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Enhancing Organizational Performance

Posts Tagged ‘OrgVitality

OV co-sponsors Psychology Day at UN – Jeff Saltzman’s opening Remarks – 042816

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Thank you all for coming. It is most gratifying that such an urgent issue as the migration crisis brings forth such a high level of interest among both our clients and friends.

I hope you find today’s panel discussion on the migration crisis, whether caused by global warming, war, violence, or other factors facing so many of our fellow humans both educational and inspirational.

From an educational standpoint, what you may find is that traumatic events which displace people don’t necessarily bring forth new challenges that we have never faced before, but greatly magnify those that exist around all of us every day. Displacement, the loss of identify, the need to reintegrate people into society and help them find their worth are challenges that occur every day all around us, but are greatly magnified, more challenging and often more urgent with migrants.

During 911, for instance, we were in the midst of an employee survey for a financial services firm and part of the employee population completed the survey prior to 911 and part afterwards. One conclusion from that study was that traumatic events greatly magnify challenges that exist daily, challenges that must be met for the successful operation of our society and the organizations that reside within.

Organizations and the employees within go through changes in leadership, reorganizations, mergers, acquisitions, new people coming and old friends going. They also experiences changes in the environment in which they operate. Each of these events can cause changes in status, influence, security, and the sense of having a positive future for oneself and potentially one’s family. These challenges, while they do not rise to the level of those who are displaced in a migration event, never-the-less share some common characteristics.  So as the panel discussion unfolds ask yourself how these same psychological concepts play out in your own organizations.

I hope you draw inspiration from the efforts that people around the world are putting forth to assist migrants and from the migrants themselves. There is, of course, always more that can be done. In our upcoming book, Creating the Vital Organization, Scott Brooks and I discuss the resilience that people have when given an appropriate environment to recover from challenges. It is truly remarkable. To quote the noted Psychologist, Ann Masten, an expert on human resilience, “The greatest surprise of resilience research is the ordinariness of the phenomena”.

The lesson learned – if we reach out and help those who are suffering from migration events, or when we reach out to our own employees experiencing various challenges, they can bounce back. They simply need a helping hand.

OV is proud to support the UN and help enhance UN deliberations through organizational psychology. Should anyone want to stay afterwards and continue the discussion we would be happy to join you. Thank you and enjoy the day.  Jeff

Written by Jeffrey M. Saltzman

April 29, 2016 at 7:05 am

CEO CFO Magazine Interview about OrgVtality

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OrgVitalitys Jeffrey Saltzman was interviewed by CEO CFO Magazine to discuss what we’re all about. You can read the transcript here.

CEOCFO: Mr. Saltzman, what is the concept behind OrgVitality?
Mr. Saltzman: OrgVitality, LLC is a management consulting company specializing in organizational effectiveness, offering services that address critical business challenges. We are experts in designing metrics/organizational change projects that are linked to strategy, generate useful insight, and drive positive action. Our ability to deliver projects with an ideal balance of expertise and flexibility, sophistication and creativity, and premier consultation with small-business customization is what makes OrgVitality stand out from the rest. OrgVitality’s work centers on people, and how organizations can maximize the performance of their people and by extension the organization.  A group of Industrial/Organizational Psychologists and Technologists formed OrgVitality.  We view ourselves, each in our respective area of expertise as craftspeople, expertly and carefully creating programs, solutions, and experiences for our clients that meet their specific needs. As a group, we average more than 20 years of experience and are all interested in doing our work without forcing our clients into preconfigured boxes. Upon the formation of the company, we took a step back and examined the state-of-the-art in organizational effectiveness, and it was only after we had settled on the best science that we built our product catalog of services offered. What we craft for our clients is a blend of this science, delivered with the most current technology available, wrapped in the pragmatism of decades of experience regarding what works and what doesn’t.

CEOCFO: How does that translate day-to-day?
Mr. Saltzman: OrgVitality designs and implements innovative technology and cutting-edge products that are tailored to the needs of our clients as well as the current business climate.From employee surveys to 360 assessments to multi-analytic data platforms, we work together with out clients to determine how to make your organization thrive. Our services include Strategic Employee Surveys, custom surveys based on your strategic needs, designed to help your organization thrive and support transformation. 360 Assessments and Coaching which provide general organizational capabilities calibration, inform selection processes, or used as a baseline for coaching plans, while supporting the creation of a coaching culture. Organizational Metrics & Strategy, which involves creating metrics, conducting research, and then strategically evaluating how to improve organizational effectiveness. And, Decision Support Portals which are smart dashboard systems designed to empower you and your employees to make smarter decisions based on the intelligent prioritization of multiple data streams.

