In 2010 and 2011, LRN conducted groundbreaking research by way of its Governance, Culture and Leadership Assessment. The Assessment is a diagnostic tool that consists of over sixty questions designed to help a company discover and quantify whether and to what extent the characteristics of a self-governing culture are present among employees, and the impact that the presence or absence of those characteristics has on business performance.
The research LRN conducted using this tool is known as the Global Governance, Culture and Leadership Assessment, and involved surveying over 36,000 employees from eighteen countries around the world, including Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Israel, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Scandinavia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.
The findings of this research, which have been captured and summarized in The How Report (see LRN’s The How Report at LRN.com), reveal a great deal about the impact that self-governing cultures have on business performance.
Among other things, The How Report evidences the following:
- Self-governance in organizations across the globe is rare. A mere 3% of the 36,280 employees surveyed in the Global Governance, Culture and Leadership Assessment observed high degrees of self-governing behavior among their colleagues. Of note, this remarkably low level of self-governance was consistent across every demographic category, including country, industry, economic environment, language and ethnic culture.
- Self-governing organizations in all eighteen countries involved in the Global Governance, Culture and Leadership Assessment experience higher levels of innovation, employee loyalty and customer satisfaction; lower levels of misconduct; and superior overall financial performance.
- There is a serious disconnect between the C-suite and the employees they lead. The C-suite, on average, is three times – and in some countries even eight times – more likely to view their organizations as self-governing, more inspiring and less coercive than the employee population at large.
- Trust, shared values and a deep understanding of and commitment to a purpose-driven mission are the three most important drivers of self-governing behaviors that produce competitive advantage and enhanced business performance.
Armed with these and other findings from The How Report, company leaders everywhere have a unique opportunity to unlock the full potential of their employees’ hearts and minds, and to thereby position the companies they are entrusted to run to enjoy a level of success and significance far beyond that which their less evolved, less self-governing competitors can achieve. And ultimately, over time and through leading by example and manifesting the fruits of self-governance, these organizations will pave the way for others to embark on a similar journey.
The wave of self-governance is unstoppable, and ultimately what is best for our future. Our world is threatened by problems that seem more serious, complex and insurmountable than ever before. Hunger, poverty, war, environmental devastation and lack of access to education and basic healthcare continue to threaten the survival of our species and leave us worrying about the state of the world our children will inherit. These problems, and a whole host of others, require levels of creativity, innovation and cooperation among companies and their employees previously unseen; and as evidenced in The How Report, those qualities surface, ignite and catalyze geometrically in self-governing organizations.
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