Blue Health™ is the newest Leadership Development program created by Corporate Looking Glass, LLC – a global consultancy based in the USA.
Here is a 2-minute video in ENGLISH.
Here is a 2-minute video in SPANISH.
Here is a 2-minute video in DANISH.
So, if you are interested in having critical thinkers as leaders (as opposed to mindless foot soldiers) and resilient leaders who can bounce back (regardless of whatever “shizzle” is coming down the pike at work – or at home), then your company needs this program.
We build healthy, functional leaders.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit us at CorporateLookingGlass.com
Jane Doe (Not her real name!) is a VP at a large organization. Her boss sits in the C-Suite and rewards her for reaching the objectives listed in her job description. The problem is Jane has had more than two entire team turnovers in less than two years. Her boss wrestles with the question: How can he let Jane go when she is doing exactly what he hired her to do?
Jane’s boss weighs the actual costs of personnel lost, recruiter time, learning curve and the intangible costs of distrust, watercooler chatter and lack of team cohesion against Jane meeting his annual objectives and goals. It’s so much easier for him to keep the status quo, so he turns a deaf ear to the complaints streaming in through the uneasy Human Resource directors. Jane’s workhorse style and “the whippings shall continue until you are all happy” are inconsequential to him, since results matter more than feelings. In essence, he is teaching Jane to just “get ‘er dun” and she is more than ready to comply.
Let’s be clear here: The dysfunctional leader is not just Jane; it is, firstly, her boss.
Examples like this real-life “Jane” and her boss abound in Corporate America. Yet, slumped productivity, wide-spread disengagement, and high levels of attrition are costing the U.S. economy an estimated $370 billion yearly, according to Gallup.*
- How can a company retain specialized top talent AND keep team retention strong?
- How can the organization avoid ex-employees posting on GlassDoor.com and damaging the organization’s brand and reputation of its ability to manage well?
Blue Health™ is a two-day Leadership Development program that is designed with a heuristic approach – which enables executives to discover how they can improve engagement, productivity, and overall well-being for themselves, their teams, and the organization as a whole.
The Blue Health™ model demonstrates the ancient Greek philosophical foci of Mind, Body, and Spirit (Energy Management); to which we have added the systemic dimension of the Organization. This Positive Psychology program is a deep dive into optimizing performance and social dynamics. It engages participants in critical thinking and incorporates various methods of adult learning theory to keep comprehension and interaction levels high.
Our associates have conducted primary research from executives within the world’s five Blue Zones (locations known for holding the highest concentration of self-sufficient centenarians), and Blue Health™ is endorsed by multiple medical doctors from the only Blue Zone in the USA; Loma Linda, California.
If you are ready for healthy, functional leadership, please contact us at info@CorporateLookingGlass.com for further information. Or, dial 615.431.9689.
Rossina Gil is the founder of Corporate Looking Glass, LLC, a team of Leadership and Organization Development Practitioners and Interculturalists, based across the USA. Rossina co-launched the Blue Zones initiative in Des Moines, Iowa (Sponsor: Wellmark); and Redondo Beach, California (Sponsor: Beach Cities Health District). She is the author of The Corporate Looking Glass: Using Culture for Your Competitive Advantage (available on Amazon.com), which is required reading at Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management. www.CorporateLookingGlass.com
© Rossina Gil, 2015
What makes Blue Health™ better than other corporate wellness programs?
This program is designed by professional Organization Development practitioners based around the USA, who have banded together from having formerly worked with today’s most competitive wellness models:
Blue Zones, Creation Health, and Healthy Companies. It is also endorsed by Medical Doctors.
Collectively, the wealth of our experience maximizes your corporate health and competitive advantage.
How do I sign my organization up for Blue Health™?
Please write us at email@example.com. An associate will connect with you promptly.
Rossina Gil, MSOD, MAIS, is the founder of Corporate Looking Glass, LLC — a consultancy firm active across the USA, composed of Organization Development practitioners, Executive Coaches, and Interculturalists. Rossina is a former resident of the only “Blue Zone” in the country, and shares her community lessons in this Wellness program, along with her insights from working across multiple industries.
