Monday, August 04, 2014

Your Recovery Experience--It's Good for Business

You knew after years in recovery that there were many benefits besides not using anymore. You discovered the time management, the improvement to your overall health, and you finally learned to apply the principles of recovery in the workplace.

But did you know that the principles of twelve-step recovery are also an excellent set of tools for developing leadership and changing organizational culture?

Nope, I didn’t know that either until I read an article in the current (July-August 2014) issue of Harvard Business Review.  

Yeah. Keith Ferrazzi has written a very interesting article showing how “leaders trying to transform company culture can learn from an unexpected source: addiction treatment programs.”

He does a great job of taking several key principles of recovery and addiction treatment and demonstrates their parallel to effective change processes for organizational culture. And why not? We are always working with human beings in business and culture is made up of people so human change results in cultural change.

Here are a couple of the topics Ferrazzi uses to demonstrate the parallel:

*Nothing changes without readiness to change.
*It’s important to replace old habits with new ones.
*Community without hierarchy is a catalyst for change.
*Peer support and pressure drive change.

Yes, you’ll love this article and you’ll be tempted (Well, newcomers will be tempted) to wave this article around bragging about how AA is brilliant and divinely channeled. Don’t do that. But do read this and maybe share it with your boss or a good friend at work. It’s worthy of a discussion. And you can always apply these principles to your team or your department.

I’m adding a link below to an abstract of the Harvard Business Review article. You can get the entire piece by registering with HBR,  or better—buy it on the newsstand until the end of August. It’s a very good read.

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