Energy is defined as “the capacity to do work.” In terms of your company, this means that in order to keep things running, you have to have enough of it to not only keep your business running, but also to fuel the growth and evolution you envision. We don’t claim to be physicists, but we’re all about energy. In fact, the “e” in Glowe Connective stands for energy! If you’re engaging in the right business practices that allow energy to flow through your organization in a mission-aligned manner and to be regenerated over time, your company will glowe.
How energy-aware are you when it comes to your company? Here are some of the questions you should ask yourself:
Are you aware of what gives you energy?
As a successful business leader, you probably have a lot of skill sets and competencies. But just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. What you actually should do is increase your awareness of what drains you and what gives you energy, and do everything in your power to put yourself in your zone of genius as often as possible (more on that here). Your energy not only drives the innovation in the company, but it is drawn upon by others through your relationships and how you inspire your team. As leaders, we often put our people before ourselves, but putting yourself last will actually hurt your team, not help it.
Where is energy blocked?
Blocked energy is when you can’t get out of old patterns or see past them to understand what’s possible. It’s akin to the definition of insanity: trying the same thing and expecting different results. In our experience, most people realize energy is blocked when they can’t figure out how to move forward. Usually, blocked energy can start flowing again with a small shift or two in perspective or action. What’s the solution? Often, it’s an outside perspective. We pride ourselves on bringing a valuable outside perspective to our clients, and we aren’t afraid to seek one ourselves. Both our success and our clients’ success depend on it.
Where is there an energy deficit?
Where are the spots where your business is outpacing your team, your technology, or your infrastructure, and investment is needed? How do you first decide which investments to prioritize, and second, evaluate your options? This is a tough one to address, because everyone has a list of things they know they need, but can’t seem to commit for one reason or another. Sometimes it’s fear of making a financial investment, sometimes it’s the painful memory of a previous decision that didn’t end in success.
What’s important to remember is that something has to give. Either the amount of work or the type of work must change, or you must add new resources. You may feel it’s just a phase or you can pick up the slack, but if you’re really honest with yourself, you’ll probably realize your team is on the path to burnout if you don’t take action to identify and solve your deficit.
Where is energy wasted?
We see energy wasted most commonly in one of two ways: lack of alignment, and lack of efficiency. When there’s lack of alignment, for whatever reason, people are making decisions about how to do business that are out of line with your business objectives in some way. In the absence of clear direction, people choose their own adventure. It’s wasteful at best and destructive at worst. Often, it’s just a case of people needing additional clarity. But there are also cases where business decisions are being made by one or more individuals in alignment with their ego needs rather than the needs of the business and team.
When it comes to inefficiency, the most common offenders are work being done by people that could be done by technology, lack of standardization, and lack of clarity about who’s responsible for what that results in work being done twice, or not being done at all. A quick note on inefficiency: We firmly believe there’s a necessary balance between process/structure and relationship/fluidity. You DO want to free people’s energy for the most important work. You DON’T want to become ruthlessly efficient and lose what is at the heart of your business.
Where is the potential energy?
This is a matter of understanding the strengths of your people and the power of the resources you’ve already invested in. There’s often a lot of potential energy within your team. Are your best salespeople or strategic thinkers being held back by lack of administrative support? Do you have next generation leaders ready to step up, and just waiting for the invitation? Do people have talents they haven’t had a chance to apply at work, or ideas they haven’t been able to share with the right audience?
We also often see great processes or technology lying dormant because they haven’t been implemented correctly. Many times, leaders make investments in consultants or tools but fail to plan for the informing, training, and supporting their team in adopting them. Instead of continuing to search for new solutions, question whether you have already invested in something that will serve your needs with a bit of extra planning and communication.
Creating a regenerative business
Regenerative is one step further than sustainable. It’s not simply staying alive, but feeling alive in your work. It’s not just keeping the lights on, but buzzing with a contagious energy that drives your team and inspires your customers. Energy is expended constantly in your business – do you want it fueling productivity and growth, or draining the organization? If you pay attention to what’s going on with energy, you have the keys to transformative leadership of your business. And if you need a partner on the journey, we’d be thrilled to start a conversation.