Drawing on the philosophy and psychology of Viktor Frankl’s system, an integral approach is offered based on the principle of proactivity (anticipating change and taking control) and the law of reverse effect (the greater the conscious effort, the less likely we are to achieve it). The central contention and conviction here is that profits accrue from purpose. In short, money follows on from meaning.
The most profitable companies are not the most profit-oriented.
(This has been empirically established by the economist Prof. John Kay, Director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, who in his book Obliquity sets out this ‘profit-seeking paradox’).
Human beings are simply not designed to work in the same way as computers; instead, we need to focus on certain key energy sources: physical, mental-emotional, and spiritual. It is only by meeting these needs in the workplace, as in life, that creative, profitable, meaningful work may be accomplished. (Tony Schwartz, in the New York Times bestseller, Be Excellent at Anything, sets out how this approach to business has transformed the way companies such as Google, Apple, Sony, Ford, Barclays Capital, and Ernst & Young, have operated, providing them with a competitive advantage).
Viktor Frankl’s holistic approach effects personal and professional change.
(In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey explicitly draws on the work of Frankl). He demonstrates that Frankl’s ‘will to meaning’ is the single most sustainable factor for long lasting business success.
Ancient wisdom (the perennial tradition in philosophy) can be used to enhance morale and productivity in any organisation, in order to achieve true success.
(Tom Morris, the philosopher and director of the Morris Institute for Human Values, and the author of If Aristotle Ran General Motors demonstrates how by drawing on his work with Merrill Lynch, GTE, and Coca Cola).
Tony Schwartz, Be Excellent at Anything develops the multidimensional model to companies that have included: Google, Apple, Ford, Sony, Ritz Carlton, Barclays capital and Ernest & Young, with outstanding success.
Finally, in Prisoners of Our Thoughts: Viktor Frankl’s Principles at Work, Alex Pattakos, founder of the Center for Personal Change and principal of The Innovation Group, integrates Frankl’s ideas into businesses by promoting the power of the human spirit.