Inner Development Goals: To measure or not to measure?

The dilemma:


In our quest to drive adoption of Inner Development Goals in organizations, there exists a paradox that lies at the heart of our efforts:

On the one hand, IDGs exist to focus organizational attention on deeper human qualities such as compassion, creativity, and resilience. By embracing these goals, organizations can tap into a reservoir of unrealized potential, inspire their workforce, and elevate the impact of human contribution in a world of accelerating AI & automation.

However, on the other hand, we still live in a world where measurement precedes action. We’re all familiar with the mantra “What gets measured gets done.” This is especially true in the organizational context. It gets tricky though when dealing with inner development.

In our eagerness to quantify progress and demonstrate tangible outcomes, we risk reducing the richness of human experience to mere data points on a graph. By attempting to fit the subtle nuances of inner development into standardized metrics, we run the risk of losing sight of the essence of what makes these goals truly meaningful.

This dilemma mirrors the paradoxes inherent in the realm of quantum physics, where the more we strive for clarity, the more elusive it becomes. Author Alan Seale aptly captures this sentiment, noting that paradox is an intrinsic aspect of the quantum realm. Much like the early explorers of quantum physics, we find ourselves grappling with the enigmatic nature of our pursuit – to measure, or not to measure, inner development.

The opportunity:

So, how do we navigate this paradox and move beyond its confines? The answer lies in the power of “what if” questions – those mind opening inquiries that invite us to challenge conventional wisdom and explore new possibilities. What if we reframed our approach to measurement, what would that look like?

Ten years ago, I found myself pondering this exact “what if” question that would set the course for a transformative exploration:

“What if a measurement tool could be conceived in the ‘new realm,’ inviting the old realm to join it?”

Little did I know that this simple inquiry would kick start an entrepreneurial journey that would reshape my understanding of human development and how it can be effectively introduced and deployed at the individual, team and organizational level.

Here are some of the key lessons that I believe are instrumental in navigating the complexities of this endeavor:


The lessons:


1. Establish Relevance:

The first step in driving adoption of inner development in organizations is to establish their relevance and importance. Starting with the end in mind, it’s essential to articulate why it matters and how it aligns with the organization’s overarching goals and values. In the case of the IDGs, we can make powerful connections to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). By first understanding what the organization wants to achieve at the SDG level, we can start enquiring about the human shifts needed to achieve them. This simple approach of “meeting our clients where they are at” can help connect the important dots between inner work and external results.


2. Position Measurement Tool:

It’s crucial to be crystal clear about the purpose and scope of the measurement tool used to assess Inner Development. Rather than viewing it as a means of evaluation, it should be positioned as a support tool for individual and team growth. Moreover, by reframing the tool as a conversation opener rather than an arbiter of truth, we invite a more nuanced and collaborative approach to interpreting the data. This fosters a greater sense of trust and openness among participants.


3. Best practices that align with the new paradigm:

  • See people in their wholeness: When working with inner development the starting assumption is that people are already whole—a recognition of the inherent dignity and worth of every individual. Instead of focusing on deficits or shortcomings, the measurement highlights the extent to which IDGs are expressed or not expressed at a given point in time.
  • Relative vs absolute: Furthermore, the tool embraces the notion that our growth is unlimited, acknowledging that there’s always room for further development and expansion, no matter how far we are on our inner development journey.
  • Invites participation & co-creation: By inviting participation in the interpretation of the data we empower individuals and teams to take ownership of their insights and accountability for their next steps, fostering a culture of continuous learning and growth.



