Given the opportunity to describe Apple as a company in just a word or two, most would respond with adjectives like: Innovative. Design-conscious. Iconic. Some would probably even say: Secretive. But here's another: Soulful. Yes, Apple has a soul, and it is not alone in that respect. A select few organizations can similarly be said to exhibit similar qualities of soul that inspire passion in their employees and set them on the path to high levels of sustained organizational performance. But, given that most organizations are plagued by low levels of employee engagement and lackluster organizational performance, how do high-performing organizations do it? How do they ignite and sustain employee engagement and boost individual and overall organizational productivity? That is exactly the question that organizational expert David B. Zenoff sets out to answer in The Soul of the Organization.
Based on the author's extensive experience consulting to and observing some of the best-known organizations in the world, The Soul of the Organization (www.souloftheorganization.com) journeys into eleven high-performing organizations operating in both the for-profit and not-for-profit worlds to determine the underlying elements of soul that foster strong employee engagement at all levels. What Zenoff finds in his inquiry is that organizations as different as home goods retailer Williams-Sonoma and not-for-profit group Larkin Street Youth Services all share in common five key elements of soul that, taken together, are powerful forces for fostering employee engagement, satisfaction, and meaning. And he doesn't stop once he has identified the five core elements of an organization's soul. Instead, he goes on to offer both a conceptual framework and a practical primer on how to leverage these key ingredients