Leading Evolutionary Change in Organizations through HUMAN POTENTIAL Realization

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Many organizations today are stretched to their limits trying to keep up with the changing landscape – one that is growing in complexity, driven by technological advancements, disruptive technologies and social connectivity. There is a need for more effective ways of navigating this complex organizational world of ours.

There is also clear evidence that employees are feeling increasingly disengaged and restless in organizations. Rather than status and financial rewards, today’s workforce is in search of meaning and purpose. Employees’ talents and unique gifts (HUMAN POTENTIAL) are under-utilized.  There is a deep desire to bring more of their whole selves to work in service of the greater good.

However, our management toolkit falls short in being able to deliver against these new demands.

In this paper we will introduce concepts to illustrate where the majority of OD (Organization Development) funds are currently being spent, why these investments are no longer yielding results, and where the next wave of OD focus needs to be. We also offer a very concrete alternative to the current management toolkit that allows organizations to shift their attention from “Systems-based” OD interventions to “Mindset / Inner Being-based” OD interventions, in a structured and systematic way.

As a result of shifting OD interventions in such a way, it will become possible to better align the individual’s passion and talents with the collective purpose of the organization. Harnessing this untapped potential will inevitably unleash a huge wave of inspiration and value creation in the marketplace.




At Being at Full Potential, we are a new generation of global connectors and change agents to support and equip leaders and managers in making HUMAN POTENTIAL realization the centerpiece for strategic transformation in their organizations .

“First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.”  This ties in with our theme throughout this paper, and that is “When the Being comes alive, the Doing thrives”. Being alive is when we are living a fulfilled and meaningful life by realizing and actualizing our full HUMAN POTENTIAL.

Part I – Changing organizational landscape – all is not as well as it seems


First of all let us look at three lots of data points that will give us a sense that things are not as well as it seems in many organizations today.

a. Employee engagement


Based on the Gallup’s “State of Global Workplace” survey, the rate of employee engagement in NZ is still just 24 per cent (though among the highest in the world). 60 per cent of our workforce is not engaged (they are uninspired, lacked motivation and would do just enough to fulfil their job requirements), and a further 16 per cent are actively disengaged (they are Not only unhappy at work but likely to act out of unhappiness.)

Table 1 – Gallup’s State of Global Workplace Survey



We believe that one of the best ways that employers can help their staff to stay engaged is to give them the tools to realize their full HUMAN POTENTIAL as we shall discuss further below.

b. Purpose – Not Profit


What drives sustainable confidence and employee engagement is ‘Purpose’ and not ‘Profit’. The Deloitte Core Beliefs and Culture Survey (2014) points out that organizations with a strong sense of purpose are more likely to create a “best place to work” culture that drives innovation, embraces diversity and helps employees reach their full potential, compared to organizations that do not have a strong sense of purpose. The graphics below from Deloitte’s survey shows this point clearly.

Table 2 – The Deloitte Core Beliefs and Culture Survey (2014)


We will show below that when people are working at their full potential, there is a purposeful harmony and unity in the organization.  People are in tune and fully immersed with doing their best creative work. This is the most effective way to impact and contribute to the organization (indeed to the world) in a profound way.

c. HUMAN POTENTIAL is underutilized (hence a great opportunity)


According to our unique approach to measuring HUMAN POTENTIAL Realization, we found that on average only 50-60% of an individual’s talent and gifts (potential) are being utilized.

Figure 1 – Measuring HUMAN POTENTIAL utilization



On the other hand, this means that we have a great opportunity here – imagine how much more engaged and purposeful employees can become more when we begin to use the new HUMAN POTENTIAL tool and system to unlock and harness the untapped potential of people in the organization? The details of this approach will be discussed in subsequent sections of this paper.

Part II – An emerging need

1. Our management tools are reaching the limits of their value creation in an increasingly complex world

Since the turn of the 20th century, “the emphasis in most management methods has historically been on analysis — the division of complicated and complex systems into ‘manageable bites’ … and (then) ‘glued back together’ to produce the best-performing system (and) ignores the interactive effects of the system’s parts.” Given the rapid rise and development of science, mathematics and technology, this has worked well for us in the past.

