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Organizations, Traumas, and Transformations

I recently hosted Michelle Wagner, the CEO of Mindstrong, an organization transforming the mental health industry, on my podcast, Know Your True Self. During our discussion, she talked about traumatic experiences that people go through and how sometimes they choose not to address them but rather sweep them under the rug. As a result, we get very lumpy rugs, causing long-term emotional distress, worry, anxiety, and other destructive thought frequencies that throw us out of balance, causing people to live at low levels of consciousness.

In the business world, we often forget that our organizations have a consciousness, one made up of the people that come to work every day to help create products, sell services, and so on. Organizations deal with traumatic experiences just like people do because people are the core of every company. Reorganizations, layoffs, toxic employees, negative PR, and challenging cultural moments all impact employees, and far too often, rather than adequately addressing these situations with proper action, they are swept under the rug, leaving the workplace perpetually out of balance.

We also can't ignore the underlying traumatic experience of the pandemic that the entire global workforce is still healing from. Do you remember when people created makeshift desks of ironing boards, boxes, and other household artifacts? The intention was to create a short-term solution until the lockdown was over and then return to the office. But that didn't happen; instead, our respective living spaces became places of work, integrated with our lives.

It's hard to believe that years have passed since the home office pop-up became a permanent fixture. Fast forward to today, and many industries are finding it difficult to get people back into the office or even understand what its purpose should be moving forward. There is no one size fits all answer, still, believe it or not, going back into the office can be traumatic. Hopefully, nothing too severe; however, after so much time adapting to working from home, having to readjust again can feel overwhelming, especially in the face of a mental health crisis.

This moment in time reminds me of the famous quote from Napoleon Hill, who stated, "Every Adversity, Every Failure, Every Heartbreak, Carries With It The Seed Of An Equal Or Greater Benefit." That's the beautiful thing about transformations. We evolve because the old way does not serve us anymore, and we create new ways of thinking and doing to replace them. Now is the time for organizations to shift from being reactive to external conditions and become proactive in shaping the future of organizational culture.

This is a ripe opportunity for humanity. We have the chance to change why and how we do business. That said, for many organizations, it's time to do some soul-searching to meet the needs of today's workforce. According to a Deloitte Insights report, purpose-driven companies gain higher market share and grow three times faster on average than their competitors, all while achieving workforce and customer satisfaction. In other words, when people feel connected with a company's vision, mission, and values, those within the collective consciousness prosper.

Now let's get back to the how. PWC's Global Culture Survey of 3,200 leaders and employees worldwide found that 66% of C-suite executives and board members believe culture is more critical to performance than the organization's strategy or operating model. For most companies, the pandemic shattered company culture, and that's a good thing because, for some, culture was simply an illusion created by cool office spaces rather than authentic connections, collaboration, and community.

So what's the solution? How do we restore balance to the workplace? Every transformation needs a starting point; for many organizations, where to begin can feel overwhelming. We recommend addressing three key pillars and determining what actions to take. Please use this outline as a roadmap to help guide your company's evolution.

Organizational Transformation

  • Assess the workplace

  • Define organizational essence

  • Awaken leadership teams

  • Map the engagement plan

Cultural Transformation

  • Communicate change

  • Activate cultural initiatives

  • Foster inclusivity/collaboration

  • Celebrate achievements

Employee Transformation

  • Instill meaning and purpose

  • Improve self-awareness

  • Promote holistic balance

  • Provide Performance Tools

Now is a crucial time for many companies, and those that don't take the necessary steps to evolve will become obsolete. If you need help, please reach out to us. We're proud to announce that with PTNL's new partnership with Sageworx, we have end-to-end transformation teams that love helping organizations realize their potential.

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