According to Dr Bernd Vogel, associate professor of leadership and organisational behaviour at Henley Business School, every organisation has its own distinct energy, and the type of energy it generates will have a marked and lasting impact on its ability to maximise the productivity of the business, team or department.
“There are four classifications of organisational energy,” says Vogel, “and by arranging these in a matrix based on the intensity and quality of the energy, we can see clearly how to move towards the ideal scenario.
“By identifying the existing dominant energy states, leaders can formulate strategies for moving towards a state of productive energy – that is, one that is both sustainable and delivers optimum performance.”
But how can we change the culture of an organisation, and subsequently shift the energy state?
“Managers can move their people towards productive energy by sharing the business vision and purpose. Mobilising collective engagement can either be achieved by focusing on exciting opportunities, or by reinforcing the organisation’s aims or values. The same result can be attained by emphasising the tangible threats and implications of failure to change. So you need to either move the team towards their success, or away from their fears.
“Dealing with corrosive energy is harder, and must start with an individual and collective acceptance of responsibility; there cannot be a culture of blame or anger. And often, this creates a clean slate from which clear data-based evidence can be used to formulate new strategies.”
The organisational energy model, briefly described, is one of a succinct repertoire of practice-focused models that Vogel and other faculty use during the Henley MA Leadership programme, a qualification aimed at managers and leaders with significant leadership responsibilities.