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The new “M&Ms”; Maslow & me

January 24, 2010 2 comments

Do you remember eating M&Ms as a Kid? Chocolate on the inside, protective color candy coated on the outside? How did you eat yours? Did you let the candy covered outside melt in your mouth, building suspense for a few minutes, to then finally enjoy the rich chocolaty inside? Did you separate the little treats by color and color code your eating pattern? Wow.. it’s scary to think about how many ways there are to eat a simple little treat.

Until a few years back, the candies, along with the raper Eminem were the only M&Ms in my life, or at least so I thought. And then, through my work with clients, I came across a framework known as Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which gave me a framework for what I instinctively knew all along. I found that by leveraging Maslow’s “hierarchy of human needs”, now ever present in all of my engagements, I was more effectively able to quicken the pace of Personal & Enterprise Self Actualization.

By focusing on the deeper understanding of a team’s current knowledge, habits & challenges, along with Vision & Goals, the more I could intervene to provide them with the necessary tools to learn & grow through the creation and implementation of new practices & habits, the quicker we accelerated the pace of change in the necessary direction.

Being a very practical person, I also strive to take every theory & put it to practical use immediately, and what I’ve learned from Maslow & human nature is that you can’t just “copy / paste” solutions or best practices, but rather understand teh core concept & then discover the most effective way to customize it to the culture of the person, or enterprise with whom you wish to affect change. This to say that outside of the initial stages of continuing discovery, there is no one solution! The work to be done is ever dynamic, and a consequence of the “current reality” encountered at each stage. In short, I look provide a “Practical MBA-in-a-box”, short cutting the practical learning curve, whilst expanding the ability to execute. I able t achieve this based on the +25 years of first-hand case studies/experience in my “arsenal”.

Be it an individual or an organization, I have found that there are only three fundamental reasons standing in the way of anyone declaring success once they’ve articulated their vision,

  • Limiting belief(s)
  • Lacking of an effective strategy
  • Lacking communication

In short, the practices, routines & habits to be applied must be a direct consequence of effectively straddling the worlds of academia & practical implementation. Whilst addressing these three “limitative catalysts”, you need to ensure a safe environment which guarantees allot of fun, growth & self-actualization, for both the individual as well as the collective enterprise.

I understand Enterprise Self Actualization is achieved the moment

  • Employees find meaning
  • Customers find transforming experiences
  • Investors are able to make a difference through their investments

Consider this, if humans aspire to self-actualization, then why shouldn’t companies, which are really just a collection of people, aspire to this peak experience as well?

Maslow once wrote “There are moments of ecstasy which cannot be bought, cannot be guaranteed, cannot even be sought, but one can set-up the conditions so that peak experiences are more likely, or one can perversely set up the conditions so that they are less likely”. I’ve found through practical experience that this process differs from others because it is based on the premise that “the growth of an organization is simply the accumulated growth of the individual relationships that constitute it”.

And so the question that lingers for Maslow & me as you finish reading this blog article is; “what are you doing to facilitate your own Peak Experience”?