Category Archives: Baldwin Tom

Harness the Power of Spiritual Investments in Your Business

By Baldwin Tom

Badlwin Tom-spiritual investmentsThere are seven types of investments available to every organization, and each has its use in growing a business. Organizations grow or die with investments. Used poorly or ignored, investments can destroy a business. Of all the investments, spiritual capital is special. Spiritual capital is the single investment that catalyzes all of the others. When there is robust investment on the spiritual side within an organization, there are significant transformative changes possible because, not only do people care about their jobs and the company, people also want to contribute beyond their job descriptions. Spiritual capital not only serves as a catalyst for other investments, it serves as an internal power source to motivate people to work harder and smarter for an organization. This in turn creates energy in organizations along with positive results that follow.

How is the word spiritual defined? It is not defined in a religious context, nor part of an organized belief system. From various sources, this is spiritual: It is about emotional or intellectual energy or intensity, especially as revealed in a work of art or artistic performance; it has to do with human personality—intellect, will, and emotions; it consists of mind, character, thoughts, and feelings; and in Christian circles, one considers mind, will, and emotion as a definition of the soul of a person.If leaders build a culture around what is meaningful for their people, there is a high potential for new energy release leading to creativity and innovation Click To Tweet

Can we suggest that when investing in spiritual capital, one is engaging the soul of an organization? It is no wonder that spiritual capital investments have tremendous impact in and on organizations. The catalytic potential of spiritual capital is broad. For example, when spiritual capital is coupled with human capital, the investments support enhanced leadership and management, and support a competitive edge from people who build intellectual capital with social interactions that lead to fostering collaborations. When spiritual capital and relationship capital are invested, the culture of an organization is altered to favor resiliency as this generates a culture of caring and support for each other—establishing a desirable workplace. In a real way, it is about taking care of people so they care about the organization and its customers. There is tremendous creative energy in such environments. Just look at some of the technology companies where the norm is to provide employee-friendly needs, like food, health, rest and recreation, at no additional cost to the employee—and during the work day at that! Think Google.

In addition to the organizational implications, a most important aspect of spiritual capital investment is that it encourages people to action. People act from a spiritual foundation with higher motivations in doing good rather than making money. It is about long-term benefits rather than short-term profits. It’s about improving the quality of life. It’s about making a difference in peoples’ lives as a primary goal. Sounds like that’s how the current millennial generation is characterized, where accumulating material things is not a focus, but on spiritual capital that provides internal nourishment.

Interesting observation: The healthcare industry has been legislated to move from a fee-based (monetary-focus) to a value-based (people-focused) compensation system. This is looking like moving to spiritual capital investments from financial investments of the past. This is a good thing.

How do Spiritual Capital investments keep giving?

  • Self-sustaining: As the aspects of spiritual capital become embedded in the DNA of an organization, those new norms continue to remind people what the organization stands for and is willing to do to support their efforts. Everything that leadership does, by their words and actions, in an organization that values people leads to a confidence that peoples’ efforts in helping to do better will be appreciated. This belief is contagious and will spur others to do likewise. For example, if people are acknowledged and/or rewarded for taking initiatives to improve products, services, or processes, such recognition becomes a powerful incentive to do it yet again. Everyone loves a pat on the back from time to time. Benefit? Employees love working here because they are respected for who the are and what they can do. Leadership loves working here because they have highly motivated staff who they know will do what it takes to improve on what they do.
  • Self-leveraging: The high energy and high morale that results from successful high-level efforts is infectious. This spurs others to also step out beyond their comfort zones in support of the organization and its customers. In life, competition is built into our personalities. If you can do it, I can do it too! Even if an effort falls short of expectations, there is no reprimand, just guidance to do better next time. In an ideal work environment, our innate desire to please our superiors creates a pattern of continuous improvement, as each success is recognized. Benefit? Employees believe that this is a place where they can grow and advance as long as they take the initiative to help themselves excel. When people see a future, they are happier employees.
  • Renewable energy: Each time a person engages in this environment, they know they are supported and are valued. This understanding reminds them of the support that will come from the organization and rekindles their willingness to do more. Success breeds success! Renewable power is stored in an organization from the energy generated by the efforts of those who stepped out to improve their condition beyond their job description. New energy is created by others when they believe that the organization is consistent and will continue to honor its ways to support the environment established by investing in spiritual capital. When the organization helps employees to succeed, employees help the organization to better serve their customers. A clear win-win scenario!
  • Fills (supports, energizes) the soul: The collective energy permeates the organization and is captured in its processes, procedures, interactions, events, and standard operating procedures. The culture becomes one of doing good for people while doing well financially, a collective win for all concerned. An overall feeling of well-being is created when there is coherency in values and belief—when walking-the-talk and talking-the-walk are in synchrony. There is a strong positive feeling working in an organization where one does not have to be guarded in what they say and do. An organization that has strong spiritual capital investments exudes positive vibes to everyone concerned. Visitors can feel the positive nature of the environment. Benefit? Employees love working here because they have pride in what the organization stands for and how it helps people, including themselves. Leadership loves working here because there is satisfaction in seeing people they lead excel.

