“I want to make this company healthy, growing and inspiring (HGI). I ask all of you to work hard to make this dream come true. We can make it if we bring our efforts together. I want all of us to be proud of this company one day”, I remember myself saying during company meetings.

Years have passed, companies have changed and still this HGI principle (dream you may call it) daily “burns” my mind for every organization I work for. “It sounds like a prayer to perfection” you may say. And then you might wonder “is perfection attainable?” Well, my little wisdom has no definite answer to this very valid question. “It depends” or “it might happen for a while” or “it is subjective” are some of the possible answers.

While in an unhealthy, non-growing, non-inspiring company, having such a dream is challenging, and resuscitative, too. Communicating the dream again and again, in all given circumstances, helps build a new company “identity” little by little. It can be a stimulating motive for getting up early in the morning to go to work and a reciprocating benefit when leaving the office late in the evening to return home… Consistency and enthusiasm nurture the dream.  Does it come true at the end? Sometimes yes, sometimes not. (Adequate) time is crucial, (true) alliances are vital. The effort is motivating and revitalizing, so never useless!

In brief:

· A HEALTHY company is one that has clear and vigorous financial data, a balanced P&L, comprehensive processes, concrete values, objective criteria for any decision-making course, an inclusive culture, respected employees. Healthiness is the “infrastructure”!  You cannot make any further steps without it.

“Why is a healthy company not (automatically) growing, too?” you may wonder. What is missing? A very important element for companies to be able to grow: vision. A long term sustainable vision is absolutely necessary for a healthy company to develop further. If there is a vision, there is growth.

· A GROWING company becomes bigger in quantity and quality! In other words, customers are added, more products and services are offered, new projects are won, revenues get higher, profits get boosted, people increase, teams are enlarged, plans are enhanced, all business “borders” expand further.

Life is wonderful when working in a healthy and growing company.  You can smell the energizing perfume of recurrent success in the air. So, why is this not (automatically) inspiring for people, too? What is missing now? A very important element for companies to speak to their people’s hearts: a leader. An authentic leader is the one to connect the various dots of healthiness and growth in a magically impeccable way toward a common purpose, to transform the external challenges into a welcome and enjoyable “fitness” trip for the people, to be believed and followed voluntarily.

· So, an INSPIRING company is one that is blessed to have an authentic leader that shares and gives, and, as a result, takes back more than any enforcement could ever achieve. The authentic leader exercises emotional intelligence and resilience, integrity and effectiveness, but most of all (s)he’s balanced, mature and sincere enough to talk straight to people’s hearts. The authentic leader stimulates the sense of pride in people’s hearts.

People working in a healthy, growing and inspiring company are empowered and, therefore, engaged. Work is (literally) the extension of home for them. They would do their best for the company’s benefit with no second thoughts. They are not just loyal employees, they are THINKING LOYAL employees.

Despite what above “test” shows for your current job, I would urge you to look at things in a positive way and TAKE ACTION!

If you work for a healthy company, try to make it growing, too! Your contribution is of utmost importance!

If you work for a growing company, try to make it also inspiring. You can! Little everyday things can change the climate for you and your colleagues, can change the company’s culture, can enhance the company’s values.

If you work for an inspiring company, you are a lucky woman or man. You cannot imagine how much positive energy you take out of your work for the rest of your life endeavors.

In the unpleasant case that you work for neither a healthy nor a growing nor an inspiring company, and you have tried to improve those with no result, try to find another job. You deserve it!

HGI, this 3-dimension principle of a healthy, growing and inspiring organization, has become an obsession for me. I do believe it is the most valid and inclusive vision for anyone who manages a team, a department, a company. It is worthwhile regardless the difficulties. There will always be difficulties and obstacles to block the way. One has to be resilient enough and passionate enough to hold the flag high and keep walking. The process is highly nutritive for both mind and heart!

Trying to give a single name to this triple-scheme…

  • …and taking into consideration existing business conditions, we might call the companies who combine being Healthy AND Growing AND Inspiring IDEAL!
  • …and taking into consideration desirable business conditions, we might call the companies who combine being Healthy AND Growing AND Inspiring NORMAL!

I’m sure we would all love to aim for a normal target, but life has shown that we need to strive for an IDEAL one… still!

If you have ever worked for a company exercising HGI principle, we’d love to know! Share your experiences with us!