As some may or may not know, we here at Mabbly have been incredibly inspired by the story of Simon Sinek and the way in which he found the ability to convey a message of inspiration and determination with his “start with why” philosophy. Our journey started here, with his TEDTalk that lead to an interview (here) and now our first book, Science of Story. After 500 interviews with companies across all business and industry sectors, we have culminated essentially a case study on the way in which companies are able to discover their “why” and live their purpose throughout their organization.
This process, we believe, is focused around five unique stages: Believe, Discover, Ignite, Express, and Impact. You can read more about these stages and how they fit into an organization’s success here.
Through our research, we have found that the most underestimated stage in a company’s purpose transformation is “Ignition”. Branding and marketing has historically focused on external audiences, customers, and on products and services provided. However, what about the people that ARE your company? This is where “Ignition” falls in.
What we’ve found is that organizations resonate with our findings of “Purpose Inspires, Values Guide” and it was natural for us to as the simple question of “How do you live your values?” From this question two groups quickly emerged:
The Minority: Let’s refer to them as progressive companies; they didn’t just perk up at the question, it felt as if we hit on something deeply profound and important to them. They spoke feverishly about the many creative ways they are bringing values to life. From stories of celebration to daily huddles, living their values was more than an afterthought, living their values was the DNA of their organization. Typically, when they finished sharing their experience, they asked “what do you guys see as the future of culture within progressive companies,” they were engaged in how to continue to better themselves.
The Majority: For the vast majority of companies we asked, the overall sentiment was grounded in “our values are stated on our website and our charismatic leader address them quarterly/annually”. We are fans of research done on “The Value of Corporate Culture” and we agree, these companies have “advertised values”. These companies aren’t taking their values to the next level to encourage active engagement from internal and external stakeholders.
Hearing over and over again that the vast majority of companies believed their values to be a quarterly or annual discussion hit us hard. What is the next frontier in workplace culture? What are the ways we can bring values to life beyond just a mission statement on a website.
What does it mean to be an innovative organization within the realms of workplace culture? The Ford Company revolutionized the workforce with a 40 hour work week; Boeing was the first to remove tobacco from their offices. Where will progressive companies take their committed tribes?
Our next destination became positive psychology as we explored a fairly new sector of the field in relation to company culture and organizational success. From Shawn Achor’s TedTalk and book, to our discussions with Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, PhD., we have conducted in-depth research on the science and found staggering results regarding employee engagement. In addition, we started to notice opportunities to bring human sciences as “how” we can bring values to life within an organization.
The age old tale of Maslow and the Hierarchy of Needs resurfaced and we asked the question, “is it time for organizations to satisfy the full hierarchy of needs for their people?” Pandora’s box had been opened.
Science of Values
With these experiences and research, we have found that purpose inspires, values guide, and habits define. ProHabits Research aims to prove that actionable values are profitable. The moment that we prove it, the world at work will change. We will finally move the needle in US disengagement rates which is currently at 70% of the workforce and we will raise the bar beyond engagement.
From ProHabits founder, Adam Fridman, and Pamela Stroko, Vice President of Human Capital Management Transformation and Thought Leadership at Oracle, the newest addition to the Science of Story lineup comes Science of Values, an in-depth look at the way in which companies are expanding, living, and growing through their values on a day-to-day basis. With her experience in growing employee engagement and purpose transformation, we’re excited to launch a project with her expertise coupled with our research to better transform the idea of workplace culture as we know it.
It will take a village, but what we’re doing has the potential to have a greater effect on the workplace than anyone can imagine. Breaking this frontier will take the most progressive companies to come together and build a more meaningful set of values and we’re excited to see where it takes us.