Most Warriors when engaged in conflict may have either killed and broken things, but, as a soldier, that was never the end. There was a purpose, a reason, a goal. Always. My country, profession, and family demand this, as is the case for all in uniform.
The military’s purpose is not to kill people and break things. This idea is factually, historically, professionally, and philosophically wrong — and must itself be remorselessly killed and violently broken. This 11-word platitude has no place in modern society.
To suggest the military’s purpose is to break and kill confuses purpose and task, ends with means. Ironically, this miscalculation came from a minister. To apply the error in ecclesiastical terms would be to claim that Jesus’s purpose was merely to die a painful physical death, without any higher design. This might seem like silly semantics to some, but to professionals carrying either cross or carbine, words matter.
Beyond the logic, consider U.S. military doctrine’s first among equals — Joint Publication 1: Doctrine for the Armed Forces of the United States — which affirms that “military power is integrated with other instruments of national power to advance and defend US values, interests, and objectives.” This purpose applies even to the ground-pounding infantry, whose mission is “to close with and destroy the enemy.” Again, “destroy” is a task, which does not a purpose make. And recent reality reflects a much broader set of tasks for the grunts than myopic fixation on stabbing and smashing, all of which serve the same purpose Joint Publication 1 describes: training the Ukrainian army, assuring the Baltics, supporting African states, not to mention the development of security forces in Iraq and Afghanistan for the past decade. Doctrine and recent experience combine to confirm that killing and breaking are not the military’s sole purpose or occupation.

Huckabee’s oft-repeated assertion is also wrong historically. Consider the Berlin Airlift, or the responses to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the earthquake in Haiti, and the massive disasters in Indonesia and Japan. Or the military’s role in creation and discovery: the Panama Canal, the Space Race, Lewis and Clark, the Great White Fleet, the Internet. We stand watch over the heroes in Arlington, as well as the environment: the U.S. Army protected Yellowstone, our first National Park, for over 30 years (which is where Smokey the Bear got that great campaign hat). Dr. Seuss drew political cartoons as a lieutenant, while director Frank Capra of It’s a Wonderful Life fame made movies as a major in the U.S. Army during World War II. The military does many diverse tasks. The common denominator is serving and protecting America, Americans, and American interests.
To sharpen this edge with a personal point, I write from a forward-stationed position in the Republic of Korea. Tensions are up after North Korea planted mines on our side of the Demilitarized Zone, maiming two South Korean soldiers, which resulted in an escalatory exchange of psychological operations loudspeaker broadcasts and indirect fire. If I were to receive a real-world alert call tonight, the entire range is possible: humanitarian aid and disaster relief, airstrikes and artillery, tanks and tunnels, not to leave out the fully present danger of nuclear, chemical and biological warfare. Or all of the above.
Critics will counter with Clausewitz, dismissing my argument as the naïve, “kind-hearted” words of someone that misguidedly believes there is “some ingenious way to disarm or defeat an enemy without too much bloodshed.” But Clausewitz was writing in an era of limited options, when a bloodsucking leech was often the medical profession’s first and only recourse. Today is different. New U.S. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley just alluded to the same kind of red stuff. “As America, we have no luxury of a single opponent,” Milley said, warning that “we will pay the butcher’s bill in blood” if the military is not prepared to succeed at tasks across the full spectrum. Limiting the military to killing and breaking would inappropriately constrain us to black/white responses in a Technicolor world.
Not everything has changed. The Spartans had a saying, which roughly translates to “Come back with your shield or on it.” The shield was valued above all, because in the ranks, the shield protected not just its immediate bearer, but also the next soldier, and on, and so on. The shield mattered more than the sword. The message was clear: If you do not have your shield, if you lost that implement of integrated defense, then you had better not come back at all. And this rings true today: The military is both the country’s shield and sword, but, always the shield over the sword.

The final stake in this mistaken sentiment’s heart is that it misrepresents me as a military person. If my purpose is to kill people and break things, how do I explain this to my wife and two young daughters? Particularly as Gen. Milley considered this our primary audience, stating: “Most importantly, we serve for our children.” Should I get down on bended knee and tell my girls, “Daddy is a killer and a breaker?” Would this make them smile? Proud?
The idea that the military exists to kill and break rests on a Hollywood-informed view of the world, loaded with giant, muscular superheroes that never have to submit to the laws of physics or a weapon’s maximum ammunition capacity, perpetually ready to whack a terrorist at a moment’s notice. This Bruckheimerian theology might be captured at its uniformed best in Marvel’s Captain America (played by a CGI-enhanced Chris Evans). Ironically, friends at work have taken to calling me “Steve Rogers” — as in the scrawny, scrappy, hard charger who eventually transforms into Captain America after taking a mystery drug (steroids). As in all jokes, there’s some truth in the punchline: As a runner, I fill out every bit of my extra-small uniform.
But here’s why I’m proud, fiercely proud, to be nicknamed “Steve Rogers.” In the movies, you take some chemicals, get big and impervious to heavy-weapons fire, and start mauling bad guys. In reality, those of us in uniform are human, not Terminators. There’s a telling moment in Captain America when a senior officer tests a group of recruits by rolling a grenade into a large gathering of soldiers. Without hesitation, the smallest of them, Steve Rogers, hurls himself onto the explosive. The protective instinct on display represents the military far better than any written description ever could — sacrificing one’s all to safeguard the many.
The purpose of the military is not to kill people and break things. While sometimes it must break, it must always guard. While sometimes it must kill, it must always keep. In all things, in all tasks, beyond any debate, the military’s purpose is to serve and protect America.

