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08 May 2017

The power of positivity

Ranking No. 1 in the Great Place to Work UK Large company category is a truly outstanding achievement and testament to the thousands of actions each of us take to create such a strong and celebrated culture. Attending Wednesday night’s GPTW Awards dinner was a proud and humbling experience – it also got me thinking about what is the secret to Baringa’s sustainable cultural success, in particular achieving this in parallel to continuing to realise double-digit year on year growth. 

When I reflect on how Baringa works day-to-day, we are a fluid, amorphous organisation; where there is very little leadership hierarchy, yet we are all seen as leaders in our own right and each expected to make change happen. In my opinion, as a leader it’s not your job to motivate people. Sounds strange doesn't it, and yet it's true. You don’t have to deliver inspiring speeches like John F. Kennedy or Martin Luther King to motivate people. The real trick to developing a highly motivated community (and in my opinion one key to Baringa’s culture) is creating the conditions which allow people to motivate themselves.

  • There are many ways to achieve this and as with most things in life, the elements that can best elevate are often the hardest to achieve. For me, the three elements that really help us to achieve this at Baringa are: Helping our people connect day-to-day with a vision that encompasses the ambitions of both the individual and the organisation
  • Providing our people with access to all information allowing them to make informed choices
  • Developing strong social networks within Baringa and providing recognition in the moment 

These three elements are not revolutionary, what makes the difference here at Baringa is the foundation they sit upon… To continually inspire a positive mindset!
 
From a biochemical point of view...and referencing Brian Mayne’s book: Goal Mapping… when a thought is positive, the positive impulse triggers the release of serotonin – a chemical that gives a feeling of happiness and wellbeing. This hormone also acts as a conductor that bridges the synaptic gap and allows your thoughts to flow freely and continue their journey. However, when a thought is negative, the release of cortisone is triggered. This gives you the feeling of sadness and depression and works like an insulator blocking and limiting the free flow of thoughts and ideas.
 
Thinking “I can” releases chemicals and creates brain-cell connections that in turn produce a ‘synergy of thought’ and the birth of ideas and answers. Thinking “I can’t” blocks the free-flow of thought, which results only in seeing more of the problem and reasons for giving up altogether. I truly believe it is this positive “I can” mindset that differentiates us and enables us to continually grow and maintain this wonderful culture. It is a privilege to be a part of Baringa and I’m sure we will keep reflecting on our opportunities to evolve, improve and move with the dynamic environment within which we operate.
 
He who knows much about others may be learned, but he who understands himself is more intelligent. He who controls others may be powerful, but he who has mastered himself is mightier still.
-- Lao-Tsu –