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The Currency of Empathy — The Missing Link to Innovation and Inclusion

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By Jackie Acho

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The Currency of Empathy — The Missing Link to Innovation and Inclusion

  1. 1. The Currency of EmpathyThe Missing Link to Innovation and Inclusion Jacqueline Acho, Ph.D. President, The Acho Group Lightening Round Presentation CEO’s for Cities National Conference Cincinnati, Ohio; May 17, 2012
  2. 2. WHAT IS INNOVATION?• Individual and collective creativity• Translating creative ideas into practical new products, services, business models, etc.• Sustainable growth and renewal, managed concurrently across 3 “horizons”1• Disruptive technologies and ideas which shift whole industries – creative destruction• Changing the course of human events1Baghai, Coley, and White; McKinsey & Co, The Alchemy of Growth; 20002 Christensen and Raynor, The Innovator’s Solution, 2003
  3. 3. WHAT IS INCLUSION?• Beyond compliance, diversity, and equity…• Inclusion is “creating an environment where employees perceive a sense of efficacy, belonging, and value, and where they can lead in driving organizational success”1• Participation economy1Professor Diana Bilimoria, Weatherhead/CWRU KeyBank Chairing Ceremony, May 2012
  4. 4. Innovation and Inclusion – How are We Doing?• “The top-performing 1% of companies create 40% of new jobs.”1• 1 out of 10 companies sustain above average growth and innovation – Sustaining above average shareholder returns for more than a few years 2 – Exceeding the growth of their industry for a decade 3• Inclusion of Women4: – 46.6% U.S. labor force – 16.1% F500 Board Seats – 3.6% F500 CEOs• Inclusion of African Americans5 – 1% of F500 CEOs 1 Kauffman Foundation, High Growth Firms and the Future of the American Economy, March 2010 2 Christensen and Raynor, The Innovator’s Solution, 2003 3 Baghai, Coley, and White; McKinsey & Co, The Alchemy of Growth; 2000 4 Catalyst, May 2012 5 CNNMoney, March 2012
  5. 5. What is Empathy? “The ability to understand and act upon the feelings of another” 3 parts: cognitive, affective, and moral “Zero positive” = autism and Asperger’s Syndrome “Zero negative” = narcissist, borderline, psychopath Can come with unfettered pattern recognition/ systems thinking Empathy can be measuredSource: The Science of Evil: on Empathy and the Origins of Cruelty, Simon Baron-Cohen
  6. 6. A Missing Link and Undervalued Currency - EmpathyA working definition of organizational empathy:A systemic ability and willingness to discern andact on the emotions of other human beings in away that results in mutual growth.
  7. 7. Empathy Enables a Positive Cycle of Innovation and Inclusion •Innovation requires change •Change is hard •Requires rewiring of brain Currency •Requires fear, Inclusion of Innovation loss, and even pain Empathy •Creativity is often preceded by frustration •Empathy helps people move through suffering/pain/fear/ frustration •Co-celebration of success is also an empathetic response
  8. 8. Empathy Enables a Positive Cycle of Innovation and Inclusion•Inclusion requiresbeing able to hearwhat others contribute•True inclusionrequires that peoplefeel safe and able tocommunicate disparate Inclusion Currency of Innovationviews•Inclusion requires Empathyrecognition of value ineach human people•Empathy puts you in aposition to do all of theabove
  9. 9. Empathy Enables a Positive Cycle of Innovation and Inclusion •Connections across disparate sources are increasingly the source of modern creativity •See a difference in how federal granting system require collaboration Currency Inclusion of Innovation Empathy •Accommodating diversity is easier in growing environments which have more “pie” for everyone versus shrinking ones
  10. 10. INNOVATIVE ORGANIZATIONS STEWARD THE “CURRENCY OF EMPATHY” BY SYSTEMIZING INTERACTIONS THAT HONOR 3 BASIC HUMAN NEEDS 1. IS THERE A BIGGER VISION HERE NO ONE PERSON CAN ACCOMPLISH ALONE, AND DO I MAKE A DIFFERENCE? - SYSTEMATICALLY HONOR THE HUMAN DESIRE TO WORK FOR SOMETHING BIGGER IN COLLABORATION WITH OTHERS (~8 things) 2. CAN I GROW HERE? – 3. CAN I LEAD AND STILL PROVIDE THE BE WHOLE HERE? – OPPORTUNITY FOR TRULY HARDWIRE YOUR CULTURE EXCELLENT PROFESSIONAL TO SUPORT IDENTITY AND DEVELOPMENT (~8 things) SUSTAINABLE BALANCE BETWEEN WORK AND LIFE (~9 things)