Robust Organizational Health maximizes profit. Organizational health can be measured by how engaged employees are in the workplace. An engaged employee is one who is actively and effectively performing on the job. Since it is common knowledge that most employees join organizations and leave managers, it is imperative that a yearly examination be taken of how healthy the organization is. One way to determine Organizational Health is to conduct a survey of its total population talent base.
The Gallup Q12 (which stands for the Gallup organization’s 12 “questions”) is one tool that serves as an appropriate intervention for gauging organizational health. Naturally, no intervention is serviceable if action-planning steps and strategies are not devised and placed into effect upon having reviewed the aggregate data (i.e. results).
If employees are given simply the 12 statements without explanation, then the survey can be completed in roughly five minutes. However, it may be wiser to supply a brief description on each statement for those employees who desire more specificity, &/or to prevent misinterpretation. Therefore, to render this intervention adequately, this would lengthen the total survey time to <15 minutes.
Here are the statements as they stand alone, followed by a brief description:
Q1. I know what is expected of me at work.
Description: Clarity of expectation is evident when a team understands from its coach how to pivot, jump, and turn, regardless of the changes. This clarity produces commitment to the work objectives. Lack of clarity can stem from little/no managerial guidance, lack of proper on-boarding, cancelled/unscheduled one-on-one’s, and/or failure of the supervisor to provide a detailed overview of how each team member’s work is connected to another.
Hard data: The average idea from the most committed employees saves companies $11,000; from its less engaged workers, $4,000.
Q2. I have the materials and equipment I need to do my work right.
Description: The most engaged employees report that their managers actively listen, willingly accommodate minor requests, readily argue the business case for securing tools/resources for the team, and frequently make the team’s effectiveness a top priority – usually, by pre-empting any complaints.
Hard data: Managers with high scores here save an average of 20-40% on attrition costs.
Q3. At work, I have the opportunity to do what I do best every day.
Description: Managers can maximize the most productivity out of their employees if they invest the time to understand what really drives and motivates their employees. Just because an employee does something well does not mean that is what they believe they do best! Also, those who are single-focus &/or processors may not be able to perform their best if they are in a high-traffic area or are specifically requested to not wear earbuds to prevent noise distractions.
Q4. In the last seven days, I have received recognition or praise for doing good work.
Description: Many managers tend to lack appreciation and fail to offer guidance; instead, they point out how the employee “failed to do <xyz>” or “didn’t do <xyz> right.” For every one of those comments, it takes roughly 17 positive comments to counterbalance it. Honest recognition based on measurable outcomes will render higher employee engagement if offered at least once every seven business days.
Q5. My supervisor, or someone at work, seems to care about me as a person.
Description: Feeling disconnected or detached, from your work group leads to poor organizational health. Silos form. Outsiders are not a part of the group if they are consistently not invited to lunches or are not privy to information; thereby creating factions. If there is at least someone, especially a manager, who exhibits a personal interest in the employee, then trust and shared understandings can result.
Q6. There is someone at work who encourages my development.
Description: This does not necessarily mean a promotion. This means the employee has found a sponsor who understands the unique set of skills, knowledge, and talents they have and assists in helping with a role or position that fits that combination.
Q7. At work, my opinions seem to count.
Description: Team members who cite that they feel heard, valued, and included for their insights score high here. They perceive that they have access to different levels or divisions across the organization, and that their managers work to keep those channels open.
Q8. The mission or purpose of my company makes me feel my job is important.
Description: Employees are typically drawn towards and are retained by organizations which have a clear mission and purpose. If an organization espouses a universal mission and operates differently, then the employee will likely feel out of alignment. For example, Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. If it were to place parentheses at the end and add “if you have money,” then the employees may not feel committed to the mission.
Q9. My associates or fellow employees are committed to doing quality work.
Description: The best managers foster a team spirit that is collaborative and authentic. Competition, sabotage, and vying for a team member’s position destroy the team spirit and productivity. Managers must prevent triangulation, whereby direct reports run to the supervisor to be “saved.”
