More About “HOW” to Generate Universal Benefits

Previously I posted, Fantastic Book: “How” to Generate Universal Benefits to provide my initial thoughts on Dov Siedman’s book, “How: Why HOW You Do Anything Means Everything”.  I strongly recommend his book. They also have published their 2016 HOW Report where their findings indicate that using the HOW methods outlined in the book help organizations outperform by out-behaving. In other words, their “HOW” makes the difference.

Their results suggest better behaviors result from a focus on what “should” be done, rather than what “can” be done.  In other words, from my perspective these findings suggest, if we work towards generating comprehensive benefits by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions…everyone and everything benefits.

As we all know, we usually end up managing what we measure.  With this understanding LRN has developed ways to measure  traditionally intangible items, such as values, they predicted would relate to top performing organizations.  In keeping with the belief we manage what we measure, they chose to measure these items to bring a deliberate focus to HOW organizations do things.  They then used findings from these measures to determine which HOWs are best.

I had concerns that this may be bias findings but also believe they used good methods to nullify their bias. They compared organizations using previously existing measures of what was top performance.  Using these previously determined markers, they then found out which ways were best.  This concern however must be kept in mind as the findings are reviewed.

They report that their research categorized organizations based on over 16,000 responses received from 17 countries.  I encourage you to learn more about the work at LRN than what is in this brief post.

They categorized organizations as Self-Governing, Informed Acquiescence and Blind Obedience, defined below:

  • Self-Governing: Purpose-inspired, values-based organizations that are led with moral authority and operate with a set of core principles and social imperatives. Employees are inspired by a desire for significance and encouraged to act as leaders regardless of role. Such organizations are focused on the long-term legacy and sustainable performance.
  • Informed Acquiescence – Rules based, process driven organizations that operate through hierarchy, policy and 20th Century “good management” practices. Employees are motivated by performance based rewards and are expected to fulfill expectations of their roles. Long-term goals are identified but are often set aside in favor or short-term success.
  • Blind Obedience – Power based, task driven organizations that operate thorough command and control based principles and policing and which place little emphasis on building enduring relationships among colleagues with customers or within society. Employees are coerced to act as they are told under the threat of punishment or adverse consequences. Such organizations focus on short term goals 

Their findings indicated that those categorized as Self-Governing Organizations performed best. High performance was defined as growth in market share, levels of customer satisfaction, innovation, and greater employee engagement.  Something most would agree are signs of high performance. Their results indicated that Self-Governing Organizations performed at a high level 97% of the time while Informed Acquiescence Organizations performed at a high level 80% of the time and Blind Obedience Organizations performed at a high level only 36% of the time.  Their findings also suggest these findings hold world-wide.

Interestingly, they suggest that organizations need inspired employees more than engaged employees to be high performing.  They explain that  fully “inspired” employees are more important than engagement because Engagement is superficial, contingent, and transactional, which means it has a short, not long term determinant.  Further they explain inspired employees are a better predictor of performance and measurements of employee engagement are the wrong metric.  Even so, they report employees in Self-Governing Organizations are more engaged. This seems like a contradiction, what do you think?

They suggest fully inspired employees are a better predictor of performance because these employees are Authentically Dedicated, Deeply Accountable and Fully Responsible, as described below:

  • Authentically Dedicated – proud of their organization or how it acts in the world and therefore self-driven
  • Deeply Accountable – seizing opportunity, seeing obligations 
  • Fully Responsible – leaning in, stretching themselves and helping others

For me this means, using the Paneugenesis model, these are the precursors and the next question is how do we optimize the process so inspired employees are the by-product.  From their research they indicate that Self-Governing Organizations generate inspired employee’s through the use of a courageous, compassionate, and a creative Human Operating System (HOS).  Further they explain a key to having an HOS is its long-term focus with morality at its core. They then conclude that it is this that inspires people to take part in the journey.

