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Passion, Purpose, Performance

Phire Group Account Executive Rebecca Gott and Director of PR Andi Nank attended Michigan Ross’s Positive Business Conference in May 2018. Here, they share their takeaways.

Leadership has evolved to be more demanding than ever. This shift is intrinsically linked to the concept of establishing a Positive Business culture. Not only are traditional leadership roles responsible for profit and strategy, but now they must enforce and sustain a culture, bringing a company’s mission to life every single day. That’s a tall order, but a necessary one.

Countless studies about Positive Business show that when an employee’s work aligns with their own values, passions, and strengths, they perform better, and they’re more engaged in the workplace. As a result, fulfilled employees pay dividends for the company as overall productivity and profitability rise.

Success, internally and externally, begins with contagious passion. A deep-rooted insatiability for what you do and why you do it. An explicitly clear, compelling collective energy that facilitates collaboration and commitment to a cogent mission. Empowering employees to rally around a clear sense of purpose creates unity, but there must also be individual resolve.

Encouraging employees to leverage their personal strengths and vigor yields greater productivity and dedication. Speaker Jan Mühlfeit — global strategist, coach, author, and retired Chairman of Microsoft Europe — discussed that without individual flames, there is no collective Phire — er, fire. In order to harness individual strengths, teams must work together to understand what individuals need as people and as employees, and implement systems to support and empower them. Taking the time to establish relationships is fundamental in cultivating successful performance. Intricately woven teams will thrive together, no matter the circumstances.

How can companies, large and small, create space for individuals to do more of what they enjoy? How do you find the balance between growth and complacency? These questions push the discussion about how to successfully incorporate a Positive Business culture in the workplace. It can take a positive change movement, as discussed by representatives from Root, Inc. and the University of Michigan during a breakout session. Creating a positive culture doesn’t happen overnight. A few ways to spark Positive Business culture include practicing gratitude, celebrating successes, helping others, and remaining connected to purpose.

Successful teams share knowledge widely, freely, and often. When all employees can be seen as having valuable perspectives and unique ideas, leadership shifts. There becomes a shared responsibility to find solutions. Trusting your team allows space for answers and ideas to originate from bottom-up, top-down, left to right — you name it. Walls are broken down and good ideas simply become good ideas, no matter where or who they come from. The possibilities are endless. Collaboration is ongoing, better ideas are crafted, and leadership becomes a shared value. Investing in a Positive Business culture may demand bold steps forward from any company, but the long-term benefits are clear.

About the Ross Positive Business Conference

Hosted by the Stephen M. Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan, the fifth annual Positive Business Conference brought together world-class Michigan Ross faculty and executives from Humana, McKinsey & Company, Microsoft, Seventh Generation, and more to share research, perspectives, and strategies to put Positive Business practice into action.


Phire Group Team
Co-Authored Blog

Phire Group is a team that works to inspire organizations to find their unique spark. This post is a collection of their voices.