Herman Trend Alert: Purpose Driven Companies > Higher Engagement

Herman Trend Alert: Purpose Emerging as Important Driver of Engagement, May 16, 2012

Recently, there has been a dramatic shift in employee attitudes towards work. A new report by global brand consultancy Calling Brands reveals a change in employee attitudes towards work. Related closely to Corporate Social Responsibility, Corporate “Purpose” is emerging as a powerful new driver of attraction, retention, and productivity.

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Patagonia Creates New Business Model

A couple of years ago, Yvon Chouinard—founder of the outdoor—clothing brand Patagonia—gave a talk at a sustainable-fisheries conference in Vancouver. He’d been invited to speak in recognition of Patagonia’s longtime commitment to environmental issues and its reputation as a company that manages to churn out profit while minimizing ecological impact. Chouinard delivered his spiel, but he came away frustrated by the surprising ignorance of his audience. “They didn’t know what they were doing,” he says of the seafood merchants. “They had no idea about toxins, about incidental catch. Their customers are all going to want to know this stuff soon. Restaurants will want to know.”

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Speak Up!

Many I talk to feel American business is losing its completive edge because employees tiptoe around issues and management discourages healthy debate. In an effort to avoid the negative consequences of conflict and to be overly sensitive to others’ feelings we’ve become a nation a risk-avoiders, less a country of bold-innovators.

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A Shift of Focus for Business

92% of millennials say in a survey that a company’s success should be measured by more than profit, and over 50% say they think businesses will have a greater impact than any other societal segment—including government—on solving the world’s biggest challenges. In a survey of more than 1,000 of its employees born after 1981, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu found that when respondents were asked to name three terms that encapsulate the purpose of business, 51% cited societal development and only 39% cited profit.

Space Matters

Our workspace effects our thoughts, attitudes and behavior.  They also effect how we take in and process information.  They may even play a role in how globally competitive we are.

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The Story of One

26 years ago the Challenger shuttle exploded on takeoff and 9 years ago the Columbia shuttle exploded on landing. As tragic as they were, what lessons can these accidents teach us that we can apply in business?

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Positive Emotions Inspire Change—Not Fear

The economy is slowly coming back. But we still face high unemployment, foreclosures and our 401(k)s are still ailing. So in this New Year we’re tentative in our optimism against a backdrop of fear.

Yet, when it comes to making positive change, does fear motivate us or slow us down?

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Success to Significance Leadership Assessment

Commonly used business and leadership models created a 100 years ago are outdated and ineffective in today’s innovation age. To survive and thrive in the 21st century leaders need basic “success” competencies and new “significance” competencies. This assessment will measure both and provide action-oriented recommendations in areas needing more attention.

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