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Bringing your best self to work

What are the factors that inspire and motivate employees to bring their best selves to work? What are the components of a successful and effective team? How do we harness the individual but very diverse contributions that are waiting to be made in organisations and societies? How do we bring out real potential? How do we work collaboratively across a web of multi-functional teams and skills sets?

Many important and well-known thought leaders the world over have given these questions their best shot at answering. But for me, there is not one right answer: it is a collective of thoughts that come to mind.

Google (arguably one of the most celebrated and successful employer brands in the world) has done some amazing research in an attempt to answer the key question…what are the ingredients that make up a successful team? Their assumption was that if you bring a bunch of really skilled people together, bingo you can be on top of your game! their belief is that if you attract and retain the best talent you hold the key… But their research showed something very different…. the dominant factor that ensures team coherence and effectiveness was not the technical skills set of each individual but the magic ingredient called ‘psychological safety’. Teams that succeed create an environment where people feel safe to contribute, to think creatively and share ideas, to make mistakes and to take risks…

And so learning how to discover and envision with an appreciative inquiry lens, interacting with teams about how to work collaboratively, helping people develop the difficult skill of having a crucial conversation, coaching leaders on how to build and live the 12 competencies of EQ, building personal resilience in the face of constant change…and most importantly holding and preserving the ten components of a Thinking Environment; these are just some of the tools and skills that help build that magic ingredient called ‘pyschological safety’….both at an individual and team level.

My thoughts for today….