CEOCFO: When you are first working with an organization, what is the key to understanding what their goals really are, not what they believe they need?
Mr. Saltzman: We often start by conducting executive interviews, often followed up with employee focus groups. This then leads to data collection at scale, commonly through employee surveys or other assessments. Sometimes there is a disconnect between what is stated as the organization’s objectives, the way management wants organization to actually operate and from an employee’s perspective, the way they actually operate. This procedures clarifies that potential disconnect. One exercise is to examine from the employee’s perspective what be-haviors are actually getting rewarded not what the organizations states they are rewarding. For example, in one organization, the marketing group pulled together the materials used by sales and the head of sales would regularly go to the marketing folks screaming, demanding chang-es using all sorts of foul language in a very confrontational and disrespectful manner. I asked the CEO what happens when that occurs. He said that everyone stops what they are doing and addresses the sales person’s concerns until they were resolved. Hence, they were rewarding that very behavior that the CEO stated he did not want. This also made other executives believe that they had to scream and carry on in order to get results. From a perspective of how they wanted to operate, they were not achieving the kind of climate that they really aiming for and not creating a climate where employees wanted to go above-and-beyond. Therefore, they needed to do a full stop and no longer reward those kinds of behaviors.

CEOCFO: Are you surprised that the leadership in these organizations has such a lack of understanding in this area?
Mr. Saltzman: I am also adjunct faculty at a school of management, where I teach in their Executive MBA program and one of the things that I do with my students all of the time is look at how humans fall into decision-making traps. Our brains are wired to operate in a certain way, whether it be using rules-of-thumb that can lead to all sorts of judgment errors, difficulties in accurate perception of a problem or even to what is called “magical thinking”. Thinking that if you keep doing the same things that they will eventually get a different outcome or an outcome that is based on “wishful thinking” and not evidence or science. It is not that organizations do not know what they are doing, but for humans in general, it is very easy to fall back into our tried and true patterns of decision-making. One thing we at OrgVitality try to do is bring a more disciplined approach to organizational decision-making that can lead to higher performance and better judgements.

CEOCFO: What types of companies tend to use your service?

Mr. Saltzman: My partners and I, as I mentioned earlier, are Industrial and Organizational Psychologists as well as technologists. Our work is tailored to really fit the client’s needs. Over the last 30 years, my partner and I have worked with numerous Fortune 100 companies, Best Plac-es to Work winners, small startups, government agencies and not-for-profits. We really run the whole spectrum, and are not tied to any specific industry or geography. We are also certified by the General Services Administration as a supplier to the US Federal Government.

CEOCFO: Did the Best Places to Work winners happen before or after they brought in OrgVitality?
Mr. Saltzman: I would say, during. The reason for that is that people who want to do our kind of work tend to be better organizations in the first place. If you do an employee survey and you are giving someone really critical data, who is more likely to use that data? It is the better managers. The managers who really need help with using the data are the ones who probably could use some management development and tend to be not as interested in the data because they may not see the importance in the data. They tend to be managers who are less successful over the long-term, as they do not fully recognize the importance of their people. It is a virtuous cycle. A virtuous cycle is when an organization is doing good things and so increasing its perfor-mance, enabling them to do more good things. Best Places to Work winners tend to do this kind of work.

