January 2022
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Why Invest in Well-Being?

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Conscious, Capable, and Ready to Contribute: How Employee Development Can Become the Highest Form of Social Contribution
By Ed Offterdinger and Catherine Allen
Conscious Capitalism Press, 242 pp., $28.99

This book begins with the authors detailing the daily activities of Andrew, CEO of a management consulting firm. Clients look to him for support to help guide their businesses toward increased competitive advantage and market share. Through supporting others, Andrew realizes that the effort for increased productivity often leads to a decrease in focusing on the needs of those in his organization. That leads to an epiphany: Taking time to develop the people with whom he works by attending to their multifaceted needs improves their well-being—and that of the organization.

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Offterdinger and Allen encourage leaders to create support systems that enable colleagues to flourish in their abilities and skills as workers and human beings. They contend that by providing that support, even if employees leave the company, those efforts are not wasted, because the collateral positive impact on the larger community makes the time and resource investments well spent.

The authors also guide leaders to understand how to effectuate this type of organizational and societal change. Leaders must be active participants in cultivating organizational opportunities for all workers that are designed to enable them to maximize their vocational, social, technical, and interpersonal skills. Additionally, intentional alignment of business strategies with people-growth strategies is necessary. Individuals involved need to define and recognize the conscious development culture principle and follow up with identifying core people capabilities. Finally, leaders should embed those supports throughout the employee life cycle. The authors include excellent strategies, information, and elaborations on ways to increase mind, people, and technical skills.

As you read about Andrew while he works his way through leading the company, consider his concern for the well-being of his company, staff, and ultimately the greater community. Then delve into the instructional elements the authors provide at the end of Andrew's journey. You will come away with a renewed sense of purpose—not just for your organization but for society.

About the Author

Mark Deschaine is an associate professor in the University of Mississippi’s Department of Leadership and Counselor Education.

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