A Human Operating System = governance that eschews short-term, commercial interests in favor of responsibility to society, long-term goals, and measures of how business should be done.

A Human Operating System requires Trust, Character,  and Behaviors, as described below and these factors provide helpful a framework or maps and guideposts for the journey.

Trust is the catalyst that enhances performance and binds people together by shaping the way they relate to each other as it helps employee’s embrace vulnerability.

Character is the aggregate of employees beliefs, attitudes and actions. Character is a function of Values, Significance and Consciousness:

  • Values: The deepest beliefs the guide and inspire how we relate to and treat others based on shared principles (not interests) that sustain human relationships (e.g. respect, truth, humility, and integrity)
  • Significance: Pursuing a purpose-inspired mission, having a positive impact on the world, doing the right thing, and emphasizing long term over short-term success
  • Consciousness: Mindfulness and concern for others and the world; acting with empathy, compassion and caring and embracing our interdependence 

Behavior: is defined by trust which inspires the presence of these five key enabling behaviors:

  • Taking Risks: Exploring new ideas or methods – and being willing to fall along the way – to advance the organization and grow personally 
  • Celebrating: Recognizing and praising others for doing the right thing, and for their character, behaviors, accomplishments, and efforts to make the organization better
  • Collaborating: Supporting, coaching, and partnering with others while being open to help and ideas and, if necessary, compromise.
  • Sharing Information: Communicating transparently, negating in dialogue, sharing the truth (even when it’s difficult), and making job, organizational performance, and other information broadly and readily available.
  • Speaking Out: Giving honest feedback, challenging majority opinions, and calling out misconduct or actions inconsistent with the organization’s values

Taken together, their findings suggest these are some of the things they identified to help establish Self-Governing Organizations. These types of organizations are desired because they yield the highest performance.  Next week I will share their findings about how to optimize the process of leadership that their findings indicated was necessary to establish Self-Governing Organizations.  

For me, these organizations are also desirable because they appear to work toward generating comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits! From my perspective, LRN’s information about “HOW” was and is fascinating and enlightening, please share your thoughts.

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

Contact me at:

Frugality ≠ Morality

Evidence suggests “Reason” is powerful and it is what has enabled humans move toward a more just society.  The most recent example of the power of reason happened for me when a new perspective was presented to me about charity.  I had always thought it was important for my money to go for the cause, not the overhead.  With powerful data, Dan Pallotta (in TED Video below), demonstrates how frugality does not mean morality and that spending money for a charity’s overhead is important and necessary. Reason, therefore, as presented by Dan Pallotta, demonstrates there may be better ways to raise money for worthy causes.

Violence prevalence is something that may be the most misunderstood concept because of our 24 hours news cycle that highlights the opposite.  Reason and data demonstrates we are a far less violent society today than in the past. Startling and convincing data outlined by Steven Pinker: The surprising decline in violence in the TED Video below, explains why we are safer.

The above presentations have demonstrated the power of reason.  If you want to argue the point, doing so suggests reason has the power to change minds. The value of reason was clarified and reinforced in the excellent cartooned TED Video by Steven Pinker and Rebecca Newberger Goldstein: The long reach of reason. I encourage you to watch.

As demonstrated, reason has the power to alter our way of thinking and can help us create a better world.

For me, one of the most powerful TED presentations was this 2005 presentation,Barry Schwartz: The paradox of choice where he used reason to challenge the dogma that having more options was good.  If you have seen it before or not, I strongly recommend his presentation and book, The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less.

I look forward to hearing how “Reason” will help you generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits.

Make it a Great Week for Everyone and Everything!

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

Contact me at:

Comprehensive Benefits from a Community Based Lifestyle Program

Dr. Michael Greger shared some wonderful 5 minute “Nutrition Facts” videos about the “CHIP Program”. I enourage you to review the CHIP Health site to learn more.

CHIP started out as the Coronary Health Improvement Program and is now named, the Complete Health Improvement Program because of its comprehensive benefits.

