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Evidence-Based Decision Making: Does it Work as a Business Model?

Those who have taken our management courses or leadership development programs on our Perth leadership centre know that we develop leaders using the four quadrants of Integral Theory .

Integral Theory, created by Ken Wilber, is a multidisciplinary approach that elicits from the best of thousands of years of human logic. It encompasses such fields as psychology, spirituality and many different sciences to provide a comprehensive world view which produces insight.

Recently, we heard of a US firm called American Insurance Group (AIG) which uses a concept called “evidence-based decision making.” It is quite similar to Integral Theory in that it is a multi-disciplinary approach that combines data science and analytics with behavioural sciences to produce a framework for making decisions. In other words, it has a lot in common with Integral Theory .

AIG began using this concept in 2012 when they created a “science team.” By the beginning of 2014, the team had grown to 130 members from diverse fields, all dedicated to fostering the growth of evidence-based decision making in AIG.

We like the diverse makeup of the team, which includes mathematicians, data scientists, statisticians, behavioural economists, engineers, psychologists and change management experts. When they are all combined, AIG reports that they are able to systematically enhance the judgment process of individuals within the context of their business.

Why it Works

The science team has been very successful for AIG. They credit some specific factors as essential to their success. One is focusing on … Continue reading


Why Being a “Nice Boss” isn’t Good Enough

When we are providing executive coaching to the leaders of Perth businesses, we use the four quadrants of integral theory to develop the whole executive personally and professionally. We often talk to CEO’s who are “nice bosses.” Invariably, they realise that their employees are taking advantage of their good nature.

Being an effective CEO involves developing one’s self in many different areas. We call it individual holistic development. An effective CEO enables his organisation to provide excellent customer service in an environment of unconditional respect. We include concepts such as mindfulness and working together as a whole.

We also believe in cooperation as opposed to conflict. However, a problem arises when a CEO either fails to provide structure for employees or allows deviations from that structure. This can create a work environment where people are always seeing how much leeway they have to break rules. Eventually, those who follow the rules become resentful of those who don’t and resentful of management for not enforcing those rules equally.

Providing Structure

When providing structure, the CEO has to provide rules that encourage structure but don’t hamper creativity or productivity. Too many rules can turn an entire staff resentful and make them feel like they are being micromanaged. Too few rules often produces an environment where people do as little as they can to keep their jobs or take shortcuts to make their “numbers” better.

To provide structure, there has to be a solid set of rules or expectations. Employees must know … Continue reading


What Makes CEOs Likeable?

We provide executive coaching to numerous CEOs and Executives in the wider Perth area. One issue that arises often is whether it’s necessary to be likeable to do a good job as a CEO. The short answer here is “no, but it certainly makes you a lot more effective.” Here are some traits that make CEOs likeable.


Honesty and integrity are two of the best qualities a CEO can display to raise their likeability factor. Subordinates want to know that you are telling them the truth. If they don’t trust you, they won’t like you and they won’t give any more effort for you than necessary to keep their jobs.


Employees and middle management want to be around positive CEOs. All companies have setbacks and negative events. CEOs who are the best at overcoming them do it by staying positive and focusing on solutions.

Personal Touch

There was a movement in which CEOs thought they had to distance themselves from employees. Some still feel that way. In reality, though, CEOs who talk to their employees, shake hands and make friendly conversation are much more likeable and inspire more loyalty.

Great Listeners

Everyone wants to be heard. CEOs who listen to their employees are much more likeable because they feel like their opinions matter. This also helps them feel like they can have a positive effect in the workplace.

Hard Workers

Some of the best leadership is by example. People like leaders who worked hard to get where they … Continue reading


How to Create a Workplace Culture Where Feedback is Welcome

One of the best tools of our leadership development courses and executive coaching in Perth is called “360 degree feedback.” 360 degree feedback uses feedback from those who are above, below and equal to your position in the organisation to provide an accurate picture of your performance.

We love the Integral 360 degree feedback report, but we also believe that an environment that provides immediate feedback without confrontation or ill will makes for the most efficient workplace. Ideally, you should receive feedback from customers, peers, subordinates and bosses. You should also feel free to give feedback to anyone else in the workplace.

Unfortunately, many workplaces create an environment where everyone is afraid to “upset the applecart.” Many people become offended at any feedback or constructive criticism and become confrontational. Many are not able to give feedback without seeming confrontational.

At Integral Development, we believe in cooperation, not confrontation. Here are a few ways to help turn confrontation into cooperation.

Encourage Learning and Improving

If your employees know that it’s OK not to be perfect and are encouraged to learn, they tend to see feedback as an opportunity to learn and improve: not a threat to their status.

Teach How to Give and Receive Feedback

It is important to give feedback without being offensive and receive feedback without being offended. These skills can go a long way towards developing cooperation.

Encourage Feedback

Leaders should especially be encouraged to provide a lot of feedback, but employees should always feel like … Continue reading


Can the Interests of Your Employees Help Your Bottom Line?

When providing management consulting services to local Perth businesses, one of the more common problems we are asked about is how to increase employee engagement. The issue of how committed or engaged employees are to any organisation is important and can make the difference between higher organisational performance and “just getting by.”

At Integral Development, we base all of our executive coaching and management courses on Ken Wilber’s Integral Theory. This theory combines cutting-edge business theory with the best of 6000 years of human inquiry to create a four-quadrant approach to individual holistic development. Only by developing individuals holistically can an organisation truly maximise its potential.

Are Employees’ Outside Interests their Greatest Strengths?

In many cases, the interests of employees outside the workplace can be used to increase their engagement inside the workplace. Many leaders trivialise or resist employees’ outside interests when they could be integrating them into the workplace.

Remember that outside interests represent something the employee is very passionate about. Imagine what your company would accomplish if you could incorporate and integrate all of that passion into helping your organisation thrive and prosper.

How Well Do You Know Your Employees?

Do you know anything about your employees outside the workplace? Are they married? Do they have children? What are their hobbies? What outside groups are they a part of?

If you can just answer these questions about your employees, they will be more engaged because they feel like you care about them as a human being, but … Continue reading

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