In essence, my journey over the past decade has taught me that the deployment of IDGs in organizations requires a delicate balance of objectivity, compassion, and humility. By establishing relevance, positioning the measurement tool effectively, and embodying the characteristics of the new paradigm, we can create a fertile ground for transformative growth and evolution. As we continue to navigate the complexities of this journey, let us remain open to the possibilities that lie ahead and embrace the inherent paradoxes of human development. After all, it is in the embrace of paradox that true transformation

5 ways to explain the gap in employee well-being

Conflicting data:

A recent Deloitte workplace well-being survey has revealed a puzzling gap in how employees and executives see well-being. According to the results of this study, employees feel a standstill or decline, while executives believe they’ve boosted well-being. Let’s unpack what might be at the core of these diverging perspectives and figure out how to bring back genuine enthusiasm in the workplace.

Possible reasons to help us understand why the well-being data differs between these two groups:


Executive Toughness:

C-suites have lower well-being needs. They thrive in stressful & difficult work environments. This is what got them to the top. Maybe they assume everyone’s as tough as they are, seeing stress as a ladder to success without realizing its toll on others.


Data Over People:

C-suites look at the numbers and assume the money they are spending must be having an impact. According to the same Deloitte report, large organizations spend an average of $10.5 million yearly on well-being programs. How much more is needed?


Chasing an Elusive Well-Being:

Well-being might be a moving target. The more we have it, the more we want it. With rising expectations, there is never a clear finish line.


Personal Well-Being Choice:

Well-being is an internal state, a choice of how we show up daily. The more we focus on the good that is already there (vs what is lacking), the more we will cultivate a sense of well-being within. Outsourcing it to the employer will not work.


Well-Doing Over Well-Being:

Employees don’t really want more well-being. It temporarily fills a void but what they really want is “well-doing”. The yearning is for meaningful work, ownership, purpose. They want to see the impact of their work, make a difference, feel a sense of pride and have fun doing it. They don’t actually mind working long hours and enduring stressful situations. They are happy to give up the luxurious office environments, and perhaps even some pay, as long as the work is meaningful and brings the best out in them.


Additional Considerations:


How do we act on this data to reignite enthusiasm in the workplace?:


  • Focus on meaningful Work: Connect tasks to a bigger purpose so employees feel the impact of their efforts.
  • Delegate ownership: Let employees take charge of projects, boosting pride and accomplishment.
  • Positive Culture: Build a culture of positivity, teamwork, and growth.
  • Trust when and how people deliver their work: Focus on results and give people the freedom to choose how they offer their best work.
  • Open lines of communication: Have direct conversations with executives to address data points like these to help bridge the gap between the rest of the organization between executives and the workforce.



Fixing the well-being gap means recognizing varied needs, building a positive culture, and prioritizing communication. It’s about redefining success for individual and team happiness. Let’s bring back that workplace mojo!




Why is there a gap in how employees and executives perceive well-being in the workplace?

Executives perceive stress as a success catalyst, assuming shared resilience. Investments in well-being focus too much on short-term perks vs the drivers of meaningful work.


How can organizations reignite enthusiasm for well-being in the workplace?

To revive enthusiasm: align tasks with purpose, give ownership for pride, foster a positive culture, prioritize teamwork and flexibility, and ensure open communication.


Are employees seeking more than traditional well-being perks?

Employees seek more than perks; it’s about “well-doing” – valuing meaningful impact over well-being goodies. They crave purpose, ownership, and pride in work.

Retrospective – Conversations that Matter

Time for a retrospective.

One year ago we kicked off an initiative called “Conversations That Matter”. The intention was to create an open space, every two weeks, where we could explore one of the dimensions of the Human Potential House framework. To navigate through all 23 dimensions of the House would be a one year long commitment.

Given the richness and depth of each one of these human qualities I knew going in that it would be a fulfilling experience. I also knew that an exercise like this would inevitably infuse life into the newly developed Platform for Human Potential Development and give us an opportunity to experiment and practice the many resources available for each of these dimensions. What I didn’t know was who would show up for these sessions, how we would fill the hour together, and what it would take to maintain the momentum of this initiative over an entire year.

