Fully Charged: How Great Leaders Boost Their Organization's Energy and Ignite High Performance

Fully Charged: How Great Leaders Boost Their Organization's Energy and Ignite High Performance

by Heike Bruch, Bernd Vogel


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As you're well aware, your individual energy ebbs and flows--leading to high and low productivity cycles. Fail to manage your energy correctly, and you risk falling into traps including inertia, complacency, and frenzied, unfocused activity that only erodes the quality of your life.

The same holds true for your entire organization. In Fully Charged, Heike Bruch and Bernd Vogel provide tools and strategies to help you manage your company's collective energy.

First, diagnose your company's "energy state" using the Organizational Energy Matrix. By assessing the intensity (high or low) and the quality (positive or negative) of the energy in your enterprise, you discover which of four energy states your company is experiencing.

Second, move your company out of dangerous states characterized by complacency, cynicism, aggression, withdrawal, and other perils. By applying practices mastered by companies as diverse as Airbus, Novartis, SAP, and Tata Steel, you can shift your firm into a state of high, positive energy--in which everyone is emotionally engaged, mentally alert, and working swiftly and productively toward critical goals.

Practical and backed by extensive research, Fully Charged reveals how to continually refresh your company's energy--so it's always ready to tackle the next period of high demand.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781422129036
Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
Publication date: 02/22/2011
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Heike Bruch is Professor Leadership at the Institute for Leadership and Human Resource Management at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland, and the founder and research director of the Organizational Energy Program (OEP). Bernd Vogel is Assistant Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behavior at the Henley Business School, University of Reading, United Kingdom.

Read an Excerpt


Why do some companies suffer from stagnation and complacency, while others seem to buzz with energy and life? Why do some organizations go through peaks of activity and then plunge into valleys of inertia? What can leaders do to prevent negative energy from building up, and how can they avoid organizational burnout?

Most leaders have experienced the rhythms and cycles of energy in large organizations. They are part of the intangible but very powerful so-called "soft" factors that lie at the core of companies. Leaders know that all organizations differ in the intensity, speed, and endurance with which they respond to threats, pursue new opportunities, and manage change. Many have seen and felt the symptoms of low energy in their own organizations:—apathy and inertia, tiredness, inflexibility, and cynicism —and they have seen how even high energy can be ineffective if that energy turns negative and corrosive, becoming invested in destructive actions and internal politics, for example, or locked into frenzied activity that adds no value.

But many leaders have also felt the exhilaration of leading a fully-charged organization that's positively energized around business goals vigorously pursued. These leaders and managers have seen first-hand that all employees have a reserve of discretionary energy that—when set free—can lead to enormous achievements.

This is a book about the phenomenon of organizational energy, which we define as the extent to which an organization (or team or division) has mobilized its emotional, mental, and behavioral potential to pursue its goals. Our extensive research has shown us that while leaders often intuitively feel the energy dynamic in their companies, they have only a limited understanding of its sources or the tools that they could use to manage it. Yet the strength and quality of a company’s energy is nothing less than critical. More than almost any other factor affecting a business, we have seen how organizational energy can lead to either a wellspring of corporate vitality—or the destruction of its very core.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Introduction: Leadership Is the Art of Orchestrating Energy 1

1 The Energy Matrix 21

2 Mobilizing Your Organization's Energy: Escaping the Complacency Trap 61

3 Rebuilding Positive Energy: Escaping the Corrosion Trap 105

4 Focusing Your Organization's Energy: Escaping the Acceleration Trap 139

5 Sustaining Energy to Rise Above Number One: Getting Beyond the Traps

6 Energizing Leaders: Personal Perspectives on Boosting Energy 225

Appendix: How to Assess Your Organization's Energy 239

Notes 247

Index 257

About the Authors 271

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