As discussed in part one, the collective consciousness of an organization largely dictates organizational success. Over the course of the 20th century, organizational consciousness was grounded in a fixed mindset, emerging in three categories: (1) energy & power, (2) order & conformity, and (3) success & achievement. Fixed mindsets are characterized by individualistic, competitive nature in which individuals define themselves by their failures and conform to what they know they are good at. Consequently, organizations that promote a fixed mindset hamstring innovation, agility, and creativity, yielding mediocre performance.
With the ever-changing economic landscape, driven by a multi-generational workforce and rapidly evolving technologies, success depends upon a shift in organizational consciousness. Cultivating higher levels of consciousness fulfills more than the basic needs of organizations and individuals, inspiring higher aspirations, self-improvement and reflection, and organizational health. These advanced styles of consciousness fall into three categories: (1) collaboration and consensus, (2) integrative and synergy, and (3) holistic leadership.
Let’s take a look at the qualities characterizing the three higher levels of organizational consciousness.
- Collaboration & Consensus
Organizations falling into this category are participative, open, and trusting. They cultivate emotional intelligence and soft skills in their employees, and prioritize collaboration, passion, and creativity.
- Integrative & Synergy
These organizational cultures are egoless and focus on authenticity, learning and development, and compassion. Companies falling into this category are comfortable standing in uncertainty and encourage their employees to find their inner calling and cultivate wisdom and knowledge.
- Holistic Leadership
This is the highest level of corporate culture – being guided by social responsibility, legacy, global awareness, and diversity. Organizations of this type encourage their employees to be inspired, forgiving, and humble and aspire to reach their organization’s ultimate potential.
These advanced styles of organizational consciousness have emerged largely due to the demands of the highly diverse, multi-generational workforce. The traditional management style of top-down hierarchical management is no longer effective in driving organizational performance and sustainability. Thus, leaders are realizing the importance of developing a growth mindset at all levels of their organization.
Developing an organization founded in growth mindset is essential to success in the multi-generational, technologically-dominated economy. A growth mindset is characterized by a belief that success is driven by dedication and hard work, and that talent is simply a starting point (not an exclusive determinant) for success. Encouraging your employees to embrace a growth mindset helps them effectively learn and retain information and embrace challenges and failures as an opportunity to improve their skills.
Most importantly, advancing these higher levels of consciousness drives employee engagement, loyalty, and psychological safety – all foundational elements to organizational high-performance. Purposely developing your organizational culture, through both employee development and effective leadership, creates an inspired, self-motivated workforce, yielding organizational sustainability and profitability.
With the help of the Engineering Leadership Institute’s custom Organizational Improvement Plans (OIP), companies can identify their current cultural profile, develop a vision for the future of their company, and establish how their culture will guide the actions necessary to fulfill that vision. Through this process, organizations will establish the common language and shared values foundational to developing a high-performance culture.
Our friend and partner Andrew Jenkins, author of The Authority’s Guide to Developing High Performance Teams, conducted much of the research on the evolution of organizational consciousness used in this blog. We recently collaborated in hosting a seminar on how soft skills drive high-performance, during which we discussed organizational consciousness, conflict styles, and practical tools for developing high-performance teams. We would be delighted to present this seminar to your organization to start you on your path to a high-performance culture – contact us today!