Yesterday we arrived at the end of the series. Coincidentally, the final dimension that we covered was “Holistic View”. So naturally, it invited us to step back and look at the unfolding of this series from a broader perspective. It gave me the opportunity to ask the following questions:

  • What was this experiment really about?
  • How did it evolve over time?
  • What impact did it have?
  • Where does it go next?

Here are some of the insights I would like to share:

  1. From a HOUSE to a HOME. At the core, this journey represents a journey back HOME to who we really are. Each dimension opens a door to our true nature. When we take time to connect and sense into human qualities like gratitude, curiosity and passion, we quickly enter a rich space of sharing and insight that nurtures the soul, opens the heart and inspires shifts in how we show up for others. Although I have been working with this framework for many years, I realize there are always new layers to discover based on where we are on our journey and who we are sharing the conversation with. The more I work with the House, the more it feels like a Home.

Retrospective: Conversations that Matter

  1. The power of the space grows over time. During the last session one of the participants, who was joining for the first time, commented on the quality of the space and was wondering what made it so special. She appreciated how we were embodying the topic of the conversation rather than simply talking about it, or around it. I immediately knew that what we were experiencing was not a magic recipe that could easily be reapplied. Instead, it was an accumulated effect of the dedicated efforts we collectively put into this initiative over the past year. Like anything new, the first steps are awkward. We try to find our way and experiment with different approaches, until eventually a natural rhythm starts to settle in. It’s this disciplined commitment over time that allows each experience to build on the previous one and makes the power of a space grow over time.
  2. Success beyond numbers. Some things simply cannot be measured, yet we know the impact is real. For example, a mother’s love is not dependent on a certain outcome or result, nor does it expect anything in return.Yet in the context of “work” we are all too eager to seek external validation and judge the value of our effort based on social media engagement or the number of sign ups to a program. At times throughout the year I got caught up in this as well. I would wonder if having 2 or 3 people show up for the session was really worth the effort but this never lasted very long. The fulfillment, joy and creative inspiration I received was priceless. Every two weeks I had new material to write a LinkedIn post both as an introduction to the session and then another one to capture the essence of what we experienced together. Over the course of this journey I started to develop a deeper trust in the subtle, less visible ways our efforts ripple out and impact the people and environments around us.
  3. Every end is an invitation for a new beginning. Although this series has come to a close, I know there is a next step to take, one that will open up new potential and further expand the impact of this work (both visible and invisible). I will take the next couple of weeks to gather some more feedback and sense how this can be taken forward. Please reach out if you have ideas, suggestions or a desire to co-create.

Finally, I would like to express my deep gratitude for all the people who have joined and contributed to the conversations that matter over the past year. It’s these moments of deep sharing and connection that bring meaning and joy to my life.

Evidence-Based Strategies for Maximizing Human Potential

Choosing the path of Human Potential Realization can be daunting for many organizations. It requires a deep trust in the resourcefulness of people and belief that fulfillment at work is the key to the long term success of an organization. Here is evidence that maximizing Human Potential is indeed a worthwhile strategy to pursue.

The Profitability of Highly Engaged Teams is 21% Higher.

Statistic: According to Gallup, highly engaged teams demonstrate a remarkable 21% increase in profitability.

Profitability and employee engagement are directly correlated. It highlights that involvement is a real force behind physical behaviour, not just a purely ethereal mood. Concentration is vital to successful business strategies, and organisations that prioritise it profit greatly.

Teams with high levels of engagement see a large decline in absenteeism, a 41% drop in turnover, and a staggering 59% drop. These figures demonstrate how passionate, purposeful, present, and energetic individuals are at work daily. The bottom line benefits immediately when human potential is fully realised via engagement.


8% of HR Leaders Concur That Continuous Peer Input and Check-Ins Are Essential to Success.

Statistics: According to a recent study, 89% of HR directors understand the value of continuing peer feedback and check-ins for effective outcomes.

Regular and clear feedback that aligns with a company’s values and goals is crucial for promoting employee engagement and development. Research highlights the importance of clarity, regularity, and alignment in feedback, emphasizing that employee engagement should be a vital part of the entire business strategy, not just limited to the HR division.