It is clear that if leaders build a culture around what is meaningful for their people, there is a high potential for new energy release leading to creativity and innovation. Effectively, focusing on building spiritual capital brings into alignment the values of the people and those of the enterprise. This catalyzes your company for transformational change—ultimately moving to new plateaus of success.

Baldwin Tom is a management consultant, professional speaker, and author of 1+1=7: How Smart Leaders Make 7 Investments to Maximize Value. A medical school scientist, professor, leadership program developer, and founder of an award winning science and technology firm, he leverages his experiences in those fields to provide insight and strategies to fit client needs. Baldwin is a Certified Management Consultant and served as the National Board Chair of the Institute of Management Consultants USA. For more information on Baldwin Tom, please visit www.geoddgroup.com.

The New Super Heroes: Introducing The Intangibles

By Baldwin Tom

Baldwin Tom-The IntangiblesThere are seven capital investments available for organizations to build value and wealth. These capital investments are Human, Relationship, Spiritual, Customer, Organizational, Physical, and Financial.

In the 1980 winter Olympics in Lake Placid, the U.S. Men’s Ice Hockey team won the gold medal. In order for them to win gold, they had to beat the Soviet Union team ranked 1 in the world. They beat the Soviets on their way to winning the gold in a game that was called the Miracle on Ice. The odds against them winning were the same as if the University of California football team beat the Philadelphia Eagles Super Bowl champions. Impossible!

How did this happen? One can assume that it was not because they skated better than the Soviets. The U.S. team was composed of college students and the Soviets were semi-professionals. Instead, it was some intangible force. Here is a clue: The U.S. coach invested heavily on the intangible side into the team members. He instilled in them aspects of Human, Relationship, and Spiritual capitals. The team took to heart what they heard—they believed. The result of the infusion of these capitals was a powerful Return on Investment of some psychic power that allowed the team to rise above expectations to beat the ‘unbeatable’ Soviet team. The effort by the U.S. team was considered by the International Ice Hockey Federation as the most incredible international ice hockey story in the last 100 years! There is power investing in intangibles.

Of the seven investments available to organizations, the five people-side investments are the most interesting. Three of these can be considered as the new super heroes powering success in organizations—The Intangibles. The three are Human, Relationship, and Spiritual investments. These three set up the other investments and the organization for success. They clear the way, they prepare the path, they set the stage, they provide the spark, and they stay the course to provide significant multipliers for high ROI.Character comes from the inside. Invest in people and their relationships to build strong teams. Click To Tweet

The Intangibles, when deployed as investments, create energy and activate others toward positive action. Each of the three super heroes has distinct personalities based on their actions. Each has unique powers in what they initiate in others. Each one will leverage existing opportunities to benefit the organization and to increase ROI from their efforts. The Intangibles interact with each other and with different other investment combinations to create value and wealth for organizations.

Super Hero 1. Human capital investments: Invest in the capabilities of people, their knowledge, skills, and competencies.

Human investments possess a driver type personality. Their uniqueness is in their direct action on people to energize, encourage, and support work. The actions may involve new education, advanced training, and psychological support. Through activities of human capital investments, people are more able and prepared to take on new tasks and to be more creative and innovative. From this, people are more satisfied with their work and look forward to new challenges. Accordingly, the investment of human capital generates positive ROI.

When human capital investments are teamed with customer investments it leads to creativity and innovation and new products and services. When this investment is teamed with Organizational investments, it leads to new intellectual property and corporate memory. When Human capital investments are teamed with Relationship investments it creates high performance teams.

Super Hero 2. Relationship capital investments: Link people together for interactions that leverage power and influence.