CEOCFO: Would you walk us through a project?
Mr. Saltzman: Here is one example. We are working with a large multi-national company that has asked us to tie employee their culture to business outcomes. In other words, to demonstrate which aspects of culture most affect their business success. Business outcomes could be various things such as customer satisfaction, customer repurchase intentions, employee turnover, theft in a retail environment, overall financial performance etc. What we are doing is linking which aspects of the organization’s strategy and culture are working from the employee’s perspective and what aspects of strategy are falling short. Going beyond that, as employee’s rate certain aspects of performance either higher or lower, we statistically demonstrate is that certain aspects of performance are leading to better business outcomes. As the organizations are more sucessful, they are able to create better environments for the people working in that organization. Therefore, it is a win-win. We begin with the senior executives, in one-on-one interviews, as-sessing the challenges of the organization over the next 12 to 18 months. We talk about what is keeping them up at night, such as concerns over quality, production, and customer service or employee turnover. We also look to find out if they have articulated a current strategy and what they need to achieve, in order for the organization to achieve that strategy. Then we also talk to the employees and ask them two very simple questions. 1) What are the things that the organi-zation is doing well that it should not change, and 2) What are the things that need to be done better, that would make the organization more effective and enable you to do your job better. We then take these findings and translate them into an employee survey with data most often collected in a census fashion. We get a read across the entire organization, which may involve hundreds or hundreds of thousands of people. Last year our surveys were translated in to well over 40 languages and administered in 60 to 70 countries. Once we have that data back, we are able to slice it to the individual manager who is responsible for various pieces of the organiza-tion. Therefore, the top of the house gets a read on how they are performing as an organization overall. Individual managers, get a report back, so they get to see how they are performing lo-cally in addition to how their local performance fits into the overall performance of the organization. We train them on how to use that data and how to make organization improvement changes. When you get all of the managers in an organization together, and each one of them takes one or two things and does it better, you can get a great deal of positive change.

CEOCFO: How do you structure a question in a way that will get a response that is most meaningful?
Mr. Saltzman: There is a whole science around that and a whole methodology to writing a good survey question. You want to make sure that a survey item is about a single topic and not double or triple barreled. You also want to make sure that it is not leading the witness, so the stem is neutral. For example, “I have the necessary training to get my job done”. Which would be on a “Strongly agree to strongly disagree” scale.

CEOCFO: Are clients coming to you because they understand the depth, experience and individualization of what do or are they surprised to find out what you bring to the table?
Mr. Saltzman: It is a little bit of both. The vast majority of our clients are repeat clients. However, we also have been able to grow about 50% in each of the last 5 years. Therefore, our business is a mixture of many repeat clients, hopefully, because they are pleased, as well as growth due to our reputation as a company dedicated towards tailoring to specific client needs.

CEOCFO: What is your geographic reach?
Mr. Saltzman: We work globally and currently, we have consulting and project management staff based in New York, San Francisco, Atlanta, Spokane and Raleigh Durham. We also have a technology development group that split between the US and Israel.

CEOCFO: Do you see international as a growth area?
Mr. Saltzman: Absolutely. The vast majority of our clients are international in scope and we have a number of clients, who are non-US headquartered.

CEOCFO: Given your experience, do you often have a sense of what you will find at the end of the process?
Mr. Saltzman: Yes and no. What I mean by that is that many companies, when they first come to us will make statements such as, “You do not understand; we are different”. However, they are not always that different, because organizations are full of people, and people tend to think very similarly around the world. They also tend to behave very similarly around the world. There are certainly cultural and generational differences, but if you ask, “What do people want out of work and how does work get done?” People around the world are much more similar than they are different. Fundamental things like respectful treatment, fairness and a sense of future for myself, leading to good outcomes for my family and children are universal. For instance, I was doing focus groups in Egypt for a pharmaceutical company and what the woman in that group stated was that the real problem for them was a glass ceiling and that women could not get past, which is something that is a also common topic in the US. If we want to search for differences we can find them, but the truth is that we have a lot more in common with those from around the world than those things that differentiate us.

CEOCFO: What surprised you as OrgVitality has grown and developed over the past five years?
Mr. Saltzman: We are purposefully counter market. What I mean by that is that we are tailoring our work to fit individual clients and most of the other consulting companies in our space are no longer doing that, as they take a path to higher margins through genericizing their work. Therefore, it was risky to go with this approach, but our success indicates that it was the right decision for us.

CEOCFO: Are you finding that corporations are recognizing that they need to address this area or is it still under the radar?
Mr. Saltzman: If you looked at the Fortune 500 companies, I would think that 400 out of the 500 are already working in this space to some extent or other. Therefore, it is a big market and many companies pay attention to it. There are companies that I know that have CEOs that just do not believe in this kind of work, but I think that they are far and few between. There is an un-derstanding that employees have a great deal of valuable information and insights that can help the organization achieve higher levels of performance.