When employees receive feedback about the company’s values and mission, they appreciate the significance of their jobs. This alignment enables them to contribute to the organization to the fullest extent, resulting in improved engagement and work satisfaction.


Employees Who Feel Heard Have a 4.6 Times Higher Likelihood of Feeling Encouraged To Do Their Best Job.

Statistics: Salesforce claims that when employees feel their opinions matter, they are 4.6 times more likely to feel empowered to do their best.

It is important to establish open communication with workers, give them more control, and provide praise or criticism. Workers nowadays want their opinions to be acknowledged and valued. This promotes inclusivity and equality in the workplace, ensuring that all viewpoints are heard and considered. By encouraging diverse perspectives, organizations can make better decisions and have a more engaged workforce, ultimately benefiting the company. Empowering employees, giving them a voice, and fostering engagement can unlock their potential within the organization.


96% of Workers Agree That Increasing Employee Retention via Empathy

Statistics: An important part of emotional intelligence is empathy. 96% of workers believe that kindness is essential for improving employee retention.

Research has shown that emotional intelligence (EI) is critical in keeping employees engaged and committed. The primary aspect of EI is empathy; when workers feel appreciated and heard, they perform better at work.

It is interesting to note that there is a disparity between what employees desire and what they perceive in their leaders. While 92% of CEOs believe their organizations are compassionate, only 50% of workers agree. This highlights the importance of empathy, starting at the top and trickling down throughout the company. Despite being referred to as “soft” skills, EI and compassion significantly impact retention rates and overall business success.


Employee Disengagement Costs American Businesses up to $550 Billion Annually.

Statistics: According to The Engagement Institute’s analysis, disengaged workers cost American businesses $550 billion annually.

Employee disengagement has a stunning financial impact on organisations. Most survey participants know why they could be more engaged: they seek inspiring missions, dependable connections, and well-designed work. For engagement to occur, effective communication is essential, including listening to employee needs.

Employees who are motivated to work give insightful information on what motivates them. Companies who pay attention to these findings and take action might release their workforce’s latent potential, eventually improving their bottom line.


Overworked Employees Make up 61% Of The Workforce.

Statistics: According to a poll on workplace stress conducted by CareerBuilder, 61% of workers report feeling burned out at work.

It’s no secret that workplace burnout is a serious problem that can harm employee wellness and engagement. Stress can affect mental and physical health, making it difficult for employees to focus on their work.

Taking proactive steps to combat burnout is important, such as offering stress management courses and resilience training. These programs can help employees feel more committed, efficient, and healthy, ultimately unlocking their full potential.


89% of Employees At Organisations That Promote Well-being Programmes are Likelier to Recommend Their Company as a Great Workplace.

Statistics: 89% of employees strongly approve of their employers’ well-being efforts and are more inclined to promote them as a wonderful workplace.

Senior leaders must be committed to well-being programs for companies to succeed. Integrating these initiatives into the company’s culture shows dedication to employees’ welfare, increasing participation and personal growth opportunities. Positive feedback from employees is common for supportive companies.


70% of Organisations Have Upgraded Physical Spaces to Foster Positive Behaviours.

Statistics: According to research by Willis Towers Watson, 70% of companies have changed their physical workplaces to promote healthier behaviors.

Improving overall health and motivation is critical to creating a positive physical environment. Nowadays, businesses acknowledge the significance of prioritizing wellness in all operations. To cultivate a culture of well-being, it’s essential to offer healthy food options, design comfortable workspaces, and upgrade lighting systems. By adopting this comprehensive approach, businesses can encourage employee engagement and well-being, enabling them to achieve their full potential.


The Wellness Program Provided By Their Employer has Impacted the Lifestyle Choices of 61% of The Employees.