But times are changing and our world today has moved on rapidly from a “complicated” world order (with many ‘known unknowns’) to an increasingly “complex” world order (with many unknown knowns). In this new environment it simply isn’t possible to control all the variables anymore. We have reached a point where our current analytical-technology driven approaches, and our reliance on them, are reaching their limits in value creation in the organization. Without realizing it, the human side of people’s potential is often ignored, or left out, and this has unintended but important consequences as we shall show in the next section below.

To understand the complex territory that we are now working in, we are compelled to find and integrate new and ‘higher/deeper’ levels and ways of knowing. With it comes great uncertainty but also great opportunity.

2. We need a more diverse way of navigating through our complex organizational world and effectively working with the “Unknown Knowns”/ “Unknown Unknowns”

The time has come for us to open our minds to more integral ways of knowing and understanding about how we see the new realities of our organizational (and societal) world. To do so, we need to incorporate new kinds of tools that will help us to ask questions that have not yet been asked – the ones that will eventually lead us to new solutions that we were blind to before. This topic will be further expanded upon in the following sections. of this paper below.

Figure 2 -The realities of our increasingly complex organizational world and our ‘lagging’ state of knowledge in the organizational and social ‘fields’ we work in.



3. There is a gap that needs to be filled

i. Integral map and approach to show where the gaps are

Integral maps are created when we include in our field of consciousness the “four Quadrants” based on the following two axes: the outer (external) and inner (interior) worlds vs who we are as an individual person and collectively in relationship with other people (group, team and organization, community and society at large). Integral maps will help us access new questions that will lead and elevate both our state of knowledge (knowing) and our state of being (consciousness).

We can now use an integral map to see the where the gaps are in relation to the spread of the change management tools and developmental programs that are being used in organizations today. The figure below highlights the gaps in three of the four quadrant and our over reliance on Systems-based management tools – it illustrates to us the incomplete or partial map of the whole territory of organizational change. This management situation (if the gaps are not address) will cause a disconnect or imbalance between the individual’s need for more purpose and meaning and the management’s need for more predictable systems driven solutions.

Figure 3


ii. Our organization development spending is system biased (proportionately)


What can we say about the spread of Organizational Development spending from an integral approach?

In term of organizational development spending, the spread of management tools show that the majority of our organizational development budget is given to Systems related tools and programs (for example), while the least spending is used on “Mindset and Inner Being” developmental programs (for example), as the Figure 4 below suggest.


iii. Mindset and Inner being (upper left quadrant) – the most neglected perspective


Mindset and Inner Being perspective (or quadrant) is most likely the area where the least organizational development money is spent. This is also one of the most ‘troublesome’, difficult and ‘invisible’ developmental areas for organizational leaders to deal and grapple with. Until now there are simply few practical and implementation-ready tools available to extract the immense value of this quadrant in a reliable way.

Therefore many organizations shy away from “Mindset and Inner Being” development. We must bring the focus back this, because this is where the deeper drivers of organizational performance and value creation can be found. The points below will support the case for more attention and investment in Mindset and Inner Being development programs

In an article by McKinsey & Company titled “Why leadership-developmental program fail?” It is stated that over $14 billion annually is spent on leadership development. Yet, … “Only 7 percent of senior managers polled by a UK business school think that their companies develop global leaders effectively, and around 30 percent of US companies admit that they have failed to exploit their international business opportunities fully because they lack enough leaders with the right capabilities.

The article went on to identify four common mistakes in the struggles of getting successful leadership development initiatives and one of the four tips to overcome them is … “Underestimating Mindsets” ….. “Identifying some of the deepest, “below the surface” thoughts, feelings, assumptions, and beliefs is usually a precondition of behavioral change—one too often shirked in development programs.”

We can also take the case of CSR for example. As the Cone 2015 Global CSR Study shows, there is clearly a big opportunity for companies to become more genuine in their CSR efforts and create breakthrough innovation in this area.

However, we found that the individual “mindset and inner being” perspective (upper left quadrant) is hardly ever addressed in the study. Yet, this could be the missing link – that it is the “inner transformation /awakening that needs to take place in organizations before their products and services can truly start meeting the needs of the conscious consumer.”

Another study has shown that the 2013 spending on corporate training exceeded USD 130 Billion worldwide, almost all of which is spent on job skills, professional training or procedural or compliance trainings (the Systems quadrant).