Relationship capital investments involve influencer type personalities. The strength of this investment is focused on people—in linking people together. Relationship capital investments help build meaningful interactive groups, create bonding of personnel, and foster can-do mindsets. Relationship investments effectively build strength through numbers. High performing teams result from the activities of Relationship capital investments. The results from Relationship investments include facilitated and accelerated actions throughout the organization and with customers and a boost in ROI.

When Relationship capital investments are teamed with Customer investments, this leads to partnering with customers. When this investment is teamed with Spiritual capital investments, it leads to satisfied people willing to work hard for the organization.

Super Hero 3. Spiritual capital investments: Establish cultural norms that smooth work flow and facilitate people and customer relationships.

Spiritual capital investments have social type personalities. This Super Hero is not demanding or pushy. Spiritual capital is subtle but significant when in place. It’s a lot like spraying WD-40 on all work because the result of Spiritual capital is a smoother and easier effort in getting work done. The efforts of Spiritual capital investments are to support the personal side of peoples’ efforts that engender peace of mind and a sense of accomplishment, of satisfaction. The result of this is that people feel valued leading to higher personal motivation and willingness to contribute more.

When Spiritual investments are teamed with Organizational investments, the results lead to refining cultural norms and ethical decision making. When Spiritual capital investments are paired with Relationship investments, it leads to an ethical workplace that fosters positive group chemistries and greater resiliency within an organization. When Spiritual capital is teamed with Human capital it promotes caring and committed people, willing to go the extra mile. When Spiritual investments are teamed with Customer investments, the result fosters value-based customer relations

Investing on the soft-side intangibles provides the intestinal fortitude to overcome internal and external challenges. Character comes from the inside. Invest in people and their relationships to build strong teams. Invest in team-focused spiritual capital to build loyalty and bonding, resulting in strong character. When opportunities arise or challenges surface, the people will do whatever it takes to help move the ball forward. Focusing on the intangibles strengthens an organization, giving it a solid core and foundation.

In 1990, the Wallace Company won the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. Started in 1987, the award has been given annually to up to three U.S. companies who have implemented successfully quality management systems. Surprisingly, just two years after the award, Wallace filed for bankruptcy. Following the award, instead of working to turn around an already troubled company, top Wallace officials spent time leading tours through their offices and leaving town on speaking tours. Clearly Wallace did everything it could to win the award. Yet, in the end, they lost it all. There is a lesson here. What did they invest in and what did they miss investing in? It’s possible that they did not invest sufficiently in the intangibles. They needed The Intangibles!

 

Baldwin Tom is a management consultant, professional speaker, and author of 1+1=7: How Smart Leaders Make 7 Investments to Maximize Value. A medical school scientist, professor, leadership program developer, and founder of an award winning science and technology firm, he leverages his experiences in those fields to provide insight and strategies to fit client needs. Baldwin is a Certified Management Consultant and served as the National Board Chair of the Institute of Management Consultants USA. For more information on Baldwin Tom, please visit www.geoddgroup.com.

1+1=7! Leveraging Intangibles for Business Wealth

By Baldwin Tom

Every day, businesses lose money by not understanding or leveraging their investments. When one considers the financials of organizations, it is clear that a significant portion of those investments are not captured in financial statements. Why? Because these are the people-side or soft-side intangible investments the accounting industry has yet to document. This may be a reason one views these same intangibles as not of significant value.

But your intangible investments can be just as valuable as those that appear on your quarterly report.Judicious investing on the people side components when paired with task side investments yields significant ROI. Click To Tweet

The Magnificent 7

There are seven capital investments available to every organization. Two are strictly on the task or tangible work side and five are focused on people and what they produce. This means that five of the seven, or 71 percent, of all capital investments are on the people, or the soft (intangible) side of the equation. Not surprisingly, there is hidden wealth and power buried in these people-side investments. When people work together, such as in teams, there is powerful leveraging such that 1+1 is no longer 2, but is more like 1+1=7.

As a simple means to frame the seven investments, all work and efforts can be separated into two components—Task side and People side. The Task side encompasses tangibles such as hard issues and assets, work to be done, things, structures and fixtures. The People side is comprised of the intangibles like soft issues and assets, those who do the work, interactions, teamwork, culture and norms.

Task Side (Tangibles)

  1. Financial Investments: Financial capital is the monetary currency used to run the business by purchasing materials/resources and investing in people to facilitate its success. There is little mystery here. Financial capital is one of two currencies of exchange between people who do the work and the work they do. The other currency of exchange on the intangible side is spiritual capital.
  2. Physical Investments: Physical capital is represented in fixed materials needed for products and services. This includes tangible machinery, buildings, equipment, computers, together with land and labor. The benefit of timely investments here is so the enterprise remains competitive. Importantly, a commensurate investment on the people side—either in human, relationship, and/or customer capital—is necessary to maximize ROI.

