(Re) Engage Consulting begins with one premise: People are the single most powerful lever for organizational change.
Human potential is a critical but often neglected component of an organizational strategy. Potential exists in everyone. But potential must be consistently engaged and re-engaged by organizational leadership in order to develop effective employees. If employees aren't plugged into their work - if they don't think and feel that they are contributing to something bigger than themselves - then you aren't getting the best from them. "Counting the well being of your workforce as a happy accident rather than a strategic organizational priority is a mistake. "
Engaged individuals are the foundation of Healthy Human Systems. No, we aren't talking about nutrition and exercise (though those are important too). Healthy Human Systems are high-functioning ecologies of workplace interaction. We explain in detail below, but the short version is this: Healthy Human Systems exist in organizations where people are valued, actively developed, and offer their people opportunities to contribute at every turn.
What are Human Systems? Merriam-Webster defines a system as “a group of related parts that move or work together; a group ... that works together to perform an important function.” As human beings, we are connected to both internal and external systems.
Internal systems are comprised of the elements that make us human -- emotions, reactivities, thoughts, desires, etc. -- which all work together to shape and express the type of people we are and the life we are choosing to live. (Pixar's movie Inside Out, provides a great introduction to this uniquely human phenomenon.)
External systems include everything else: the social structures outside of our internal world, like friendships, families, workplaces and communities where we are part of a larger whole.
When we use the phrase Human Systems, this encompasses the interaction within and between these internal and external systems.
Human Systems at Work Specific to the workplace, our internal systems operate in relationship to external systems -- like teams or departments, the organization as a whole, and the internal systems of the people around us. Despite our best efforts, our internal systems don't wait patiently in the car or hang out on the commuter train while we head into the office and set about our work. Nor do our external systems stay at work when we lock the office door for the night and head home. As you might expect, external systems affect our internal systems, and vice versa.
These systems are in constant operation, whether we are aware of their activity or not.The interplay between them further complicates - and enriches - the tasks at hand but remains too often a neglected component of an organization's strategy.
Do these internal and external systems impact workplace productivity, relationships and capacities? The answer is a resounding yes. The only variable is to what degree.
What are Healthy Human Systems? Human systems are considered healthy when individuals and teams exhibit compassion, purpose, effectiveness and self-efficacy. These attributes set the standard for organizational behavior and provide opportunities for each to contribute to organizational goals.
Healthy Human Systems as Strategy: Sure, an organization can be successful without investing in these systems, but any success it experiences will be short lived and at the cost of the people who produced it. Counting the well being of your workforce as a happy accident rather than a strategic organizational priority is a mistake. Investing in people unlocks capacity that was previously inaccessible and immediately adds tangible resources to any organization. Ignoring this reality places a drag on an organization's ability to fully achieve its mission and serve its constituents.
Resiliency: Change is constant and setbacks are inevitable. We get knocked off course, making resiliency a highly desirable employee qualification. Creating conditions for Healthy Human Systems enables people and teams seize strategic opportunities and diminish the impact of distractions and setbacks. The good news is that the capacity for resilience can be taught, developed and expanded with practice. And the degree to which people actively engage in building resilience into their human systems is the degree to which an organization has a chance at sustained movement toward change.