and organisations feel that they are in a quandary because many are still labouring under the common misconception that empathy is tantamount to weakness. This often causes executives and HR departments to dismiss empathy as a core value and perceive it is a “touchy-feely” add-on.

The best way to defeat this perception while evolving parallel to the demands of the marketplace is to embed empathy throughout an entire organisation, from entry-level through the CEO.

Integral Development: Ahead of the Curve

At Integral Development, we base all of our leadership development training on Integral Theory as created by Ken Wilber. We combine this with solid contemporary business and management techniques to develop leaders from the inside out, both personally and professionally.

Integral Theory teaches us to view all people, situations and problems … Continue reading

mindfulness

Does This Recent Study on Mindfulness Prove the Efficacy of Programs Based on Integral Theory?

All of the leadership development programs and courses that we provide to business and executives in the Perth area are based on Integral Theory. We combine the four quadrants of Integral Theory to develop leaders both personally and professionally.

One of the key concepts of Integral Theory is to view all situations from four different vantage points. This creates a state of mindfulness that can have tremendous impact on all aspects of a person’s life.

Recently, we came upon the results of a study by the Chemnitz University of Technology in Germany and the University of British Columbia in which data from 20 different mindfulness studies was studied to determine the effects of mindfulness on the brain. They identified eight different regions of the brain that were affected by mindfulness, but found two that may have a huge effect on business and management: the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) and the hippocampus.

Mindfulness and the Anterior Cingulate Cortex

The ACC is the portion of the brain which allows self-regulation. This allows people to place an interval between stimulus and response, behave intentionally and be strategically flexible. It helps people learn from past experiences to make better decisions, especially under stress. Those who practise mindfulness, especially via meditation, exhibit high performance in self-regulation testing.

Mindfulness and the Hippocampus

The hippocampus is part of the limbic system and plays a role in memory and emotion. Those who have PTSD or depression often have a smaller hippocampus. Those with a highly-functioning hippocampus … Continue reading

employee-engagement

Employee Engagement: a Global Perspective

When we are providing management consulting in Perth, the subject of employee engagement comes up often. Employee engagement is one of the newer metrics for assessing an organisation’s performance, but it is becoming one of the most important ones. As many businesses have gone out of their way to lower expenses, employees have become more disgruntled.

Executives are now beginning to realise that their employees are extremely important to their success. Consequently, many organisations are making employee engagement a priority. A recent piece in Inc Magazine used examples from US and UK organisations and one global organisation to create the new “rules” for employee engagement.

Discover or Re-establish a Sense of Purpose

A sense of purpose will produce a lot of employee engagement. If they feel like they are just there for the money, they won’t be engaged. If they feel like they are doing something important every day, they will be much happier and more engaged. However, the next paragraph is very important.

Pay Your Employees their Market Value

If your turnover is too high and your engagement level is too low, it may be because you are not paying your employees as much as they can get elsewhere. Employees want to feel appreciated. Nothing says “we don’t appreciate you” more than not paying them what they are worth.

Surveys

Survey employees. Ask them what is wrong and what is right. Then, follow through if the feedback indicates a problem that you can solve. Your organisation is served … Continue reading

leadership-skills

Top Seven Essential Leadership Skills

We feel that our Integral Leadership Program is one of the best leadership development programs, not only in Perth, but in all of Australia. We use the four quadrants of Integral Theory, as created by Ken Wilber, to develop leaders holistically. We help leaders develop themselves personally, professionally and spiritually while teaching the best of contemporary business techniques. Recently, we found a study that is very much in alignment with what we teach.

An article in Harvard Business Review cited data from 332,860 “bosses, peers and subordinates,” as compiled by authors Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman. They listed sixteen skills and had each person “vote” for four of them. The top six skills were identical whether the voters were in middle management, senior management or were supervisors. For top executives, six of the top seven were selected.

Inspires and Motivates Others: 38%

This is not surprising. It is the biggest challenge and most essential skill for any true leader.

Displays High Integrity and Honesty: 37%

People will not follow someone they don’t trust; organisations that require honesty and integrity usually run more efficiently.

Solves Problems and Analyses Issues: 37%

This may be the skill that helps an executive “move up the ladder” more than any other.

Drives for Results: 36%

Most organisations are results-driven.

Communicates Powerfully and Prolifically: 35%

Communication skills are important to ensuring that people understand what their leaders require of them.

Collaborates and Promotes Teamwork: 33%

We think this is an underrated skill. A team is … Continue reading

organisation-culture

Does Your Organisation Have a Creative Culture?

In the course of performing management consulting in the Perth area, we often discuss whether or not an organisation has a creative culture. Peter Drucker, who was born in 1909 in Austria, moved to the US and would eventually be known as “the man who invented management,” once said, “Business has only two functions—marketing and innovation.”

Innovation creates the business model and the products, while marketing finds people to purchase those products. It takes creativity to market and to innovate. Ironically, even though creativity is mandatory to compete in today’s business climate, it is becoming more and more difficult to foster a creative culture in the workplace.

Employees often feel that they are rewarded more for “staying the course” than opening new pathways to success. This severely hinders creativity.

Understanding Organisational Culture

In the 1980’s a professor at the prestigious Sloan School of Management in the US developed a three-part model for understanding the culture of an organisation, breaking it into three areas: artifacts, espoused values and shared basic assumptions.

Artifacts are the outer or superficial characteristics of an organisation. They include the building, furniture, logo, dress norms and common memes. They can be mistaken for a company’s entire culture, but it goes deeper.

Espoused values are found in an organisation’s mission statement and often in mottoes or slogans. They reflect how employees and management represent the organisation, both in public and within the workplace.

Shared basic assumptions are the beliefs and behaviours that define an organisation. For example, … Continue reading

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