Invisible Power: Insight Principles at Work (#990)

One of the questions I get all the time from students of the inside-out understanding is “how can a deeper understanding of the principles behind the human experience help me to be more successful in my career or business?”

I’m delighted to announce that three of my personal mentors – Ken Manning, Robin Charbit, and Sandra Krot – have now written a book that not only gives example after example of how the things I write about each week impact businesses at every level, they give you as the reader an experience of being impacted for yourself.

Here’s one of the case studies shared in the book:

We were asked to help a $5 billion-revenue biotech company address an earnings shortfall. Their plan for $600 million in EBIT had been rejected; their holding company was requesting $700 million. They were a smart and resourceful organization that had achieved breakthrough results many times before, but this time they were stumped.

Upon hearing of the directive, they had taken a senior group off site and “sweated” the problem for three days, but that had only yielded $35 million of ideas. It was now five weeks from the start of that earnings cycle, and, to make matters worse, the market was softening to the point that even $600 million looked unlikely.

At the CEO’s request, a team of their top twenty-five people went through our Insight Synergy program, with the explicit goal of uncovering ways to bridge the looming earnings gap. Although the program had been hastily organized, the group was very mature and experienced – none with fewer than twenty-five years of service – and, correspondingly, had a fabulous collection of industry and company knowledge.

As we started to share the inside-out nature of life and the participants’ minds began to settle, we observed a wonderful phenomenon in the room. Although no one said it outright, there was a deep feeling of love and connection. Collectively, they had been through a lot together, personally and professionally, and as the excess thinking dropped away, what was left was a feeling of deep mutual respect and caring.

We pointed out that these caring, loving feelings were natural and flowed effortlessly when their minds were not caught up or stressed. The team resonated with us because they had experienced this space many times before. They quickly made the connection between their mutual openness and a reliable flow of new ideas. They instinctively saw that without mental constraints or fear, they could explore anything and be brilliant.

Shortly after their realization, we moved in to the problem-resolution phase of our program. Buoyed by their strong feeling of connection, the participants were able to listen to each other without the filters common in highly-experienced people. As they learned to stay oriented to this feeling, every idea or question was viewed as interesting and worthy of reflection.

They worked in functional and cross-functional groups, and essentially sat around reflecting on what seemed novel or curious. For example, someone asked members of the sales team why the always exceeded their forecasts. What came out was a general concern about year-end bonuses, resulting in many people artificially lowering their targets, which, of course, they then exceeded. This caused operations to scramble at the year’s end, with unplanned production costs and the loss of considerable profits. A cascade of fascinating ideas followed about how to change sales incentives and upgrade the product mix.

Likewise, the General Counsel asked about the length of their licensing agreements, typically twenty-five years, Couldn’t they be shortened and some of the money asked for up front?

The ideas ranged from the reinforcement of what was already known, to revisiting previously discarded ideas, and then to completely new, unimagined ideas. The list was long and rich, and everyone seemed to be having fun.

Within a day and a half, they had collectively identified EBIT improvement ideas totaling over $400 million! This list was triaged into about $200 million of discrete projects that, when implemented, allowed the company to get very close to its earnings target that year.

The authors then go on to conclude:

Understanding how the mind works, and that it is only your thinking in the way of your creative capacity for out-of-the-box insight, enables teams to have synergy in the face of problems big and small. Every situation is an opportunity to engage with clarity and perspective and with the confidence that wise, productive thinking is always within reach.

Crises or seemingly impossible tasks may appear to be the catalyst to bring out the best in teams. But as we see it, when people understand their mental life and focus on what needs to get done, insights and new perspectives begin to flow.

Chances are the numbers you’re dealing with in your life are a little bit smaller than those in the case study I’ve just shared. But the principles shared in this book and their implications – that the mind only works in one way and has a built in design for success – are not only life-changing on the outside, they lead to an inner wealth that has value beyond measure.

You can pick up a copy of Invisible Power: Insight Principles at Work and learn more about it by clicking on the image below:

Invisible Power

Have fun, learn heaps, happy exploring, and may all your success be fun!

With all my love,
Michael

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