Food for Thought from Mike Schwarzer’s Pearls of Wisdom, September 2013
What is Your Attitude to Crisis … Mental Hibernation and Chicken Little or Higher Ground View?
Isn’t it interesting how in times of uncertainty and economic downturn many organisations stick their heads in the sand and disconnect. Drawn into the scarcity mentality of the day they go into mental hibernation, where people become paralysed and hide in a cage. Or they turn into Chicken Little, where people run around like mad chooks with the mindset of cut this and cut that … cut, cut, cut and they cut people too … the numbers that is!
This creates a climate that breeds fear, mistrust, ignorance and resentment. Pessimism creeps in that discourages staff engagement and stifles creativity. This leads to low staff morale and low productivity. Overall a pretty toxic and costly exercise! Nobody wins.
These types of businesses have the energy of a dead fish, lifeless! Think about the people that you know that have low emotional energy … they become energy suckers. How do you like being around them? Ever felt drained after spending a period of time with one? If your business runs on low emotional energy, how do you think that projects to the world and your customers around you? Do they feel compelled to stay away from you?
Higher Ground View
And then there are some organisations that take the View from a Higher Ground, the ones that look to the future. In addition to keeping an eye on the fundamentals of the business, they have a vision and they are forward thinking. They pay attention to where they are and focus on where they want to go. They create a climate of optimism in which people count and encouraged to participate. These organisations have resilience, high staff morale and a collective mindset that stimulates creativity and innovation. They are performing at peak!
These types of businesses have a buzzing energy that is infectious, they are full of life! Ever been around someone that has a vibrant emotional energy? Did you feel charged up afterwards? If your business runs on high emotional energy, how does that project to the world and your customers around you? Do they feel drawn to you?
How does this work?
How Chip Conley TRIPLED his business after the Dot.com crash and 9/11.
After 15 years of rising to the pinnacle of the hospitality industry, Chip Conley, the founder of Joie de Vivre, the world’s second largest hotel boutique chain, found his business undercapitalised and overexposed after the dot.com crash and 9/11. Facing the prospects of losing his company he turned his attention to the intangible factors of the business … the higher level needs of his employees and customers. What is their inspiration and sense of meaning that brings them to work and what is our customers’ emotional connection? And how can we as a business address those higher level needs?
How did he do it?
He began by asking questions … do our people understand our mission? Do they believe in that mission? Can they influence it? Do they feel that their work has an impact on it? He also asked his customers, what is their emotional connection with us in seven different kind of ways?
Customer Loyalty Skyrocketed
As he kept asking those questions that were pointing at the higher needs levels of his people and customers, he found Joie de Vivre’s customer loyalty skyrocketed, employee turnover dropped to one third of the industry standard and during the dot.com bust the company tripled in size.
For more on Chip Conley’s see his TED.com talk Measuring what makes life worthwhile
Is that something you want?
The world loves energy!
In an energy poor world, high energy counts, especially during times of uncertainty, economic downturn and crisis where people’s emotional energy is poor. People are drawn to good energy. Your customers are drawn to good energy. What energy are you generating as individuals and organisations? Are you customers drawn to you or repelled by you?
Which one do you want?
How do you generate a vibrant and dynamic energy in your business that attracts business in uncertain times?
Firstly, do you want it or not? Do you want to be an organisation that operates from a Higher Ground like the Chip Conley’s of the world? If not, than this is not for you!
Secondly, it’s an inside out game! And it starts with your intention! What environment and condition do you need to create where vibrant energy can occur? How will you show up as an organisation? What will you bring to make that happen? How will you pay attention to your own, your people’s and your customer’s higher level needs of meaning? How will you address them? And how will you measure them? What beliefs and values will you establish that support your journey?
“Managers focus on finding great answers, while leaders focus on imagining great questions” Peter Drucker
Thirdly, you have to keep asking great question or yourself and others. Great questions open the mind and unleash creativity and potential. Point the focus of your questions towards people’s higher needs level, that is where meaning and purpose resides!
Lastly, you have to work it. It all starts as an idea, a concept and unless you work that concept and bring into your mental and organisational muscle it will be just that … and idea and concept.
Mental Hibernation, Chicken Little or Higher Ground View … which one serves you best?
If you want to learn more about how you can generate a vibrant energy in your business and connect with your people’s and your customer’s higher level needs then contact Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org.
to your highest learning and growth
About Mike Schwarzer
Mike is a Transformation Professional and an Internationally Certified Trainer in Applied Neuro Synergy & NLP with the Global Association of Applied Neuro Synergy, GAANS. An experienced facilitator and coach, with an ability to connect and align people, he helps leaders and organisations to solve the problems that they have not been able to solve elsewhere and create the results they want to achieve.