CEOCFO: Put it all together for our readers. Why choose OrgVitality?
Mr. Saltzman: They should choose OrgVitality because we can help your organization reach its full potential. We can help your organization thrive and we can help the employees in your organization perform at higher levels.

Written by Jeffrey M. Saltzman

May 9, 2015 at 8:45 am

OrgVitality Forms Strategic Partnership with Geneva Consultancy, AdeQuaTE®

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New York, September 6, 2011. AdeQuaTE®, a quality consulting organization specializing in Alignment of Talent Development with business strategies has formed a strategic partnership with OrgVitality, LLC, a management consulting firm whose services help organizations balance current performance with future potential.  The two  organizations share a similar philosophy on what makes great employees and great companies, and the newly formed partnership will capitalize on the relationship between the individual and the organization.

Dr. Lichia Saner Yiu, based in Geneva and President of AdeQuaTE® stated, “Our track-record of success in helping organization improve the quality and impact of their training and development programs and investments has enabled us to build a loyal customer base in China, India, Middle East and Asia.  We are very pleased with the opportunity to offer expanded services to our existing client base and to offer our services to OrgVitality’s client base. OrgVitality has brought together a group of dedicated professionals with an unparalleled degree of experience and a track record of delivering business results for clients.”

Jeffrey Saltzman based in New York and CEO of OrgVitality added, “The two companies are a natural fit, with products that compliment and enhance each other. Additionally, our philosophies and cultures are congruent. Both companies deliver very high quality products, tailored to fit the needs of our clients. We don’t force clients into boxed solutions, but rather, build solutions to solve clients’ specific business issues.  OrgVitality is thrilled to be associated with such a high quality company as AdeQuaTE®, and Lichia and I are both equally excited about the opportunities and synergies that this alliance will create for our clients both from a geographic and product line perspective.”

About AdeQuaTE®: AdeQuaTE® is a quality consulting organization offering dedicated expertise in promoting effective and efficient investment in talent development and intellectual capital formation. Its approach strives at achieving a balance between an individual’s career aspiration and his/her  organization’s execution of its strategic objectives. AdeQuaTE® consists of experienced and well respected experts in Organization Development and human capital investment and a network of associates specializing in process and quality management.  AdeQuaTE®, headquartered in Geneva, has operations in China, India, Middle East and Europe.  Its services include performance review (ROI) of the human capital investment, training of learning system managers, internal training quality auditors, and coaching of the chief learning officers and training quality management certifications.  For more information, please visit www.adequate.org, email contact@adequate.org or call (41-22) 906-1720.

About OrgVitality, LLC: OrgVitality is a management consulting firm focused on helping organizations make sustainable improvements in their operations and offerings, increase their Vitality and empower them to excel in their unique organizational strategies. The firm consists of highly experienced and respected professionals in Human Resources and Marketing with technical expertise in Industrial Organizational Psychology and research with an average of 15+ years of experience in their respective fields. OrgVitality, headquartered in Westchester, NY, has operations in New York, San Francisco, Atlanta, Tel Aviv, and Orlando, FL. OrgVitality’s services include employee surveys, employee assessment and selection, 360 surveys, coaching and executive assistance, customer surveys, brand and market research.  For more information, please visit www.orgvitality.com, email contactus@orgvitality or call (914) 747-7736.

Performance Metrics

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[tweetmeme source=”jeffreysaltzman”]”Which is more important, the sun or the moon?” A citizen of a small town not noted for its intellectual prowess asked. “Why the moon of course,” was the reply. “It shines at night when it is needed. The sun shines only during the day, when there is no need of it at all!” (Ausbel,  N., A Treasury of Jewish Folklore, 1948)

“What to measure, what to measure…..” the executive muttered to himself as he walked down the hallway. Do you simply measure the obvious things, or are there less obvious metrics that need to be measured that can help the organization’s performance? And how many ways should you measure similar outcomes in an effort to triangulate and instill confidence in the measure? If you don’t understand what is really going on as the quote above implies, your measures may be entirely off-base. They could be based upon superstition-like folk wisdom or they may overlook critical, but subtle aspects of performance. Metrics can be hard measures, such as sales volume, widgets produced, defects per million etc. They can be soft measures such as customer satisfaction and repurchase intentions or employee confidence in the future of the organization or their own personal future in the organization. Metrics can be at the individual level, department level, organizational level etc. When you think of all the possibilities of organizational performance that you can measure, it is no wonder that some organizations seem to spend an awful lot of effort and time measuring, eating up significant resources.  Occasionally they must ask themselves, “can we get by with fewer and simpler measures?”