  11. 11. 1. WORKING FOR SOMETHING BIGGER IN COLLABORATION WITH OTHERSTypical ExceptionalVision and mission statements whose Vision and mission which drive to but beyondultimate goal is profit/shareholder value profit/shareholder valueNumerical goals Goals with a “human face” - that help people in some way (customers, community, make the world a better place) – in addition to numbersIndividual goals buried in or Clear understanding how my job affects keydisconnected from organizational measures on the performance scorecardperformanceA culture of talking/air time A culture of listeningSystems that support persistent internal Systems that reward personal growth andcompetition (grading on a curve, top- collaboration toward ideals and end goalsgrading)Silos of “diversity” where people are Clear goals of inclusion of diverse people, styles,taught how to conform effectively views, and ideas toward the end of(separate women’s initiatives) innovation/making new connectionsA culture of perfection/judging failure A culture of collective pilots/experiments - trying/failing as opportunities to learnLeadership = title and position Leadership = helping other people grow, delivering value from wherever you sit
  12. 12. 2. CAN I GROW HERE?Typical ExceptionalPerformance goals (yearly metrics and Performance goals + leadership developmentmilestones tied to current role) goals based on a variety of models for success in this organizationAnnual reviews with objective measures Semi-annual reviews which systematize subjectivefor performance, subjective measures of leadership developmentobservations deemed important by bossReview tone = judgment Review tone = growthReview focus = solve issues, fill gaps Review focus = achieving thresholds + what’s special; emerging leadership strengthsNo or occasional 360 feedback (every Regular windows into your “actual self” via~few years), left for individual to upward/360 feedback, and exposure to other self-interpret awareness/preference tools (e.g., MBTI, Kolb) and coaching to explore what they meanAssignments to gain expertise Assignments to gain expertise + experience with servant leaders for high potentialsRewards for hitting your numbers Rewards for hitting your numbers + for servant leadershipUp to the individual to find mentors A culture and system for exposing people to coaches, mentors, champions
  13. 13. CAN I BE WHOLE LEADER HERE?Typical ExceptionalCulture of meetings/updates Meeting when the assembled group is needed to 1) make decisions or 2) inspire a collision of creative thoughts across functions/boundaries“Face time” requirements Clear focus on performance, allowing for flexible delivery appropriate to each job (e.g., working remotely, flexible hours)Few or no role models A variety of role models = people I admire and would like to become at higher levelsA work self and a home self Similar you at work and at homeCommunity work (e.g., Board seats, Work in the community encouraged and enablednetworks) a personal choice as part of the jobAn environment that consistently works An environment and culture that supportsagainst physical health physical health (e.g., sleep, food, exercise)Minimal maternity leave Time off (paid + unpaid maternity/paternity leaves = 6 months-1 year) to get a solid start with kidsPart-time = off track Off ramp/on ramp options for talented leadersA small, similar group of burned-out leaders A diverse portfolio of leaders with holisticon the fast track to positional authority experience/wisdom, peaking later for longer
  14. 14. THE CURRENCY OF EMPATHY – CAN BE MEASURED The Dow Chemical Core R&D ExperimentDesign/Choose Incorporate Measure baseline Measure Impact -empathy -empathy -innovation -innovation -inclusion -inclusion Intervene – from the top down
  15. 15. A Challenge• I have yet to see any organization which does EVERYTHING at best practice to increase the “currency of empathy”• Maybe you will be the first?!• Let me know! Jacho@theachogroup.com
  16. 16. Thank you!• Clients/Collaborators/Colleagues, especially: – Dr. David Bem, Global Director, Core R&D, Dow Chemical – Dr. Diana Bilimoria, KeyBank Professor of Organizational Behavior, Weatherhead School of Management, CWRU – Gary Hanson, ED; Gary Ginstling, GM; The Cleveland Orchestra – Chuck Houk, President, Tremco Sealants (RPM) – Dr. Elaine LeMay, Senior Director Human Resources, Agilent Technologies – Dr. Hunter Peckham, Donnell Professor of Biomedical Engineering, CWRU School of Engineering – Marty Pollock, WIT Group – Jeff Sinclair, Director, McKinsey & Company – Sharon Sobol Jordan, CEO, the Center for Families and Children – Eliza Wing, President, Wing Consulting – Eva Basilion, collaborator of the Acho Group; Board Member, Hanna Perkins Center for Child Development – The Education for Ministry class of 2012 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Cleveland Heights, OH• My family and friends
  17. 17. Handouts – Jackie will bring copies
  18. 18. The Currency of EmpathyThe Missing Link to Innovation and Inclusion Jacqueline Acho, Ph.D. President, The Acho GroupHandouts to Accompany Lightening Round Presentation CEO’s for Cities National Conference Cincinnati, Ohio May 17, 2012 Jacho@theachogroup.com
  19. 19. INNOVATIVE ORGANIZATIONS STEWARD THE “CURRENCY OF EMPATHY” BY SYSTEMIZING INTERACTIONS THAT HONOR 3 BASIC HUMAN NEEDS 1. IS THERE A BIGGER VISION HERE NO ONE PERSON CAN ACCOMPLISH ALONE, AND DO I MAKE A DIFFERENCE? - SYSTEMATICALLY HONOR THE HUMAN DESIRE TO WORK FOR SOMETHING BIGGER IN COLLABORATION WITH OTHERS (~8 things) 2. CAN I GROW HERE? – 3. CAN I LEAD AND STILL PROVIDE THE BE WHOLE HERE? – OPPORTUNITY FOR TRULY HARDWIRE YOUR CULTURE EXCELLENT PROFESSIONAL TO SUPORT SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (~8 things) BALANCE BETWEEN WORK AND LIFE (~9 things)