The three videos below include  “The Weight Loss Program that Got Better with Time“,  “CHIP: The Complete Health Improvement Program” and “a Workplace Wellness Program that Works“.  This inexpensive community based education program is getting great results and helping many feel better as they learn about the power of plant based foods.  I encourage you to watch these interesting presentations to learn more!

The possible confounding association of CHIP with Seventh Day Adventists was raised, however, as shown in the third video tests with rural participants indicates the program helps.

It is great learning about programs that work while they also help generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits.

I look forward to hearing how you help make it a Great Week for everyone and everything!

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

Contact me at:

Net Positive 2018 Appalachian Energy Summit

Last week I had the opportunity to attend the 2018 Appalachian Energy Summit.  It was a “Net Positive”.  I am better, and I believe the world is better, because of this event.  To me it fulfilled its theme, “Leadership for Good”.  This was the 7th annual event, if you are interested you can see posts about previous events at the bottom of this post.

At the summit Amory Lovins and David Orr were there again and were amazing. | encourage to learn more about them and read their books.  Their names provide links to some information about them. 

I also learned there has been tremendous progress in clean energy generation with solar and wind. They explained how it is increasing fast and is currently, without even accounting for externalities, is cheaper than oil and gas. Externalities are defined as a side effect or consequence of an activity that has other impacts without being reflected in its costs. Some of this information was provided by Brian O’Hara – Sr VP Strategy and Government Affairs, at Strata Solar and many others. 

The new beneficial economics of clean energy was also explained by Mark Fleming, President & CEO of Conservatives for Clean Energy.  He said he was getting conservatives on board with clean energy using only economic reasons without even mentioning climate change.

It was also interesting to learn about efforts by Mars Incorporated from Ashely Allen, Sustainability Sr Manager for Climate & Land. I was also interested to learn about the We Are Still In Movement which is a group of companies doing what they can to support the Paris Agreement even though Trump pulled the US out.

Other things of interest to me from the energy summit included Georgia Tech’s Living Building Challenge.  They are doing what can be done to make living buildings energy producing and comfortable instead of being energy hogs.  Their message was that we can no longer be just less bad, we must cause good so we regenerate and restore our environment.  That message was echoed by Nicole Hagerman Miller from Biomimicry 3.8.  More information about their work is at 

Nicole shared some of Jane Benyus’s amazing work related to Biomimicry.  If you do not know of her fantastic work, you can see her TED Presentation and more information at Parallel NOT Linear Means Create Positive AND Prevent Negative. I also strongly recommend her book, Biomimicry: Innovation Inspired by Nature..

Nicole made this message clear by reminding us that Dr. Benyus says we will be sustainable when the city and the forest are functionally indistinguishable.  My favorite part of her speech, however, was when she explained that efforts must be focused on causing a “Net Positive” instead of just working toward the uninspiring 0.  This is the message I try to promote with Exceeding Expectations.

I liked this conference because, for the most part, they did not take the typical approach of showing us or scaring us about how awful things are and that we need to fix it.   That approach, as Chris Anderson of “TED” explains, is emotionally exhausting and causes compassion fatigue.  Often that has been my experience from the many environmental messages I hear.

Overall the summit was about ideas that were interesting.  The summit also provided many possible solutions to help work on the riddle of climate change.  For me this summit was about how to generate comprehensive improvements by creating pervasive, reciprocal, selfish, selfless, synergistic interactions so everyone and everything benefits.  In other words, it provided many ways to Practice Paneugenesis.

Help make it a Great Week for everyone and everything!

***You can see previous summit posts at Energy Summit Reveals Sustainability ContradictionFantastic Energy Summit – Knowledge, Collaboration, Action;  A New State of Energy SummitPost 2 – Presentations from New State of Energy Summit; and Green events Provides Great Practices to Copy

Be Well’r,
Craig Becker

Be selfish, selfless, & synergistic so everyone and everything benefits!

Contact me at: