I recently attended a conference on Positive Organisations where the focus was on empirical evidence and case studies on the benefits of a positive approach to staff engagement and performance improvement. The positive approach draws much of its insight from the heliotropic effect which in very simple terms is the tendency for nature, people and animals to gravitate to the light (mostly for preservation). Some well-known examples are sunflowers, certain fungi in forests, fish species and ourselves. We certainly try to avoid spending time with dark, heavy, energy parasites in our daily lives, but rather gravitate toward those that are light, fun; energisers that make us feel good.

In the past, the major focus and research in business is on becoming and staying normal i.e. being predictable. In psychology, 95% of the focus is on understanding negative influences and impact. What about shifting the paradigm and focusing on the positive i.e. how to build greater energy, engagement and abundance consciousness in your organisation? Wouldn’t it be great to move toward becoming extraordinary organisations, where people are nurtured, respected, appreciated and play to their strengths, and where this focus translates into 1.5 to 3 x more productivity and profitability. There are many studies validating this. Here are just a few:

  • The Pygmalion effect shows that 60 % of classroom results are based on the positive or negative expectations of the instructor
  • Negative emotions induced by frustration and anger can increase the temperature at the back of the throat by half a degree. Higher temperatures are more likely to succumb to a virus. Positive emotions have the opposite effect.
  • Groups of 10 pin bowlers watching only positive video results of bowling practice (videos of 10 pin strikes) showed much better improvement than groups that were shown only videos of what they were doing wrong.
  • Groups of surviving spouses that displayed gratitude, a positive approach and had future goals showed a measurable and significant difference in brain function, immune system, genetic expression, mental alertness, memory, rate of learning, interpersonal relationships, productivity, performance, disease recovery and avoidance of depression after spouse loss.
  • If we are in positive relationships, we heal twice as fast, have half the rate of prostate cancer, have greater immunity to colds and flu, fewer heart attacks, cope with stress better, learn faster and engage in more helping behaviour.
  • Gallup found that if you focus on strengths i.e. do what you do best every day at work, you will get 1.5x more productivity


5 things can you can start doing today?

  1. Give positive feedback, appreciation and gratitude to all those you work with
  2. Do a strengths assessment with your team e.g. Realise2, and explore how to optimize natural and potential strengths and manage de-energising activities
  3. Instead of asking what’s wrong – ask what’s working and how do we grow this?
  4. Instead of a analysis SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats), do a SOAR analysis (strengths, opportunities, aspirations, results)
  5. Start a positive recognition initiative work where people have a public place to capture their gratitude’s – a wall-chart, a digital platform, post-cards etc.


You can find more info and research studies on www.centerforpos.org, www.heartmath.org, www.gallup.com, www.cappeu.com

Contact us for more ideas and how to journey toward a positive organisation.