Commenters’ Input Helps Fine Tune My Point
My recent post Would Maslow Shop at Whole Foods? focused on the company culture established by the C-Suite and how it might be classified using Maslow’s Hierarchy as an inspiration.
Readers contributed a number of supportive comments worth considering as I continue refining this idea and building my own pyramid.
First, the duration of a company’s strategy is an interesting method for grouping as it is both a symptom and the cure for moving to higher levels on the pyramid. After more thought, it is more appropriate to move this to the cure and I’ll be elaborating on all of the cures in an upcoming post.
Second, a number of people pointed out that employee retention rate is a very good business health metric and I totally agree…as long as this metric is not taken in isolation from other information.
From the top down, the pyramid has been revised to include:
• Self-actualization – long-term collaboration with employees, customers, and suppliers, high employee retention rates.
• Esteem – recognized industry leader, respected by customers and suppliers.
• Love/Belonging – community purpose, practices CSR.
• Safety – near-term financial security, employees are financially and physically safe.
• Physiological – barely able to pay obligations for payroll, stakeholders, and bills; poor employee retention rates.
One of my reviewers pointed out that self-actualization and worldly purpose carry religious overtones and, therefore, don’t necessarily represent a worldly view.
I like to talk about the value of my consulting business as having three core services, but I rarely call out that the company’s purpose drives everything else it does.
While a business’ purpose could be as simple as paying your mortgage or providing food for your family, many businesses have a “higher purpose.” In my Christian-based view of the world this is not a problem, but I would appreciate everyone’s thoughts on how well this aligns with other cultures and religions. If it does not currently align well, can it be amended?
A couple of commenters argued that my interpretation of Maslow’s Hierarchy was completely off the track since Attachment Theory supplanted it years ago. I couldn’t agree more!
So, why stick with an outdated idea?
1. The “pyramid” makes Maslow’s theories highly visual and widely recognizable by people around the world.
2. Maslow’s theories are so much more inspirational than those described by Attachment Theory.
I’m not a sociologist or psychologist but isn’t being inspired what life, and perhaps business, is all about?
Picture Credit: Ben Snooks (Wikimedia)