Since you’re reading this, and you’re clearly a smart person, and you want to improve the performance of your organization, you’ll find that Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) provides several interesting ways of viewing organizational dynamics.
Yes, that opening sentence was an NLP crafted sentence. You caught me.
Many leaders are aware of NLP on some level, perhaps in a leadership or sales training program we may have learned a few tips and tricks for effective communication. To be honest, when I took the NLP program recently with UV Consultants, I thought the only real business applications were in fact sales training, and executive coaching. Since everyone in the NLP world knows these things well, I’ll skip these obvious applications and move onto things that only a career strategist might see.
ONE: Outcome Framing
There’s something to be said for Root Cause Analysis. When something goes wrong and a company makes an error in a product or service, it’s often helpful to seek out the cause. For example, in 2009 Toyota recalled 8 million cars, and ended the year with a 4.5bn USD net loss over the “sticky pedal” scandal. The root cause analysis report conducted by NASA revealed that there was no “sticky pedal” issue at all. It was just a bit of urban legend that grew into market paranoia and eventually reached the US Senate.
The root cause analysis saved Toyota legally, but the economic and reputational damage was already done two years earlier. Then CEO, Akio Toyoda, rather than waiting in a blame frame for the findings to resolve the past, deliberately chose an outcome frame, attacking the market sentiment head on. He appeared before the US Congress, took personal responsibility for any wrongdoing on behalf of his company, and remained focused on building the trust needed to remain the #1 car manufacturer in the world. His outcome focus mitigated the damage, and kept both the company and the market focused on a solution, rather than the problem.
TWO: Collective States of Mind
Corporate Happiness is a thing. When a group of people are happy at work, other groups of people become happy at work. It’s a bit of a contagion. In NLP, we talk about states of mind, and develop the discipline of being able to summon positive and optimistic states of mind in order to tackle a situation and achieve a desired outcome. The same happens at work when team leaders invoke happiness in their team members. Achieving a positive state of mind among the team improves decision making quality and collaborative behaviours.
THREE: WHEEL OF LIFE
In NLP, life balance is a major focus. We work to try to make sure that career, family, finances, relationships, health, fun, and personal development are all cared for in an individual’s life. The same can be applied to the HR functions of a corporate community. A strong succession plan, performance reviews, KPI bound bonuses, social and spiritual engagement of employees, proper healthcare, and intentional fun are all contributors to achieving balance in the lives of each employee. When employees feel cared for, they are more engaged, and their quality of decision making and strategic behaviors goes up.
Although NLP is designed as a one-on-one tool it can improve the quality of the corporate culture as a whole. If the whole corporate community is outcome focused, has a positive frame of mind as a norm, and is working to achieve balance in the lives of the team as a whole, then the quality of the work experience will go up, and therefore the quality of the work will go up. When people feel meaningfully connected both to their work and to their teams, businesses benefit from reduced attrition and missed opportunity costs, and increased commitment and performance.
That’s Meaningful Management.
What are your thoughts? How would you apply NLP techniques to an organization? Let me know your thoughts by commenting below, or to find out more about executive coaching email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.