To create a culture such as Wegmans – is to harmonize diversity and trust in ways that flourish for the organization and for individual workers. Regardless of which Wegmans Master level students enroll in my MBA Leadership course at St. John Fishers, we hear awesome tales about how to rise together, rather than form silos or leave behind some by focusing on a few.
Yet workers in many organizations tell how they get caught between what should have been a great American dream and workplace frustrations that limit their reach. So what does Wegmans do differently, we often ask in class discussions. Both this MBA course, Lead Innovation with the Brain in Mind, and Wegmans Food Stores hold vital keys related to the brain’s interactions with care, diversity and trust. How so?
It turns out that toxins – which work against humanity – enter workplaces through neglected cracks over
time. When organizations, run by people who exclude access, cling to narrow minded thinking, workers resist differences.
According to several polls less than 30% of corporate workers care less about their jobs. In fact 20% want to undermine co-workers. Is it possible that when everything seems to push against you at work, you’ll risk embarking on a new workplace journey?
Could current toxins, and the fallout that diminishes people – compel healthier flights for higher prosperity? Will organizations that embrace diversity rise above clouds that obscure multiple talents at work? One recent study suggests increased levels of Oxytocin, appear to be connected to increased levels of trust. What do you think?
Imagine a workplace where no brain is left behind. Can you see innovative possibilities where hidden and unused brainpower enters the wider mix. In the Rochester NY area, Wegmans brings such workplace well being into the food store industry. Highly diverse, they lead through continual expansions. From Asian Wokery to world class bakery to Veggie and Fish bars, Wegmans chases down the best in multiple cultures and adds its own respected signature of care to showcase its top brands.
Brainpowered strategies create entry points into brainpowered settings where workplaces such as Wegmans, cultivate mental well-being. Workplace care and trust increase from relying on talent growth, from highly diverse workers.
Affirm others’ thoughts before sharing yours
Leaders at the peaks, such as Wegmans, offer incentives for diversity through communication, when they affirm others’ success at several levels of the organization. Affirmation is practiced more where there is a welcome climate and where diversity becomes a handmaiden to curiosity. Our MBA text shows how it happens in the most successful workplaces.
Open your comments with one affirmation that’s genuine, and you’ll build safety for others to risk sharing ideas on several sides of an issue.
Identify one main idea from a person’s comments, and you’ve just prepared the way to build innovatively together, on that person’s concept. Avoid commenting when you feel attacked though. To come at topics with a heated amygdala, will likely cloud any ability later for clear thinking or collaboration. Instead invoke novel solutions, that encourage people to invent together, rather than vent about differences.
Did you know that affirmation literally kickstarts brainpower, through the serotonin chemicals for well-being that it generates? In his book, Firms of Endearment, Raj Sisodia builds the case for why companies who care, outperform all others. The publicly traded Firms of Endrearment companies observed here, returned 750% over 10 years while the S&P overall provided a 128% return.
Interestingly, over the last 5 years, these same companies that valued care gained their investors a 205% return, when the S&P lost 13%. You’ll recognize a few of these –Southwest Airlines, IKEA, Whole Foods, and Trader Joes, are perhaps best known.
So how can brainpowered care and trust – across differences – increase prosperity in an organizations? Where does one start?
Look for one key topic or problem to build peaceful resolutions onto with folks from diverse backgrounds. Then watch the wonder of many brains working together toward care that most people crave. See trust emerge to replace troubled times in any area targeted.
Some 2 million American workers are victims of workplace violence yearly, while people crave affirmation that draws folks together. Like the Vodka hidden in a whisk of orange juice, toxins seep into workplaces daily with poison tone. These begin to escalate pollutants such as racism, and exclusion of all who differ.
It doesn’t have to be that way, though, and affirmation can make the difference.
Not that relationships across difference are filled with peaches and cream. On many days you may wonder whether your few affirmation or generous actions can accomplish anything at all. Sometimes when differences emerge, you may even sense that you just took a bullfrog leap in the wrong direction. Have you experienced it?