  20. 20. 1. WORKING FOR SOMETHING BIGGER IN COLLABORATION WITH OTHERSTypical ExceptionalVision and mission statements whose Vision and mission which drive to but beyondultimate goal is profit/shareholder value profit/shareholder valueNumerical goals Goals with a “human face” - that help people in some way (customers, community, make the world a better place) – in addition to numbersIndividual goals buried in or Clear understanding how my job affects keydisconnected from organizational measures on the performance scorecardperformanceA culture of talking/air time A culture of listeningSystems that support persistent internal Systems that reward personal growth andcompetition (grading on a curve, top- collaboration toward ideals and end goalsgrading)Silos of “diversity” where people are Clear goals of inclusion of diverse people, styles,taught how to conform effectively views, and ideas toward the end of(separate women’s initiatives) innovation/making new connectionsA culture of perfection/judging failure A culture of collective pilots/experiments - trying/failing as opportunities to learnLeadership = title and position Leadership = helping other people grow, delivering value from wherever you sit
  21. 21. 2. CAN I GROW HERE?Typical ExceptionalPerformance goals (yearly metrics and Performance goals + leadership developmentmilestones tied to current role) goals based on a variety of models for success in this organizationAnnual reviews with objective measures Semi-annual reviews which systematize subjectivefor performance, subjective measures of leadership developmentobservations deemed important by bossReview tone = judgment Review tone = growthReview focus = solve issues, fill gaps Review focus = achieving thresholds + what’s special; emerging leadership strengthsNo or occasional 360 feedback (every Regular windows into your “actual self” via~few years), left for individual to upward/360 feedback, and exposure to other self-interpret awareness/preference tools (e.g., MBTI, Kolb) and coaching to explore what they meanAssignments to gain expertise Assignments to gain expertise + experience with servant leaders for high potentialsRewards for hitting your numbers Rewards for hitting your numbers + for servant leadershipUp to the individual to find mentors A culture and system for exposing people to coaches, mentors, champions
  22. 22. CAN I BE WHOLE LEADER HERE?Typical ExceptionalCulture of meetings/updates Meeting when the assembled group is needed to 1) make decisions or 2) inspire a collision of creative thoughts across functions/boundaries“Face time” requirements Clear focus on performance, allowing for flexible delivery appropriate to each job (e.g., working remotely, flexible hours)Few or no role models A variety of role models = people I admire and would like to become at higher levelsA work self and a home self Similar you at work and at homeCommunity work (e.g., Board seats, Work in the community encouraged and enablednetworks) a personal choice as part of the jobAn environment that consistently works An environment and culture that supportsagainst physical health physical health (e.g., sleep, food, exercise)Minimal maternity leave Time off (paid + unpaid maternity/paternity leaves = 6 months-1 year) to get a solid start with kidsPart-time = off track Off ramp/on ramp options for talented leadersA small, similar group of burned-out leaders A diverse portfolio of leaders with holisticon the fast track to positional authority experience/wisdom, peaking later for longer
  23. 23. Not used
  24. 24. Inclusion – How are We Doing?Women in Leadership African American CEO’s 1% 1 CNNMoney, March 2012
  25. 25. GOOD ADVICE – INNOVATION,GROWTH, RENEWAL, CREATIVITY
  26. 26. GOOD ADVICE AND A CALL TO ACTION – INCLUSION
  27. 27. Inclusion – How are We Doing? • “The United States government now has an African American chief executive, but 99% of the nations largest businesses do not. When Don Thompson assumes his role as CEO of McDonalds on July 1, a promotion announced Thursday, he will be only the sixth active African-American CEO at a Fortune 500 company.”1 1%1 CNNMoney, March 2012
  28. 28. “CURRENCY OF EMPATHY” - WHAT’S DISCTINCTIVE? 1. IS THERE A BIGGER VISION HERE NO ONE PERSON CAN ACCOMPLISH ALONE, AND DO I MAKE A DIFFERENCE?
  29. 29. “CURRENCY OF EMPATHY” - WHAT’S DISCTINCTIVE?2. CAN I GROW HERE? – PROVIDE THE OPPORTUNITY FOR TRULYEXCELLENT PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
  30. 30. “CURRENCY OF EMPATHY” - WHAT’S DISCTINCTIVE? 3. CAN I LEAD AND STILL BE WHOLE HERE? – HARDWIRE YOUR“I walk out of this office every day at 5:30so Im home for dinner with my kids at CULTURE TO SUPORT6:00.” IDENTITY AND -Sheryl Sandberg, COO, Facebook SUSTAINABLE BALANCE BETWEEN WORK AND LIFE

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