Anecdotally we know there is an implicit fear among organizational leaders and HR professionals that a focus on raising individual awareness (through Mindset – the top left quadrant) will either lead to attrition (the employee realizing that their potential is not being utilized in the current work environment and therefore deciding to leave) or they ‘rocking the boat’ (when the ‘awakened’ individual starts challenging or disrupting the current culture and way-of-working).

In conclusion, we know that the challenge and the resistance to mindset change present us a huge opportunity as well. At Being at Full Potential, we believe that when we awake the immense HUMAN POTENTIAL of people in an organization, there will be an increased sense of fulfilment/wholeness that leads to peak experience and performance. However, given there are no (or few) practical and implementation-ready tools available to tackle the ‘Mindset and Inner Being’ quadrant in a robust, measurable and scalable way, many organizations shy away from it and instead focus on the other three quadrants. At least until now…


Part III – Good news – a relevant and accessible way for businesses to realize HUMAN POTENTIAL (in the Mindset quadrant)



The good news is that we now have a ‘business/management friendly’ (i.e. a robust and scalable approach), to overcome the barriers and fill the void in the Mindset and Inner Being quadrant (or perspective). More specifically, with the creation of the “HUMAN POTENTIAL Model and Toolkit”, we can now close the gap between “knowing about it” and “knowing how to apply it”.

This unique approach to assessing HUMAN POTENTIAL in organizations brings the focus back to the most basic, yet most misunderstood aspect of the organization: it’s Human Potential. By measuring this intangible perspective with the HUMAN POTENTIAL Assessment Tool, we are able to unlock breakthrough insights, open up new conversations, and in the process create the conditions for a more meaningful and fulfilling work experience to emerge.

This HUMAN POTENTIAL realization approach can become the catalyst to redesign and transform the organization from “Good to Great” . Our unique methodology to drive transformational change in organizations can also be used as the integral pathway to find and discover new insights and deeper level of performance.

The practical details of how the HUMAN POTENTIAL Assessment tool and methodology will support and lift organizations to a higher/deeper level of consciousness and wholeness are discussed in greater detail below.

Part IV – Putting it all together – the HUMAN POTENTIAL Assessment Framework and Methodology

a. The Human Potential Assessment: “What gets measured gets done”

The key difference between the Human Potential Tool and other assessment tools is the depth of insight that you get. Most organizational surveys come to the conclusion that having a meaningful or fulfilling job are the main drivers of business success. No doubt this is true but unfortunately these types of statements do not make it very easy to identify clear, tangible next steps. The Human Potential Assessment Tool on the other hand is composed of 85 insightful statements that go a few layers deeper. Guaranteed, it will open the door to breakthrough conversations, ideas and actions.

In this first model (figure 5), we provide an organization’s score on the core levers of HUMAN POTENTIAL realization. These 4 STATES and 23 DIMENSIONS are the foundation of what drives us as human beings. Unlike personality attributes (for example: extroverted, assertive, organized etc…) these DIMENSIONS are common to all of us. They go beneath the surface and explore the deeper human dynamics at play in the organization. The more they are expressed the more fulfilling the work experience will be.  With the ability to measure how an individual or organization performs along these 4 States and 23 Dimensions, we can now, for the first time, open up data-based conversations on how to unleash greater levels of Human Potential and access the full value of the “Inner Being / Mindset” quadrant.



b. Human Potential realization is a nice idea but how does it relate to my core business drivers?

This is the critical question that most organizations are asking themselves. The beautiful aspect of the organizational HUMAN POTENTIAL Assessment Toolkit is that it translates the assessment data into six tangible Organizational Performance Metrics (OPMs), or drivers of market success, as represented in the Spider Diagram below (Figure 6).

Figure 6 – The Spider Diagram – Drivers of market success


Theses six OPMs represent the bridge between Human Potential Realization and in market success. In other words, creating the conditions for Human Potential to thrive in an organization (via the 4 States and 23 Dimensions), will inevitably translate into increased productivity, loyalty, trust, innovation and ultimately bottom line results.

The HUMAN POTENTIAL Assessment toolkit does not stop with identifying and measuring the six OPMs. Sustained high performance can only happen when the grooves of old mindsets and habits are replaced with new tracks of attitude, behavior and habits, which creates new abilities to adapt and thrive during times of turbulence, uncertainty, ambiguity and complexity.