Major Matt Cavanaugh, a U.S. Army Strategist, has served in assignments from Iraq to the Pentagon and New York to New Zealand. He writes regularly at and invites others to connect via Twitter @MLCavanaugh. This essay is an unofficial expression of opinion; the views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of the US Military Academy, Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or any agency of the U.S. government.




Here’s how you can leverage your personal brand into a money-making machine just like the Kardashians, When it comes to business and people, there really isn’t much of a difference between them. The only difference is that personal brands, on average, tend to last longer than companies do. Both parties embrace branding, marketing, and sales. They just do them in a slightly different way. But if you were to embrace what the Kardashians did, it would propel your personal brand to success.
The Kardashians are brilliant when it comes to the art of the personal brand. They know how to get themselves straight into the spotlight and leverage their personal brands into money-making machines.
What they do best is they stack their success.
I’ve leveraged my personal brand a bit to help leverage me into doubling my income, being featured in a few publications, and building out a social-media following. What I did doesn’t nearly compare to the level of success of the Kardashians, though.
From my personal experience in building my brand, there are a lot of similarities between what I did compared to what they have done. But then again, they’ve also done it a lot better than I could ever do.
It’s easiest to track the success of the Kardashian brand by following these 10 steps Kim Kardashian paved the way for:

1. Have a USP (Unique Selling Proposition).
Originally, Kim wanted the attention of the media. To get it, she needed to differentiate herself. She needed a USP (Unique Selling Proposition). And while I’m not advocating a sex tape as a springboard to success, it’s undeniable that her sex tape with B-list celebrity Ray J put her in the spotlight.
That USP garnered the attention of the regular people, like us.
Regardless, using a sex tape certainly isn’t advisable for anyone, since it is an absurd thing to do. Plus, in today’s age, it’s no longer a USP–it would never generate the same type of buzz that Kim K. initially created.
There are many other, more straightforward ideas for generating a unique selling proposition. For me, my original USP was failure. For James Altucher, it was his sense of authenticity. For Michael Simmons, it was his ability to gather multiple perspectives and back his claims with research. Find your USP and separate yourself from the crowd.

2. Leverage your network.
Since Kim launched her career with Ray J, a B-list celebrity, people felt she might be as important, if not more important, than Ray J. People associated who she was with her surroundings, bringing her status up from regular person to potential celebrity.
If you plan to move up in the world, start to surround yourself with people who are in higher positions than you. By associating yourself with high-level people, others will think of you as a high-level person as well.

3. Define your brand.
Once Kim started to gather our attention, her social-media profiles started to inflate. She knew that a lot of people would follow her just because of her sex tape, but she didn’t want that to be all she was known for. She defined herself as a trendsetter, then laid out the foundation of who she was through her social-media accounts.
I pivoted from failure to self-help and personal branding. What you start out with doesn’t need to be what you end up with. You just need to stay true to yourself and figure that your USP is just what separates you from the crowd, not something that defines who you are.

4. Embrace your fans.
Kim knew that the only way she would continue to grow her audience was if she showed some love to her fans. She engaged and connected with her audience. This kept up the steady growth of her social-media accounts until they hit the millions they are at today.
I replied to the people who commented on my writing. I showed them appreciation. They then showed their appreciation in return.

5. Turn to the media.
Once Kim started to gain fame and popularity online, she turned to the media. They picked up her stories and ran with them. That media coverage turned her from an average girl straight into a celebrity.
Each publication I have written for has added a tiny bit of credibility to who I am. When all of that compounds, though, it becomes much more powerful. This will allow you to stand out from the crowd.

6. Bring up your team.
Once the media had granted Kim celebrity status, she was given her own show. She took this opportunity to spread her success to her whole family. Now, she wasn’t the only celebrity, her entire family became celebrities.
I work closely with a core team of people who have helped me move ahead in life. We all work together on raising each other up and encouraging each other every step of the way.