Think for a moment of a car. Say you just filled the car’s tank with gas prior to heading out on an extensive road trip. You are interested in knowing when you should stop and refill the tank so that you will not become stranded by the side of the road without fuel. On your dash you have 3 gages, a fuel gage, an odometer and a clock. If you were to drive your car at a fixed speed, on a never changing road, achieving a consistent miles per gallon you could determine when to put gas in the car using any one of those 3 gages, they would be redundant. You could look at the fuel gage and see when the needle was inching toward zero. You could look at how many miles you had driven on the odometer, knowing that when you hit a certain number of miles it was time to stop for gas. Or you could look at the clock, knowing that with a steady consumption of fuel per minute, after a certain period of time gas was needed. That situation though rarely describes how a car is driven. You may be going up and down hills, starting and stopping at traffic lights, or driving at inconsistent speeds resulting in changing miles per gallon performance. Therefore each of those gages on your dashboard, while potentially highly correlated with each other in their predictions of when to stop for gas, will not be perfectly related. And with their uniqueness they will provide additional insight into maintaining the car’s or the driver’s performance. For instance the odometer can tell you that it might be time to replace the tires or change the oil and the clock can tell you how much more time you have to drive in the daylight or if rush hour awaits you in the city ahead that you will be driving through. Each measure of performance if chosen carefully should not only help triangulate on an outcome (the car needs gas) but should also provide additional insight into performance.

Those of us at OrgVitality have determined that if an organization were to focus on 6 aspects of their performance that they would have a pretty good dashboard of how the organization was functioning in the areas of softer and the often harder to measure metrics. Those aspects of performance include:

  1. Leadership
  2. Employees
  3. Work Processes
  4. Product Offerings
  5. Service Orientation
  6. Customer Loyalty.

Further, we believe that each of these metrics should have a current performance measure and a future performance measure. For instance, leadership from a current performance orientation is about execution and leadership from a future orientation is about the vision of where the organization is heading, the ability to communicate and bring that vision to life, it is about the succession planning pipeline and the development of leadership talent.

If you would like to learn more about these metrics, we have set up an OrgVitality Self-Assessment that you can sample at http://demo.orgvitality.com/vsa.  If you complete the survey you can compare the performance of your own organization against the norms from other organizations. Enjoy.

© 2011 by Jeffrey M. Saltzman. All rights reserved.

Visit www.orgvitality.com

Written by Jeffrey M. Saltzman

July 8, 2011 at 3:43 pm

Aligning Morality and Profits

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[tweetmeme source=”jeffreysaltzman”]

“Tell me why you are crying, my son

Are you frightened like most everyone

Is it the thunder in the distance you hear

Will it help if I stay very near, I am here”

Day is Done, by Peter Yarrow

of Peter, Paul and Mary

There has been much written about the greed of Wall Street, the pay of CEOs, the off-shoring of jobs to enhance corporate profits while eliminating jobs locally, the evils of globalization, the increasingly powerful corporations doing as they feel, ignoring or bending national governments and political parties to their will. Over the years, other corporations have been shown to skimp on key issues such as safety, increasing risk for their employees, or adopting procedures or processes that put their customers or the general public at risk (minimally at risk of purchasing an inferior product, but rising up to and including the risk of death).

All you have to do is read the descriptions of the egg farms associated with the recent salmonella outbreak, with bird droppings so thick that doors could not open, rodents running rampant in the henhouses, dead birds lying around, and horrible conditions for the birds themselves, to be put off of eating eggs for a long time. You question the methods of the corporate world when explosions and oil spills, that seemingly should have been prevented, contaminate vast expanses of water, destroying communities and livelihoods. Option backdating, sales figure manipulations, kickbacks, bribes, corruption, and Ponzi schemes, the selling of smoke and mirrors, snake oil and other worthless products, market manipulations, false valuations, shell corporations, tax havens, shelters and evasions, and on and on. It can be a bit overwhelming, if you let it.

