An introduction to Heart Management

We imagine a world in which organizations with a healthy Heart are the norm and not the exception. They navigate with integrity and stay the course with ever increasing momentum.

  • THE EXCEPTION
  • HEALTHY HEART
  • THE NORM

However the challenge for leaders to navigate the waves of constant change can seem overwhelming and the course and momentum sometimes gets lost.

WE ASKED OURSELVES, WHY?

Why do the core values written on papers so often seem to contradict what the organization truly values? Why does the greater purpose sometimes seem lost? Why do visions not lead all the way to the destination?

  • WHY
    DO 70%
  • of all change efforts fail according
    to Harvard Business Review. *

We found something surprising…

Imagine if organizations were like self-driving vechicles. Where a destination had been set in the internal navigation system, while at the same time the leadership had put up signs pointing in another direction.

The vehicle will of course disregard the signs and navigate towards the destination set internally.

The captain
of the ship

This inner navigation system is the Organizational Heart. The set destination is the Heart’s inclination, what it’s drawn towards and what it values more than anything else.

The Heart is the actual captain of the ship, carried by the leadership, culture and the organizational story.

What is the Heart?

The organizational Heart can be likened to the non-physical headquarter of the organization. When individuals come together around a shared purpose, idea or a vision, a shared Heart begins to form, and consequently, an organizational culture.

THE HEART IS

NOT

- the nobler part of the organization
- another word for pro bono or not for profit
- an issue you can afford to not care about

Aspects of the heart

Center

The Heart is the creative, intellectual and moral center of the organization, where we define what we believe and value.

ACTIVE

The Heart is active thinking, dreaming, valuing and deciding through the internal relationships and communication within the organization.

Radical

What goes on inside the Heart is just as crucial as the external actions, since the Heart has the ability to corrupt the organization from the inside.

DIRECTIONAL

The Heart always has an inclination, something it’s drawn towards. That inclination is what truly sets the direction of the organization.

Setting the direction

We have defined six capacities of the Heart that we believe are primarily responsible for the direction of the organization. However, they are not optional. Just as individuals always believe and value something (even unconsciously), the organizational Heart always values, envisions and is motivated by something - whether decided by us as leaders or not.

Our worldview, assumptions and beliefs about our organizational identity, our stakeholders and the world around us. Direction: Our Core Beliefs are the lenses we see through to navigate
Our ethical framework and moral compass to discern between right and wrong and value what is more important. Direction: Our value system helps navigate through the tricky and ruthless waves
Our willingness that directs our energy towards our vision and goals. Direction: Our motives give us energy to pursue the journey
Our reason for existing as an organization – WHY and for WHOM we exist. Direction: Our purpose gets us on the journey and sets the direction
Our creative imagination of a desired future – WHERE we are going. Direction: Our vision defines a destination for our journey
Our scope of operations to create our imagined future – HOW and WHAT we are supposed to do. Direction: Our mission defines a route to our destination

Heart Check
The State of the Heart

As with our physical health, a healthy organizational Heart is not a goal we pursue only once. Health is a state that we continually have to focus on attaining. Performing a Heart check on your organization enables you to see the current state of the Heart and understand what is required to bring about lasting change. This process builds unity, resilience and integrity within your leadership, culture and community.

The wise King Solomon (in the Judeo-Christian tradition) wrote thousands of years ago,

"Above all else, guard your Heart for it sets the direction of your life".

The Healthy Heart

In an an organization with a Healthy heart the direction is set by its purpose and vision, fully aligned with its core beliefs, motivations and values. The organization has exceptional clarity, unity and alignment (it is one in Heart). It navigates with integrity and stays the course with ever increasing momentum.

TRUE

It is not hypocritical, saying one thing and doing another.

HONEST

It doesn’t have any ulterior or hidden motivations.

FOCUSED

It is focused on one sole purpose that guides all of its pursuits.

TRANSPARENT

It has nothing hide. The inside is the same as the outside.

The unhealthy Heart

The harsh reality is that many organizations suffer from an unhealthy Heart. We have defined four simple characteristics of an unhealthy Heart that can be helpful in discerning the state of your organization. The good news is that every step you take towards health can bring great results.

RUNNING OUT OF GAS

See the description ->

State of the Heart:

The inclination of the organizational Heart is pointing in the right direction, but there is no alignment or unity as groups of people are pulling in different directions, thus killing the momentum of the organization.

Effect:

Unmotivated employees
Loss of momentum and movement
Division

OFF COURSE

See the description ->

State of the Heart:

The organization has started to value or become motivated by something not in line with its purpose and vision. Along the way, the core beliefs, and even the vision itself, begins to change unintentionally, leading to a loss of direction.

Effect:

Unhealthy culture
Risking loss of purpose
Internal confusion

LOST AT SEA

See the description ->

State of the Heart:

Through the years, the organization has not been able to carry its purpose and vision over to a new generation of leaders. Instead, it clings to its methods and structures, killing creativity.

Effect:

Loss of purpose
Loss of creativity & relevance
Unmotivated employees

SHIPWRECKED

See the description ->

State of the Heart:

Key parts of the organization have lost the values, beliefs and motivations that once guided it through the crashing waves and have resulted in unethical decisions with possibly dire consequences.

Effect:

Internal corruption
Loss of trust
Toxic culture

Leading Heart Change

Heart Management is a framework built on timeless principles, to help you as a leader on the journey towards a healthy Heart. Having healthy direction and being one in Heart are crucial to creating a healthy culture, building engagement, handling change and seeing great long-term results.

It should be a top priority for any senior leader- is it a top priority for you?

McKinsey and CompanyGallup Employee Engagement Survey

“When people understand and are excited about the direction their company is taking, the company’s earnings margin is twice as likely to be above the median.”

Patrick LencioniBestselling author and Consultant at The Table Group

““The single greatest advantage any company can achieve is organizational health. Yet it is ignored by most leaders even though it is simple””

Harvard Business Review Research

““The long-term-focused companies surpassed their short term focused peers on several important financial measures and created significantly more jobs. They also delivered above average returns to shareholders.””

McKinsey & CompanyThe Aligned Organization

““Achieving real alignment, where strategy, goals, and meaningful purpose reinforce one another, gives an organization a major advantage because it has a clearer sense of what to do at any given time, and it can trust people to move in the right direction.””

Erica Ariel FoxBestselling author, Harvard Law School

““..it’s crucial that those who seek to lead powerfully and effectively look at their internal experiences, precisely because they direct how you take action, whether you know it or not.””

Justin WelbyArchbishop of Canterbury

““I don’t believe in good human beings. But I believe you can have structures that make it easier to make the right choice or the wrong choice.””

EYResearch by HBR

“"53% of executives who said their company has a strong sense of purpose said their organization is successful with innovation and transformation efforts, compared with 31 percent of those who are trying to articulate a sense of purpose and 19 percent of the companies who have not thought about it at all." ”

Anna DylągInstitute of Economics and Management

““The results showed an increase in occupational burnout and decrease in work engagement under condition of perceived discrepancy between individual and organizational values at work.””

What’s next?

Your organization has a significant purpose that should be making the world a better place. We are convinced that a healthy Heart and being one in Heart is crucial for it to truly accomplish that purpose. For that reason, we are committed to creating resources and services that can help your organization grow a healthy Heart.

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