Statistics: According to Aflac’s benefit trend review, 61% of employees improved their lifestyles through their employer’s wellness program.

Comprehensive wellness programs can influence employees’ lifestyle choices, increasing productivity, job satisfaction, and overall well-being. These programs can motivate employees to make healthier decisions, which can be especially important to millennials who prioritize wellness when selecting a job and recognizing the benefits of these programs on engagement and unlocking their full potential. In short, wellness initiatives can have a significant impact on the workplace and the human potential.


87% of Workers Anticipate Assistance From Their Company in Juggling Work & Personal Obligations.

Statistics: According to a Glassdoor poll, 87% of employees want their company to help them balance work and personal commitments.

Achieving wellness goes beyond physical health and balancing work and personal life. Employees require assistance managing their responsibilities beyond work, and businesses can support them by offering flexible work arrangements and promoting the use of vacation time. By fulfilling these requirements, companies can show their dedication to their employees’ well-being and engagement, leading to maximum potential.


Conclusion: To Fully Unlock Human Potential, It’s Important To Prioritize Both Engagement and Well-being.

In today’s competitive business world, companies must prioritize their employees’ engagement and well-being as a strategic imperative. Forward-thinking CEOs understand that achieving this goal requires the same level of commitment and creativity as their core products or services. By focusing on employee engagement and wellness, companies can care for and protect their most valuable asset: their human capital.

Companies that prioritize engagement promote well-being, and actively listen to their employees are always ahead of the curve. These companies give their employees the freedom to reach their full potential, which leads to enhanced creativity, productivity, and long-term success.




How can I measure employee engagement in my organization?

Measuring employee engagement can be done through surveys, feedback sessions, and assessing key performance indicators like absenteeism and turnover rates. Utilize tools and metrics to gauge the emotional commitment of your workforce.


What role does leadership play in fostering employee engagement and wellness?

Leadership plays a pivotal role in creating a culture of engagement and wellness. Leaders should lead by example, actively listen to employees, and support initiatives promoting work-life balance and well-being.


What are some practical steps to improve employee wellness in the workplace?

Practical steps include offering wellness programs, providing a flexible work environment, promoting regular feedback, and creating a supportive, inclusive culture. Empower employees to make healthier lifestyle choices by offering resources and support.

Being Human at Work: Harnessing the Power of Emotions to Drive Employee Engagement

In the previous blog we spoke about the significant ROI boost companies can get by improving employee engagement. In this article we address the following questions to help us better understand the power of emotions to drive engagement at work.

  • Ever wondered what truly fuels job satisfaction in the workplace?
  • Curious about the secret behind fostering genuine connections between employees, their responsibilities, and a company’s overarching mission?
  • Ready to delve into the world of positive emotions that have the power to revolutionise office dynamics?
  • Intrigued by the idea of mastering the art of handling negative emotions for unwavering engagement?

If you’re nodding, join us on an eye-opening journey to unlock the emotional drivers that hold the key to a thriving workplace.

Our research has identified 4 strategies to grow emotional engagement:

  1. Embrace Gratitude and Acknowledgement: Instil a culture of appreciation, reflecting the “Gratitude” attitude. Recognizing achievements fosters positivity and amplifies emotional engagement. People that are genuinely thanked at work are:
    • Half as likely to be looking for a new job
    • More than 2x as likely to be highly engaged
    • More than 2x as likely to feel respected
    • More than 3x as likely to see a path to grow in the organization
  2. Empower Growth and Rise: The importance of professional development is significant in career growth and success. When employees participate in professional development programs, they not only gain skills that can help them become more efficient and effective in their roles, but they also feel valued by their employer. This, in turn, can strengthen loyalty and emotional connection with the company. Additionally, participating in professional development programs can provide a sense of accomplishment and self-improvement, contributing to greater motivation and engagement in their work.
  3. Facilitate Candid Communication: Open channels for honest dialogue, aligning with the “Authenticity” attitude. When voices are heard, emotional investment deepens, cultivating an environment of trust and collaboration. On the other hand, lack of candor causes distrust, stifles innovation, slows decision-making and hampers productivity. The desire to avoid conflict is understandable, but it’s one of the most debilitating factors in business today and this behaviour exacts a steep price.
  4. Resolve Disputes Swiftly and Equitably: Successful leadership includes the ability to approach conflicts in a constructive and solution-oriented manner. Resolving conflicts is a core task of every manager. It does not matter who is right, or who has the power to make decisions. It is simply a question of how conflicts are approached, carried out and resolved. Ultimately, it is important to prevent employees from needing sick leave and staying away from work. Unresolved conflicts in the workplace affect the atmosphere and have a negative impact on the mood of all employees. And if working time is lost, the economic consequences for the company are considerable. Managers must take decisive action to counteract this.

