Marketing psychology has taught me that people are motivated to make a change or a purchase in order to either move toward something desirable or away from something undesirable. And the latter tends to be a more powerful motivator for most. I predict in coming years this will shift as a natural evolutionary byproduct of the technological revolution, provided we use technology as a tool for solving our major problems.
It certainly has the potential to, yet it remains unclear how this will translate to effectively solving our people-based problems. For now, a companies’ major tools to address people-based problems are training, standard operating procedures, coaching, and culture.
Some companies manage this better than others. It appears to me, based on job seeker targeting, public stock prices and other evidence of growth, that companies focused on proactively moving in a positive direction culturally are doing better than companies merely trying to avoid major crises. One is driven by desire, while the other is driven by fear. You can liken it to playing offense versus defense.
A very powerful verse from Living the Wisdom of the Tao by Wayne Dyer [captured below and mentioned here] helped me realize that when you are focused on the highest good and being the best version of yourself, you no longer have a need to regulate bad behavior.
So, when a company is operating with integrity and effectively nurturing a culture of inclusion, empathy, mutual respect, optimized personal and professional development and acceptance, it rarely needs to focus on problems like harassment, bias, discrimination, disengagement, bullying, ethical violations, and high turnover.
Perhaps you feel I am oversimplifying this, and admittedly, there are other factors that need to be considered as well, such as employee compensation structures and hiring practices. If you follow me, you have certainly heard me stress the importance of self-awareness and how all transformations begin with that. Here again, it is definitely important to have the ability to recognize if this is a systemic issue in your organization.
If your company is adequately able to do this, at least you’re on the front end of what could be a positive evolutionary turn for your company. A company, just like a team, needs both a good offense and defense to win.
What stage of transformation has your company achieved? Are they instituting new policies, practices, procedures or tools based on avoiding problems? Or are they moving toward a more ideal corporate well-being?
As the technical evolution accelerates exponentially, I predict the latter companies are going to survive and the former companies will eventually die. And so, you too must go from playing defense to playing offense. I advise you to plan and manage your career accordingly.
Here is a quiz that will let you know which category your company falls into. If your company falls into the defense category, assess your company’s leadership. Do you feel it has the talent and support to transition into a company that plays offense? If not, that either has to be you, or it’s time to plan your exit.
Tally up how many answers are offense versus defense to see which is dominant.
- Does your company provide coaching on emotional intelligence or merely sexual harassment awareness training?
Emotional Intelligence training = Offense
Sexual Harassment training = Defense
Neither = Apathetic = RUN!
- Does your company have strict attendance policies or do they operate on an honor system?
Strict clocking in/out = Defense
Honor system = Offense
Nobody tracks attendance and everyone abuses it = The company is probably bleeding money – RUN!
- Do performance reviews incorporate goals you identify with or solely those of your boss/department?
Boss goals = Defense
Individual goals = Offense
We don’t have performance reviews = Who still does this? RUN!
- If there are conflicts between co-workers, is the focus of the resolution aimed at identifying and punishing the “offending” party, or is there a benefit of the doubt extended to all parties with an aim to arrive at a mutual understanding and compromise?
Punishment-oriented = Defense
Empathy-oriented = Offense
We fight it out and the loudest, bossiest person wins = RUN!
We experience no conflicts = Reflects either an authoritarian culture dominated by orders and compliance, possibly stifling creativity and originality – RUN!
OR everyone is hired based on their agreeable nature = Be wary, as innovation most likely lags far behind.
- When it comes to social media policies, does your company forbid or restrict social media or do they encourage you and train you to leverage it as a promotional tool? (Exclude yourself from this question if your whole industry is regulated.)
Browsers block social media = Defense
Social media savvy is promoted = Offense
Most of my co-workers waste the majority of their day messing around on social media = Your company may be a front for illicit activities, because companies can’t survive like this – RUN!
You may find that if your company is more defensive than offensive, much of the day feels tense and the moments of triumph are few and far between. If you would like to become an agent of transformation to coach your company to be more on the offensive, Epic Careering offers one-on-one leadership coaching as well as workshops. Or, if you now realize you would rather work for a company that is further down the evolutionary road, we can help you land there too.
On the other hand, if your answers indicate that your company is playing offense and doing it well, I anticipate you will be growing and hiring, and I would love to help more quality talent pursue your company as an employer. We should connect!
If any of the above apply to you, private message me or e-mail me at Karen@epiccareering.com.