"Sharing for me means positivity. I work with children to help them reach their potential and have that positive self belief that I had as a child. I set myself the goal of winning the Paralympics when I was 13 and I wondered as an adult, what was in me that made me persevere? If I could uncover that, then I could inspire others."
Elizabeth Wright, Paralympic swimmer.
I have become fascinated by change-makers and over the last three years, I have interviewed more than 200 of them for my upcoming book, Generation Share. Published on June 17th by Policy Press for Global Sharing Week and co-created with photographer Sophie Sheinwald, Generation Share demonstrates the social impact of the Sharing Economy and how it is changing the way we think, live and do business.
Paralympic swimmer, Elizabeth Wright is one of the change-makers featured in Generation Share. She runs a business delivering character education workshops for school children. Her latest project, Resilience Wellbeing and Success, focusses on positivity to help them achieve their potential. According to Elizabeth, it is this positivity that drives success and it’s a formula that can be applied to running a business, since positivity leads to results.
“When I discovered there was this thing called character, it was a light bulb moment. If we can help children develop their character and their character strengths, their ability to thrive increases. I was fortunate to have parents, teachers, and coaches who believed in my ability to achieve more than doctors thought possible. We need to recognise, emphasise and celebrate a child's strengths in a positive way and build self belief.”
Previously in this blog, I have revealed the 6 character traits that make up the Anatomy of a Change-Maker. In this series, I’m looking at how these character traits can be applied in a business and organisation context and how businesses of all shapes and sizes can harness these characteristics to become what I call ‘Change-Maker Brands.’ From being a Sharer to the trait of bravery, from adaptability to putting love at the heart of our business decisions; from positivity to being future-conscious, I’ll demonstrate how these change-maker characteristics are essential for business survival. Previously, I’ve written about the characteristics: SHARE, being BRAVE, the ability to ADAPT and how by putting LOVE (a word we don’t necessarily associate with business) at it’s heart, we can transform business. This week, I’m looking at positivity and how this characteristic can help to future-proof a companies and organisations.
Become a Change-Maker Brand: POSITIVITY.
Research shows that creating a positive company culture is linked to productivity, profitability and business sustainability. Employees working in a business that has a positive culture have fewer days off sick, a lower staff turnover and a less stressful environment. A Harvard Business Review study found that a positive company culture typically has 6 key characteristics:
Caring for colleagues, being interested in their welfare and maintaining responsibility for colleagues as friends.
Offering support for each other compassion and kindness, especially when others are struggling.
Forgiving mistakes and avoiding blame.
Inspiring each other in the workplace.
Ensuring that work is meaningful and emphasizing this.
Treating others with respect, trust, gratitude and integrity.
Here’s my Change-Maker Checklist Number 5, to help your company take the fourth step to becoming a Change-Maker Brand by putting POSITIVITY at the heart of your business:
How are you putting positivity at the heart of your brand?
How are you creating a supportive and compassionate environment?
How are you encouraging and rewarding creativity?
How are you creating a safe, supportive, non-judgemental environment where people are encouraged to develop their talents and pursue their passions?
How are you leading change with positivity?
Change-maker businesses are those who are able to embody the trait of positivity in the DNA of their organisation and as the results show, positivity is key to business success.
Generation Share will be published by Policy Press on June 17th for Global Sharing Week. You can pre-order your copy here.
If you are a business who wants to become a change-maker brand email me firstname.lastname@example.org or join the conversation on Twitter #CHANGE! @benitamatofska