People Side (Intangibles)

  1. Human Investments: Investing in human capital is an easy one. Just as with physical capital investments, without upgrades, technology becomes slow and/or obsolete. It is the same with people; you need continuous upgrades. Training, coaching, education, mentoring, and internships are obvious ways to increase people’s value. Importantly, the value of this investment spreads throughout an enterprise—in organizational capital (patents, processes, procedures), physical capital (innovative products and services), spiritual capital (morale, work satisfaction), and relationship capital (teamwork, customer relations).
  2. Relationship Investments : One of the most valuable assets in an organization is relationships. Value is derived from this investment daily from leveraging people’s interactions. It’s about power and influence. The network of relationships (people inside and outside the organization) that interact with a business represents a significant resource. Building relationship capital delivers a host of ROI benefits resulting from a higher level of trust in products, sales, customer retention, and even resolving disagreements. The multiplier for ROI may appear small, but secondary impact and synergies of relationships can be huge.
  3. Spiritual Investments: Spiritual capital in a business is derived from the values created by an organization’s leadership. With a great deal of spiritual capital, there is ethical decision-making built into a value-based culture where the goal is less shareholder gain and more gain for customers and stakeholders. The culture engendered energizes and enriches the human spirit, fostering social connectedness and personal satisfaction. It spurs people to go the extra mile. It is about ethical leadership and how people are treated. It is about consistency in leadership, i.e., no surprises. Such investments include a conscious effort to build a family culture that honors and supports each other.
  4. Customer Investments: Customer capital is the relationship value a business builds with its customers. This goes beyond customer loyalty and includes customer feedback to the business, and partnering with the customer to produce new products and services. Value also manifests in the form of referrals and great press about the business from customers. Every executive recognizes the importance of paying attention to the customer. But just being nice (sending holiday cards or gifts) is only a beginning when it comes to enhancing ROI. Making efforts to partner with the customer is the ideal investment.
  5. Organizational Investments: Organizational capital represents the value of an enterprise derived from mostly intangible assets such as processes, procedures, systems, patents, trade secrets, reputation, brand and intellectual property. Organizational investment is a most important investment leaders can make because this is where the memory of the enterprise resides. Building, investing in, and maintaining one’s brand and reputation and protecting intellectual property (trade secrets, patents, processes, and procedures) are critical to sustaining the enterprise. This is where one protects the knowledge, skills, and expertise from being lost when talented people depart from the organization.

Intangibles Control Business Success

As a means to discern which of the Magnificent 7 investments were most critical in a merger or acquisition, the corporate, healthcare, and the accounting industries were studied. In nearly every merger, success or failure was predicated on alignment or misalignment of culture between the merging entities. Culture in the Magnificent 7 schema is established within the collective investments of Human, Relationship, and Spiritual capitals. These people-side intangible investments reinforce the notion that soft-side investments have significant impact in generating success or failure in a business.

How do you discover and leverage hidden wealth in your organization? Here are the steps:

  1. Inventory your investments: Identify the investment areas you are focused on.
  2. Pair investments: Match any task side investment with a people side one. Thus, if you invest in new technology, be sure to invest in training for personnel.
  3. Set goals for each investment: Determine goals and completion dates for each investment.
  4. Determine where you are now: Track the success of reaching investment goals.
  5. Monitor progress toward goals: Evaluate the investments and how you are doing in achieving goals. Make corrections or change course as needed.
  6. Celebrate success: Reinforce success to encourage new efforts.
  7. Repeat steps 1-6

There is no doubt that judicious investing on the people side components when paired with task side investments yields significant ROI. Leveraging the intangibles accentuates power, creativity, innovation and thereby new products, services, and thus value generation and wealth in organizations!

Baldwin Tom is a management consultant, professional speaker, and author of 1+1=7: How Smart Leaders Make 7 Investments to Maximize Value. A medical school scientist, professor, leadership program developer, and founder of an award winning science and technology firm, he leverages his experiences in those fields to provide insight and strategies to fit client needs. Baldwin is a Certified Management Consultant and served as the National Board Chair of the Institute of Management Consultants USA. For more information on Baldwin Tom, please visit www.geoddgroup.com.