I recently read about a study that revealed that most businesses lose, in profits, around 25 to 30 percent of their annual sales figure due to something called ‘COPQ’ – the cost of poor quality.
Where does ‘COPQ’ originate?
It comes from good, caring and intelligent people making mistakes, errors of judgement and doing things that, in hindsight, make no sense.
Why does this happen?
Well, none of us are infallible to making the odd mistake but 25 to 30 percent is a lot more than this, isn’t it?
The human body (including the mind) is designed to cope with acute stress. When we experience a genuine threat (and how often is this?), nature built in the stress response to keep us safe and alive.
A stress response is fine for very limited periods. But absolutely not fine for extended periods.
The body is not designed to be in the stress response for prolonged periods and yet this is the case for vast numbers of people.
It has become the ‘unhealthy normal’.
When people’s minds are constantly in a stress state the feeling is one of tension and being over-burdened. As the body is flooded with stress hormones, the heart speeds up and breathing quickens. Creative thinking and higher levels of psychological functioning are impaired because this part of the brain is shut down.
How does this play out? In many ways, but here is an example.
A business consultant I know shared a story about a business he worked with. There was one particular senior executive who thought it was a good idea to push his people extremely hard. He thought it made them more productive and his philosophy was that he liked to take his people to ‘breaking point’ and then ease off just a tad.
What was interesting (and predictable) was that when this executive left the business the productivity of his department immediately increased.
Research fully supports that in positive states of mind, when we are happy and optimistic, we are high-functioning, more intelligent and more successful. We are 31% more productive and 37% better at sales (see Shawn Achor’s popular TED talk ‘The happy secret to better work’).
So, the question is “How do you operate like this far more of the time?”
We live in a world that keeps telling us we have to do something to experience happiness and well-being. ‘Experts’ tell us that if we do certain things – go for a walk, only check our phones 3 times a day, keep a journal – then we will have a better experience of life.
But not only is this approach inconsistent, it based in misunderstanding.
One of the aspects of the inside-out understanding and why I teach it as the foundation of my coaching is because no techniques, prescriptions or methodologies are required or necessary.
The mind has an in-built capacity for optimal performance and well-being – we just need to see how it works.
This is enough.
When you see the true nature of the mind you stop trying to change the outside to feel better on the inside because this would make no sense.
Your mind will clear easily and naturally through understanding and then you are free to perform at your best.
In the business world information is no longer a competitive advantage because every business has access to it. If you want to know something simply Google it.
The ultimate competitive advantage is to raise the individual and collective states of mind of an organisation through the inside-out understanding.