Q10. I have a best friend at work.
Description: The word “best” throws people off. Essentially, is there someone at work whom you completely trust and to whom you are emotionally loyal? As social animals, we all feel supported by alliances. The presence of friends creates a safe environment – one is free to openly make suggestions, offer opinions, and to dissent.
Q11. In the last six months, someone at work has talked to me about my progress.
Description: For managers who regularly maintain a discussion of an employee’s progress, 9 out of 10 employees usually consider the review fair. Development plans are on-going, and are best focused on concentrating on how to match the talent with the task(s) where s/he excels.
Q12. This last year, I have had opportunities at work to learn and grow.
Description: The only constant is change. Smart managers mix it up for their employees as part of their planned developed. Examples: Rotational programs, formal training, a mentor or coach (internal/external), conferences, retreats, etc.
To your health!
Rossina Gil, MSOD, MAIS, is a Leadership and Organization Development Practitioner, author, cultural analyst, coach, speaker, and facilitator. CorporateLookingGlass.com.
A lot of companies demand a strategy, and this action is metaphorically like placing the cart before the horse. Culture is the strategy. Therefore, it is more advisable to focus on the organizational culture prior to focusing on the customer and/or the product. The organization is the product. The organization is a collected group of people. This is why there must be unequivocal emphasis placed on the culture before the strategy can be formulated.
It is for this reason that my Claremont Graduate University professor, the late Peter Drucker, said so long ago, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast!” Many professionals don’t understand this, including a Chief Marketing Officer who wrote about this topic in one of his blogs. Those confused argue against Drucker’s statement and how “culture trumps strategy” and further pontificate that strategy must be aligned with culture. Idealistically, yes. Realistically, not so much…What happens is that networking leads to positions (most especially at the C-Suite level), and it is typically top-leaders who create the “reward band” (i.e. determining who gets promoted), and that is usually how the tone is set of unwritten rules of behavior. Those behavioral expectations set into motion a shift into what becomes the organizational culture.
Successful organizations have a visceral, palpable culture which permeates all managerial levels (i.e. Inclusion); otherwise, there can be a no definable, sure-fire strategy. They will probably have a number of full-time recruiters working in-house to attract top talent, but they will certainly not be able to retain their talent– either by resignation or fiscal failure. The key is having the leaders set the example and that begins by addressing the drivers (see my blog on “How Fear Interferes in the Workplace”).
Allow me to provide some concrete examples that differentiate culture from strategy. First, what is culture? Culture is a set of beliefs, behaviors, and values performed by a collected group of individuals. This parallels my blogs on Thoughts, Actions, and Emotions (not to mention Jim Rohn’s Philosophy, Action, and Attitude). Second, what is strategy? Strategy is a plan of action designed to reach a particular goal.
MILITARY EXAMPLE. The strategy for the military would be their military plan, which entails which resources to procure, which techniques/commands for soldiers to employ, etc. The military culture is tough and committed to team loyalty. If the military attracts soldiers per their culture, then their strategy would work. If they recruit those who start but don’t finish, who crumble easily, and who are highly individualistic without regard for a soldier left behind, then the strategy would not work.
BEST PRACTICE CORPORATE EXAMPLE. Southwest Airlines was founded by flamboyant Herb Kelleher. Their strategy is a business plan which entails how to keep their planes in the air, filled with passengers, and easy for mechanics to maintain. Their culture is casual/informal (e.g. shorts, funny songs, jokes, and bags of peanuts thrown down the aisles), egalitarian (e.g. male and Baby Boomer flight attendants, pilots are not superior to cabin staff), and cost-focused (e.g. only one style of plane, no meals). Their recruitment begins with observing the prospective employee or candidate-for-hire as they board the plane heading for the interview. If the candidate fits the culture, then s/he, unknowingly, makes it through the first round. If Southwest Airlines were to recruit those who are stoic, formal, and hierarchical, then the strategy would not work. Why? Because it’s too far of a cultural stretch for the new employees to unlearn their natural and conditioned behavior.
FAILED CORPORATE EXAMPLE. Most companies choose to state as a “strategy” that they are to be the “best” at their product/service. Without stating specifically and concretely WHAT that looks like, HOW it is measured, WHICH action steps are to be taken, “to be the best” is simply empty rhetoric. Their “culture” is false propaganda aimed as a lame attempt to market the organization as an industry leader and/or to attract top talent. For example, the culture could proclaim to be “family, health, and innovative.” Reality may be that the “family” includes scores of “Cinderellas” and ugly stepchildren, “health” is recognized for the favorites (i.e. emotional health and preferential treatment), and “innovative” is without measure (i.e. subjective). This type of company lacks culture, and suffers from severe fragmentation and high attrition.
1. Employee Engagement Surveys serve no value if the objective is to aim for a higher score year after year. Leaders who tout that they must achieve a higher score than the previous year will influence their subordinates to rate a high score and not answer according to perspective. It becomes a ritualistic exercise in futility.
2. Hire a Leadership Development (LD) professional who has studied Organization Development. One per every 300-400 employees is advisable. S/He can conduct a cultural analysis, retain confidentiality for employees (i.e. no documentation of conversations), and develop teams. Anthropologist Margaret Mead said all change is possible in small groups.
3. C-Suite executives must have mandatory coaching. This is to avoid corporate bullies who take on defensive/offensive controller behavior(s) of their respective division(s). Either the coaching is performed by an external, in order to avoid repercussions (i.e. termination); or, an internal LD professional who has a contract, and thereby has the assurance to do his/her work without “cloak & dagger” consequences.
4. Provide quality Performance Management Reviews (PMRs). This is a weakness pervasive across America. Most especially at one recent client where the supervisor would proselytize to others to not “Make Stuff Up” but when it came to himself, his defense was that he was fairly intuitive and others had even told him so! For these reasons, he believed he was entitled to make assumptions without inquiry. It would behoove organizations to promote employees with zero direct report experience into supervisory roles, only after they have been thoroughly trained as to how to provide a quality PMR; otherwise, their feedback can be destructive/ineffective behavior that may tear at the fabric of the culture and increase attrition. Using a Behavioral Science tool (e.g. Ntrinsx) should help those supervisors lacking supervisory experience &/or education.
Here are some tips for quality PMRs:
- Feedback has to always be first-hand observation; otherwise, the feedback is gossip and that is not a professional PMRs. Leaders are not susceptible to hear-say.
- It must be non-accusatory and free from condemnation. Separate the action from judging the person. One supervisor took his direct report into a room to say how “embarrassed” he was of her. While the emotion demonstrated is best kept honest, this incident was a reflection of his managerial inadequacies. Supervisory feedback is intended to develop the direct report; it is not an allowance to use the direct report as a target or therapeutic outlet for one’s deficiencies.
- Effective feedback serves as an aid and includes specific actions which are effective, and also provides, as a contrast, specific behaviors that were observed to be ineffective.
- Look in the mirror. This touches upon compassion. Is the criticism provided also information that you can apply to yourself? Or, are you applying a double-standard? If so, you may merit some push back.
- Keep it confidential. This “should” be a no-brainer; however, one supervisor with three direct reports, shared information supplied by one direct report about a second one to the third. This is called “Triangulation,” in Psychology.
- Lastly, nothing should be in writing until Round 2 – this means that feedback must not be a “Surprise! Gotcha!” event. The direct report deserves the professional opportunity to rectify behavior prior to seeing it in black-&-white, ready to be filed away. So, have the courage to have the conversation prior to PMRs to solidify your leadership relationship and abilities.
Be true to who you are, and the rest will follow. Identity is destiny, or suffer the true corporate death.
Rossina Gil, MSOD, MAIS, is a Leadership and Organization Development Practitioner, author, cultural analyst, coach, speaker, and facilitator. CorporateLookingGlass.com.
Jody Hoffer Gittell, The Southwest Airlines Way, (New York, NY: McGraw-Hill, 2005).
Jim Rohn, Five Major Pieces to the Life Puzzle, (Lake Dallas, TX: Jim Rohn Int’l, 1991).