The moral and intellectual ecosystem of an organisation is the environment in which people flourish (or falter) as wise thinkers and good leaders.
The ecosystem constitutes a complex set of factors that influence a person’s motivations, decision-making and behaviour at work. It goes beyond culture narrowly defined to include strategy and products, hierarchies, norms, expectations, and incentives, even physical architecture. These factors influence the moral and intellectual character of employees, leaders, and the organisation as a whole.
Character is personal but it also has a collective, social dimension. It is not simply down to the individual. We are all shaped by the people around us and the places we inhabit, by role models, established patterns, and stories of life that are told and handed down. Our character is influenced by the attitudes of our day and, whether it is intentional or not, by the organisations that we work for.
Different sectors have characteristically distinct means to live out and drive value(s), different pressures, and particular skills needed to thrive. By taking a sector-specific approach, our research and programmes are better tailored to the situation of each organisation.
Mixed method approach
The tools our team is developing and refining for assessing various aspects of an organisation’s culture and ecosystem make use of varied and validated quantitative and qualitative approaches from established psychometric instruments to cutting-edge linguistic analysis technologies.
Designing for character
To focus on character in organisations is not about fixing individuals. It is about helping people to grow in a self-guided way, strengthening powers of perception, deliberation, motivation and action. And it is about (re)designing organisations so that they support rather than undermine values and purpose coming into their own.
Harnessing organisational insight
What might organisations do on both the institutional and individual levels to empower responsible leadership? How might they bring culture and character together for performance gains and personal growth? Our research seeks to bring clarity to these questions by illuminating the organisational factors that both support and subvert the development of character, delivering important insights into how to advance responsible leadership today.