The Chief Energy Officer mindset

The heart has its reasons, which reason does not know.
Blaise Pascal

Ultimately, human performance is a function of human energy, that is reflected in our ‘state of heart’. When our hearts are in more open states, because we feel safe and deeply connected, we naturally execute significantly better and faster, we both collaborate and reconcile more easily, our minds are more open to other’s views and feedback, we connect better with customers, we tend to be more resilient and agile, we attract others to our company. And, vice versa. Human energy goes straight to the bottom line. This is the mindset of ‘Chief Energy Officers’

What is the “State of Heart” of your organization?

Have you ever felt inspired, grateful, excited, lighthearted, confident, curious, optimistic, understanding, compassionate, joyous, serene or even peaceful? When you feel this way, when you are in an open ‘state of heart’, chances are you are naturally and distinctively more productive, focused, resilient, accountable, collaborative, creative, courageous, forgiving, open to ideas, able to see possibilities in the challenges; you name it. Being this way didn’t require a training, a book or a motivational speech about “high performance”, “resilience”, “teamwork” or “agility” – you simply had access to your own innate ability to look at what was in front of you in a more healthy, productive way; effortlessly.

Vice versa, it’s likely that at times you and people you lead will experience more closed ‘states of hearts’, i.e. feelings such as worry, anxiety, insecurity, irritation, bother, anger, or even resentment. Whilst feeling this way is simply part of being human, chances are that when you experience these states you have less energy available, you’re acting in less effective ways and have less perspective on the situation you need to deal with.

In both instances, the company’s purpose, strategy, market conditions, and stakeholders, as well as the style, competence and experience of your colleagues, employees and yourself haven’t changed. Nor have the core change initiatives, or your organisation’s systems, processes, and policies. What has changed, is the way you looked at them.

Human performance is a function of human energy, reflected in our ‘state of heart’, because we see, think and act differently depending on how we feel. More than anything else, how people feel on a daily is in my view the single most important factor that determines the quality of every email, phone call, meeting, decision, and action aiming at enacting your purpose, strategy and underpinning initiatives – 24/7, 365 days a year.

Our ability to transform and renew our organisations is, in essence, a function of our commitment and ability to serve in ways that awaken and replenish higher frequency energies, transform lower forms of human energy when they occur, and focus the available human energy around a shared and heartfelt purpose. When lower forms of energy are the norm, or if the energy is not connected around a meaningful purpose, nothing much of significance is likely to be achieved or sustained – inspite of any intellectual and financial resources available.

Becoming a Chief Energy Officer

If you looked at the quantity and quality of human energy in your organization as the single most important asset, if you considered yourself the “Chief Energy Officer”:

  • How would you describe the prevailing “states of heart” in your team and organization?
  • In which way is the current energy supporting or limiting your organization’s ability to truly fulfill its purpose, strategies, operations and programmes, and adapt quickly when needed?
  • 12 months from now, if people were asked by their best friend ‘how do you truly feel at work?’, what would want them to say? Why? What would be the business impact of them feeling that way?
  • To which extent are we intentionally and systematically helping our people to access and replenish all their sources of energy, i.e. physical (body), emotional (heart), mental (mind) and purpose (soul)? If not much, why does that make sense to us at the moment?
  • Are your leaders ‘net-positive’? Are they usually creating more positive energy than they consume? To which extent is our leadership committed to transforming our collective human energy from lower forms, such as worry, anger, irritation or resentment into higher ones such as hope, compassion, and inspiration?
  • In which ways are our policies and procedures currently either nurturing or limiting human energy in our organization?

If everyone in your organization considered themselves to be ‘Chief Energy Officers’, if this commitment would inform their daily choices, what would that do for your business?

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