Recognizing this, the organizational HUMAN POTENTIAL Assessment toolkit goes on to identify (and measure) eight tangible Habits that drives us to peak experience and performance as shown in Table 3 below. These newly developed habits help to grow the talents and gifts of everyone in the organization.

Table 3 – Correlations between OPMs, four States and the eight Habits


c. The HUMAN POTENTIAL Methodology for organizational change

The Assessment, important as it is, is merely the beginning of an organization’s Human Potential journey. The next diagram (figure 9) illustrates in more detail our unique methodology to drive change within the organizational context.


Figure 9 – The 7-Steps HUMAN POTENTIAL Methodology


The journey starts with the ENQUIRE phase, first by Sensing the dilemmas and critical business questions “that is keeping the client up at night”. These are rarely fully articulated and therefore it often requires a deep sensing into the unconscious reality of the client (their fears and vulnerabilities). This is followed by Assessing and looking at what the data and insights are reveals along the 4 states and the 23 underlying dimensions shown in the Figure 5 above.

Following the ENQUIRE phase, outline in the above paragraph, we encourage the key stakeholders to spend quality time in the next DISCOVERY phase.

The Discovery phase is about processing and integrating the insights so they can be transformed into actionable next steps, fully owned by the organization. During these workshops the client is invited to look deeply into the current beliefs and assumptions that drive their business decisions today and make very deliberate choices on who they want to BE going forward. This typically involves “Subtracting” (the process of understanding the disconnects – or the shortfalls – along the various states and dimensions of the HUMAN POTENTIAL Assessment Model), “Passaging” (releasing control of the familiar processes used to arrive at solutions) and “Arrival” (seeing opportunities in uncertainties and allowing new possibilities to reveal themselves).

Finally, in the HARNESS phase, the organization is encouraged to visualize and speak about its new intentions in full details (via town-hall meetings or other) and start shaping them into a new implementation plan (RE-SCRIPTING).

Targeted training and coaching programs are rolled out at the individual and group levels to make the new inner states a reality. Collectively new language and customs are adopted so that employees are engaged in more empowering ways. Management embraces new leadership habits, and the new consciousness is reflected in the management objectives and tools, like in the Business Balance Score Card (RE-SCULPTURING).

d. Deep listening and thinking to finding the unique story of each organization


The seven-step HUMAN POTENTIAL method is quite different than most other organizational assessments. Although we structure the data clearly and report it back in a way that is easy to understand and interpret, we deliberately refrain from offering fully articulated conclusions and recommendations. Time and again we are learning that the most profound discoveries and lasting commitments to ‘what emerges’ or what happens next is when the client creates their own story in the data, and when they arrives at the conclusions that speaks to make the most sense for them at a given point in time.



As evidenced by the all-time low employee engagement scores, there is a huge desire among employees today to work for organizations that define themselves beyond simply creating shareholder value. To effectively respond, management must make the growth needs of the employee a strategic imperative. By enabling each person to fulfil and actualize their unique Human Potential in service of a greater and more meaningful organizational purpose, a new wave of creativity and value creation will be unleashed. However, in order to get there, significant changes in how we think about OD work will need to take place.

It has been said that “too much of a good thing can make you sick.” In our case, too much reliance on “Systems-based” OD intervention has limited our ability to reclaim the health and wholeness of our full individual and collective human potentialities. To be a fully healthy organization, we now have a huge opportunity to chart new and unexplored territory that springs forth from “Mind-set and Inner Being” perspective, which has been mostly neglected until now.

This is the “white space” (“an area within a company where the existing corporate culture does not apply”), an opportunity space that is waiting to emerge. The good news is that, with Human Potential Toolkit, we now have a ‘business and management friendly’ way of tapping into that “white space” of HUMAN POTENTIAL realization.

If you wish to learn more about what a fully realized company and people could look like, using the HUMAN POTENTIAL approach in your organization, do give us a call or leave us a message at www.beingatfullpotential.com

We also offer the opportunity to take the Human Potential Assessment individually if you wish to experience first-hand the power of this approach.


Posted on: 6th June 2016, by : Mark Vandeneijnde