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The Backbone of Flourishing Cultures

During the industrial age, most company’s primary objective was to make products and sell them for a profit with little consideration of the quality of the work setting. Employees learned the technical skills needed to build these goods. The more adept an individual became in their role of creating the product, the more valued they became as an employee. Individuals focused on their own tasks and technical skill improvement simply to contribute to a company’s bottom line.

Over time, the bar has risen greatly in the North American workplace. Environments have changed from factories requiring physical labor to workplaces requiring innovative brilliance.  Employees no longer solely focus on technical work. It takes team effort and collaboration to develop products and services of value in our evolving world.

With today’s interactive workplace comes the huge adaptive challenge of relating to one another as we share perspectives, brainstorm ideas, find ways to eliminate barriers and manage change. Completely new skill sets are required to grow a flourishing business. Achieving modern day success involves an adaptive and thriving workforce.

Long gone are the days of carrot and stick motivations as long-term incentives. There are many studies showing that money is not the primary stimulus in today’s workforce. On-the-job worthfulness and fulfillment rank as the number-one motivator.

So, how do we create environments that offer opportunities for employee valued and happy when every company’s definition of success is different? There is a secret weapon. Awareness is the backbone of any flourishing culture.

A company’s conscious knowledge of its culture defines the corporate level of awareness. All businesses have a culture; the difference lies in how it was created. Was the culture created intentionally with much thoughtfulness (aware) or has it occurred unintentionally driven by circumstances (auto-pilot)?

In beginning to assess the state of awareness of your organization, you might ask yourself:

  • How intentionally aware of the business culture are all the employees, including me?
  • What are the ways that the culture empowers staff to grow their own self-awareness?
  • How do people share their perceptions and what are the results?
  • What affect does employee behavior have on the work environment?
  • How does the work culture contribute to the company’s success?

Stepping into awareness requires stepping out of automatic pilot by moving into intentional decisions and away from making decisions solely out of habit. Awareness is a place of understanding that EVERYONE has a different perception of the same thing.  Perceptions are based on our individual life experience so no two are exactly the same. Understanding this to the point of being intentionally influenced by others perceptions, brings awareness.

Companies are made up of individual leaders whose behaviors strongly influence the business culture. There are a number of skills necessary to move a company or individual from functioning on autopilot to living in awareness.

Some key area’s are:

What messages do you send?

  • What could you learn by pay attention to your behavior, think about what you say and how you say it?

What is the impact you have on people?

  • How might you practice observing how others are affected by how you are showing up?

How well do you listen?

  • What might be different if you took the time to hear other people as they share their perception and let them influence your own perception?

What are the ways you achieve personal growth?

  • What could the result be if you took responsibility for how you behave in the world and how you affect the environment you are in? What if you notice your mistakes more openly and sought insight into doing things differently next time?

What are you doing to better know yourself?

  • How might you PRACTICE awareness? Neuroscientists are currently teaching us that practicing new habits for 90 days develops new neuro-pathways. At the same time not practicing unwanted habits allows them to slip away.

How does your awareness contribute to creating a flourishing culture?