Examples of Companies That Are at the Forefront of Promoting These Successful Strategies in The Workplace

  1. Gratitude & acknowledgment: At Blueprint, Mayes and his team begin every week by gathering together to share one thing that each of them is grateful for. The exercise is part of an effort to develop the team’s collective emotional intelligence. “Much has been written about emotional intelligence at the individual level,” he notes. “I believe that increased EQ also happens at the team level.” By regularly expressing gratitude in a group setting, Mayes and his team cultivate empathy and are able to create a more trusting work environment.
  2. Personal growth & development: At Allstate, insurance team members are encouraged to spend half a day every week learning new things, testing new theories, exploring new data sets, or solving a new problem. Each week, there’s also a symposium at which an employee presents on a topic of his or her choice. Past themes have included current modeling techniques and business problems. Lastly, Allstate’s Center for Excellence identifies new technologies and techniques, then partners with work teams to implement them.
  3. Candid conversations: Censeo Cofounder and CEO Raj Sharma wanted to build a company that made authentic connections with clients. Along the way, Sharma realized that this strategy, which increased clients’ trust and the firm’s impact, was also critical to Censeo’s organizational culture. Now the firm hires people who will help sustain its culture; that means turning away some really smart people who do not align with these values. Employees hold themselves accountable for treating one another with compassion. They’ll confront colleagues—including those above them in the hierarchy—for blatantly disregarding the feelings of others or frequently blowing up at coworkers.
  4. Conflict resolution: The team at LiquidPlanner first addresses the emotions involved in any conflict to validate them, and only then dives into solutions. “Some conflicts occur because a person’s ideas and feelings are not being acknowledged as important,” Bruce Harpham writes. “By taking the time to acknowledge your team member’s problem, you could prevent any ensuing conflict from occurring.” There’s a myth that emotions have no place in the workplace, which is a belief that can actually prevent communication and cause additional conflict in the future.

Path to Emotional Engagement: Insights and Steps

Discover the secrets to exceptional employee engagement by taking cues from industry leaders. Blueprint’s practice of gratitude, Allstate’s encouragement of growth & development, Censeo’s authentic communication and LiquidPlanner’s courageous approach to conflict resolution are great examples of emotional maturity in organizations..


By embracing gratitude, empowering growth, nurturing authenticity, and upholding harmony, you pave the way for heightened emotional engagement.

The connective threads of emotions and human potential are woven into the fabric of our Human Potential House framework. We can accurately help you measure and instill these human qualities into your organizational culture. Please get in touch to better understand how these proven strategies can drive the emotional engagement of your workforce and ultimately benefit your bottom line.



1. How do emotional drivers differ from traditional motivators?

Traditional motivators prioritise money and career growth over emotional factors like purpose and impact, but investing in work and colleagues can boost dedication and satisfaction.


2. Why is fostering a positive workplace environment essential?

Respect, expression, and risk-taking lead to emotional investment in work, creating a motivated team and a sense of community.


3. How does emotional engagement impact productivity?

Emotionally engaged employees are more productive and committed, often going the extra mile to support business objectives.