The energy an organization exudes has been described by Ghoshal and Bartlett (1994, p. 94) as “the smell of a place” and shaping this smell is a critical responsibility of leaders. Think of the workplaces, stores, cafés, and restaurants you have been to that emanate a negative vibe, they can feel heavy, stressful, indifferent, cold, dispirited, and dysfunctional. Yet, many leaders overlook the importance of cultivating and nourishing the vibe of an organization.
From an indigenous Māori perspective, we pay attention to this vibe and recognize that nourishing different life-energies can revitalize relationships and is an important dimension of organizational thriving. In our worldview, we dwell within a “woven universe” (Marsden, 2003) and various energies ply the field of human experience. Such energies can be glossed as mauri (life force, vital essence), mana (empowerment, inherited and endowed authority), wairua (spirituality), hau (reciprocity), ihi (spark, magnetism), wana (to be thrilling, rousing), wehi (to ignite awe) and many more. If we disregard energy dimensions, in the context of organizations, the organization’s vitality can be degraded, unhealthy and even become toxic.Read the full blog here