The Institute for Policy Studies recently conducted research that correlated CEO pay to layoffs. CEOs among “50 companies — “layoff leaders” in the study — that laid off the most employees took home an average pay of almost $12 million in 2009, 42 percent more than the average CEO pay. Most firms — 72 percent — announced mass layoffs during periods of profit, reflecting a growing trend in corporate America: tightening the workforce to increase profit and maintain high CEO salaries.” (CBS News) Corporations seem to be rewarding to a greater extent those CEOs that can layoff the largest number of people. If everyone is laid off though, just who do these corporations and CEOs think will be buying their products and services? The notion is one of passing the buck onto someone else, some other organization or government entity to worry about, as though organizations have no social responsibility, even when the evidence suggests that organizations that minimize or have no layoffs perform better in the long-term (Cascio). The logic in the CEO’s head seems to be that “I am just paid to worry about the health of my organization, not that of society” and boards, apparently in agreement, are rewarding CEOs accordingly. To worry about society, it would require the CEO and the organization to take a long-term view of their business, its overall long-term potential growth, and not be focused on simply the next quarter’s numbers.

Consider Afghanistan, the country and its government, as an organization. In a scathing review of the corruption that is rampant and part of the “normal” operations of the government, the New York Times describes sentiments from decision makers about the need to squash the corruption in the country that flies in the face of everything we know about how people behave – what they want from life, what they expect from the heads of the various organizations to which they belong, and how they are similar to, or differ from other people elsewhere. “Since 2001, one of the unquestioned premises of American and NATO policy has been that ordinary Afghans don’t view public corruption in quite the same way that Americans and others do in the West.” (New York Times) Those sentiments are intellectually shallow and inherently wrong. Those in power in Afghanistan may not view it quite the same way, or they may rationalize that the citizens view it differently, but I can guarantee you the citizens do in fact view it like people all around the world do. They may not feel they can do anything about it, they may be resigned to it, but they resent it as much as the citizens of the USA resent corruption in their own government. (I am sure there are some in the Afghan government who are honest civil servants). And this resentment opens them up to being influenced by those (read Taliban) who promise something better (even though they are likely as corrupt as the government).

The difference between the corrupt power brokers in Afghanistan and those in the USA is not that somehow our western culture is inherently more honest, or that somehow we possess a larger percentage of people with honesty traits. The difference is that with our free press and some regulatory oversight, those in the USA are more likely to get caught and punished, and hence reign in their corrupt instincts, and given the more open, transparent nature of our society, they may find it more difficult to rise to a position of power in the first place. I am not painting a picture of inherent dishonesty being rampant, rather that if you create opportunity for individuals to behave inappropriately, a portion of them will. One role of society is to eliminate the temptation and opportunity for dishonest behavior to the extent we can.

“So you ask why I’m sighing, my son

You must inherit what mankind has done

In this world full of sorrow and woe

If you ask me why this is so, I don’t know”

Peter Yarrow

All of this behavior is in pursuit of profit or personal gain. If one were to talk to a dispassionate outside observer, you could not blame them if they were to question whether there was a better way for societies to provide for their members than those currently in use. The outsider would observe, for instance, ample evidence of organizations and individuals doing their best to maximize their positioning vis-à-vis others as though they were in some kind of race, a race that promises profit, money and personal gain laying just across the finish line.

The underlying question is this: Is the pursuit of profit and personal gain antithetical to the best interests of society as a whole, does it tend to create amoral conditions or conditions in which the average person is not treated justly? Are the conditions generated by profit seeking entities, whether they are organizations or individuals cause them to be inherently in conflict to the best interests of society as a whole?

The short answer is “no”. But it takes some explanation as to why, when we see so much abuse of the profit motive around us. In fact it gets to the point, think of Enron or even the drug cartels in Mexico for instance, where the pursuit of personal profit, personal gain or profit for the organization is clearly detrimental to society at large. Capitalism and democracy is clearly the best mechanism that we humans have devised so far to create conditions which furthers the well-being for large segments of society. But it is too easy to turn to an approach that seemingly simply provides for the greatest good, neglecting individual rights, or alternatively an approach that we should not impinge on the freedom of others to do as they choose, emphasizing individual rights, even if what they choose to do imperils others.

