Archive for the ‘Positive psychology’ Category

I just retweeted a tweet by Rob Markey passed on by my colleague Jacob Bøtter that said “If every company built its discipline on the Net Promoter Score, the world would be a better place” – Graham Button #nps2011“.

Without going into the ins and outs of the Net Promoter Score (NPS) it’s a unique way to measure, not customer satisfaction, but customer loyalty. It starts with one simple question: “On a scale from 0-10 how likely are you to recommend our company to a friend or a colleague?”. People answering 9 and 10 are promoters, 7 and 8 are passives and 6 and below are detractors. The stats prove it. Promoters are your ambassadors and allies; they actively and joyfully promote your company to friends, colleagues and family. Passives do none of all that and detractors actively engage in slandering your company.

We’ve used it for a while at Wemind and more than anything else it’s one of the best ways to engage everybody in dazzling our customers. It really changes behavior – and it starts with the employees. Said John Mackey, founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market: “Business is simple. Management’s job is to take care of employees, The employees’ job is to take care of the customers. Happy customers take care of the shareholders. It’s a virtuous [not a vicious] circle.”

Being involved in impressing customers and exceeding their expectations is such a rewarding activity that it has the potential to inspire and motivate us to whole news levels. Knowing that the customer will feel the same, will indeed make the world a better place.

Warning: The following statement is rubbish. As soon as you’ve read it, please erase it from your memory :)

“Twitter and social networks cost UK businesses over £1.38 billion per year in lost productivity”. This recent quote from a survey by Morse, a UK based IT consulting company, doesn’t even deserve to be referenced, except it has now appeared in newspapers worldwide. Companies who wish to lose their employee mojo, go ahead and follow Morse’s advice. Those who want to continue to attract the Y Generation, the Digital Natives, forget you ever read that statement.

As I have already mentioned in my earlier blogs about the topic, Digital Natives, and the rest of us really, expect to be able to check our Facebooks, our online bank account statements and book our weekend trips any time we want. But hold on, we also prepare customer presentations at 11 o’clock at night. We do that if we’re passionate about our jobs.

The real world example is Google and their 20 percent time. Google offers their engineers “20-percent time” so that they’re free to work on what they’re really passionate about. Google Suggest, AdSense for Content and Orkut are among the many products of this perk.

Just consider this: How many hours of lost productivity do you think Google has each year on that account? It’s around $400,000,000. And do you think Google considers it “lost productivity”? Or is it their mojo?

I recently watched this video with Daniel Pink. And since then I have been thinking about the real impact of what he’s saying, which is basically this: If your job involves a minimum of cognitive skills, most performance management methods, systems and approaches don’t work. There’s a mismatch between what science knows and what businesses do. Mind-buggling and it really calls for action (or corrective action as we consultants like to call it). Go ahead and watch it. Trust me – it’s worth investing a little time in.

My promise: I intend to find out to what extent this is true, to what extent corporation know about this and to what extent they intend to do something about it.

Until then… these are the 3 motivational words to remember: Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose.

It’s all about attitude

Posted: September 10, 2009 in Positive psychology

Caroline Sunshine WozniackiLast night Caroline Wozniacki made it into her first Grand Slam semifinals at the US Open. An absolutely fantastic accomplishment. But what I think is even more amazing is the way the 19-year old consistently uses her psychology to her advantage. Minutes before yesterday’s match against home favourite, 17-year old Melanie Oudin, reporters asked her how she felt about having the entire home crowd against her and she replied: “They won’t be against me – they’ll just be cheering for Melanie”. An incredibly cool, cheerful and mature statement at a moment when her adrenalin must have been pumping round her body. The type of statement, which has owed her the new nickname “Sunshine” for her consistently positive attitude – both on and off the tennis court.

What Caroline is seemingly mastering to perfection at an early age is called positive psychology and it’s a major science these days. What most people don’t know is that everybody can apply some of the basic techniques and get results almost instantly. Most people tend to focus on overcoming or improving on their weaknesses. In fact, for many years coaches and psychologists focused almost exclusively on “minimizing negativity”. The result was a focus on negative aspects of life. Positive psychology does the exact opposite. It focuses on “maximizing positivity”. That simple change of focus is fundamental and can produce stunning results.

I particularly like the “3 positive things” technique. It’s easy and simple to apply. Buy a small notebook (not the computer version) and start today. Write down 3 positive things (some people call them blessings) every day. It can be anything, big or small, private or business. You can write them down as you go along or you can recap at the end of the day. You’ll find that even the worst possible day will contain at least 3 positive things. Ask yourself why it (the positive thing) happened and what you did to make it happen. It’s called the positive explanatory style for the cause of good things and the goal is to make the positive things:

  • Permanent (so they will keep happening to you)
  • Global (so they will have good repercussions in all areas of your life)
  • Internally generated (so you can take personal credit for them)

By forcing your mind to focus on positive things (even if the whole world is against you), you start shifting your entire outlook on life. I was able to detect the first results after about 1 week – I found that I started looking for positive things and noticing positive things. Experts say it takes about 3 weeks for most people to experience very clear, sustainable results. Three weeks! Think about it – and it will affect the rest of your life.

So what are you waiting for? Get started! You may not win a Grand Slam tournament, but it’s guaranteed to improve your happiness :)