How to foster higher productivity, innovation and creative thinking in your business
If I asked you the question, at work do you have the opportunity to do what you do best every day? What would your answer be?
Research* shows that 20% of our workforce believe they have an opportunity to utilise their strengths every day. Incredible. That means 80% of us are working in a capacity that doesn’t maximise our full human potential.
I don’t blame them. We have been conditioned to focus on our weaknesses. We are hardwired to fix things.
Take me for example. I won the art award every year at school. I had creative flair and loved to express myself in any way shape or form. On the flip side, I was terrible at maths. Really terrible.
Guess what happened? I got a maths tutor.
Did I ever get good at maths? No, I went from terrible to just plain bad. Did I get the opportunity to harness my creative side? Unfortunately, not till much later in my life.
Can you image what would have happened if I had focused on my strengths instead of focusing energy on my weaknesses?
It’s time for a paradigm shift. Instead of focusing on what we need to fix, let’s focus on where we have the most creative energy, unleashing the very essence of human potential.
The Corporate Leadership Council surveyed 19,000 over 30 countries and found that focusing on weaknesses decreases performance by 26.4%. Leaders who focus on strengths and harnessing the potential of their teams increase their performance by 36.4%.
People who use their strengths every day are six times more likely to be engaged on the job
Not only does performance increase, but employees are happier too. When they are operating in a space that they are playing to their strengths, they feel empowered, creative and fulfilled.
As a leader in your business, wouldn’t you want that too?
How can you unlock the only limitless resource we have? How can you create a strengths-based business where your people feel engaged and productive? How can you unlock human potential?
Recruit to strengths
Having worked in recruitment for over a decade, one of the biggest recruitment mistakes I often see is people who recruit to job specifications. It is a tick box exercise where they look for someone who has done the same task but for another company. The problem is, they don’t allow room for growth and that, is where the magic happens.
Imagine if you recruited to strengths. What the person is intuitively talented in, then you gave them an opportunity to develop that talent, to bring innovative ideas, applications and creative energy. Would you get a better outcome? Would you get better results for your customers, your business your people?
When you recruit to strengths, you are playing the long game. You are giving your people an opportunity to shine and grow. In return, your engagement and innovation increases. Tell me why then we don’t do this more often?
Develop on strengths
I’ll ask another question, where is your training budget going? Is it on fixing “problem areas.”
What if you put some of that money into training your leaders on how to harness the talent and strengths of their people? How they can apply an individualistic approach to get the best outcome because we all know that Billy is different from Sue. Imagine what that would do to your people, your customers your business.
It’s time. When you think about it, human potential is the only limitless resource we have. Let’s focus on harnessing our strengths. Focus on unlocking the full potential of our people. Fostering innovation, creativity and productivity. That is the workforce of the future.
Phebe Cho is the founder of Accelus. A new voice in the workplace. One that is helping shape the future of what our work means and what it gives to us. She believes in the power of human potential.
* The Gallup Organisation