John Rawls (1921-2002) provides a path forward, and in recognition of that he was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 1999 for helping Americans revive their faith in democracy itself. You see, the struggles we are facing on these issues are really nothing new. John Rawls was an exceptional American philosopher who worked in the space of morality and political science.

He allowed that people are born with differing natural abilities and with uneven opportunities being handed them, because of the economic status of their parents, ethnicity, religion etc. His thinking was that “the natural distribution is neither just nor unjust; nor is it unjust that persons are born into society at some particular position. These are simply natural facts. What is just and unjust is the way that institutions deal with these facts.” In other words, yes, people are different and have different opportunities due to circumstance, but that fairness or morality when applied to these differences means that organizations are required to provide equal opportunity regardless, in order to be just. His famous thought experiment describing the “veil of ignorance” illustrated his point. What is critical is that access to differing opportunities is not institutionalized, memorialized into law, or are available simply by social contracts or norms. In the veil of ignorance, the morality of a concept is determined by how it would be implemented in society if no one knew what opportunities they would personally receive under the concept.

The profit motive is moral and it has proven much more effective than the alternatives. It has lifted countless people out of poverty and has greatly improved the lives of billions. The abuse of the profit motive, that is, profit at any cost, to the detriment of an individual or society as a whole is not moral. What Rawls would argue is that regulatory oversight of how organizations and individuals achieve profit is proper to ensure that abuse does not occur. It is up to us as a society to strike the proper balance between oversight, checks and balances that limit opportunity for improper behavior and so much regulation that we choke off the vibrancy of capitalism.

Why are you smiling, my son

Is there a secret you can tell everyone

Do you know more than men that are wise

Can you see what we all must disguise, through your loving eyes

And if you take my hand, my son,

All will be well when the day is done

Peter Yarrow

© 2010 by Jeffrey M. Saltzman. All rights reserved.

Visit OV: www.orgvitality.com

Executives from Pfizer, Cisco and Yale University Press Join OrgVitality’s Advisory Board

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OrgVitality has established an Advisory Board to help guide product development and service delivery, and selects individuals with diverse backgrounds and experience as members.

 

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White Plains, NY, March 01, 2010 –(PR.com)– OrgVitality forms an Advisory Board which will provide valuable guidance and support in chartng a sustainable course for innovation and growth. Upon establishing its Board, three key members were inducted. Mariangela Battista, Ph.D. will serve as Advisory Board Chair, and brings 15+ years’ of corporate experience having worked in the Talent, Organizational Capability and Research functions of IBM, Pepsi Bottling Group, American Express, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Inc., the Interpublic Group of Companies (IPG) and Pfizer, Inc.

Also joining are Bryan Maach, Vice President of Market Research & Analysis at Cisco Systems, Inc., and Michael O’Malley, Ph.D., Executive Editor at Yale University Press. At Cisco Systems, Mr. Maach is currently responsible for leading a community of research professionals whose mission is to provide actionable information to Cisco’s senior executives. He also brings with him a decade of experience working for IBM, where he held a number of research and intelligence positions including Asia Pacific Director of Market Intelligence. Dr. O’Malley is currently the Executive Editor for Business, Economics, and Law at the Yale University Press where he has published several award-winning books. His teaching and research interests parallel his thirty-year career in academia and human resource consulting, in which he has advised over 200 companies and written extensively in the areas of organizational change and leadership.

Ann Tedesco, Partner and Vice President of OrgVitality stated, “We are very honored and excited to have created an Advisory Board consisting of members with such a diverse range of experiences. Each member offers a unique perspective which will help us further enhance our unique blend of Human Resources and Market Intelligence offerings”.

About OrgVitality, LLC:
OrgVitality is a management consulting firm focused on helping organizations make sustainable improvements in their operations and offerings, increase their Vitality and empower them to excel in their unique organizational strategies. The firm consists of highly experienced and respected professionals in Human Resources and Marketing with technical expertise in Industrial Organizational Psychology and research with an average of 15+ years of experience in their respective fields. For more information, please visit http://www.orgvitality.com, email contactus@orgvitality or call (914) 595-4866.

Written by Jeffrey M. Saltzman

March 2, 2010 at 1:27 pm

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