7. Make bold and risky moves.
Kim wanted to redefine beauty. She went off and got naked on the cover of a few magazines. Caitlin wanted to be true to who she was. She went onto the cover of Vogue.
These types of moves both empower and anger the general population. It makes the believers feel that they, too, can live the dream of being true to who they are, while it angers the traditionalists.
This controversy keeps the Kardashian names in the media and keeps the focus on their brands, so they are continually talked about.
I divulged details of my personal life for the world to see. As scared as I was, people were receptive and encouraging. This helped me be more well-rounded and likable to my audience.

8. Own what you do.
Controversy is hard to deal with. When haters hate, most people break down. I’ve been hated on before, and I rolled over. The Kardashians, on the other hand, have thick skin. They don’t care what anyone else thinks, they own what they do. Being confident and owning what you do, no matter the opinion of others, turns you into a bold leader.

9. Partner with successful people.
Kim partnered with Brian Lee of Legalzoom to make Shoedazzle. She partnered with billionaire jeweler Pascal Mouawad to make Belle Noel jewelry. Her partnerships with successful people are her way of creating a long-term business legacy through the utilization of her name.
I partnered with many successful entrepreneurs. Because of this, I was able to take big strides forward instead of small baby steps. But since I laid out all the baby steps ahead of time, the strides became much easier to make.

10. Stack your successes.
The basis to the foundation of the whole Kardashian family brand is how they stack their successes. Kim leveraged a sex tape into a social-media following. She leveraged her social-media following into garnering attention from the media. She leveraged the media to turn her into a mini-celebrity. She leveraged her mini-celebrity status to get her own TV show. She leveraged the TV show to turn herself and her whole family into celebrities.She leveraged her celebrity status to get sponsorships and partnerships with major brands across the world.She leveraged her status to make her millions. She leveraged her celebrity status to marry a celebrity. She leveraged her marriage into a national holiday.

All through Kim’s career, she leveraged every success that came her way and doubled down on it. This gave her family the ability to double down on their successes as well. Then the whole family grew together. Being in branding and having experience in building my own brand, I’ve seen firsthand that this is the recipe for success. Now, the Kardashian brand holds far more value than many other companies out there today. They understand the importance of building and maintaining a life-long business, plus they always keep themselves ahead of the curve.

How are you stacking your successes to propel you forward?
By Naved Jafry & Garson Silvers

Understanding State Sponsored Cyberterrorism

As offensive cyber activity becomes more prevalent, policymakers will be challenged to develop proportionate responses to disruptive or destructive attacks. Already, there has been significant pressure to “do something” in light of the allegedly state-sponsored attacks on Sony Pictures Entertainment and the Sands Casino. But finding a timely, proportionate, legal, and discriminatory response is complicated by the difficulty in assessing the damage to national interests and the frequent use of proxies. Perpetrators have plausible deniability, frustrating efforts to assign responsibility. Past experience suggests that most policy responses have been ad hoc.
In determining the appropriate response to a state-sponsored cyber incident, policymakers will need to consider three variables: the intelligence community’s confidence in its attribution of responsibility, the impact of the incident, and the levers of national power at a state’s disposal.
While these variables will help guide responses to a disruptive or destructive cyberattack, policymakers will also need to take two steps before an incident occurs. First, policymakers will need to work with the private sector to determine the effect of an incident on their operations. Second, governments need to develop a menu of preplanned response options and assess the potential impact of any response on political, economic, intelligence, and military interests.
Background: Cyber Incidents and Uncertainty
Even as the number of highly disruptive and destructive cyberattacks grows, governments remain unprepared to respond adequately. In other national security areas, policy responses to state-sponsored activity are well established. For example, a country can expel diplomats in response to a spying scandal, issue a demarche if a country considers its sovereignty to have been violated, and use force in response to an armed attack. Clear and established policy responses such as these do not yet exist for cyberattacks for two reasons. First, assessing the damage caused by a cyber incident is difficult. It can take weeks, if not months, for computer forensic experts to accurately and conclusively ascertain the extent of the damage done to an organization’s computer networks. For example, it took roughly two weeks for Saudi authorities to understand the extent of the damage of the Shamoon incident, which erased data on thirty thousand of Saudi Aramco’s computers. Although this may be quick by computer forensics standards, a military can conduct a damage assessment from a non-cyber incident in as little as a few hours.
Second, attributing cyber incidents to their sponsor remains a significant challenge. Masking the true origins of a cyber incident is easy—states often use proxies or compromised computers in other jurisdictions to hide their tracks. For example, a group calling itself the Cyber Caliphate claimed responsibility for taking French television station TV5 Monde off the air with a cyberattack in April 2015, and used the television station’s social media accounts to post content in support of the self-proclaimed Islamic State. Two months later French media reported that Russian state-sponsored actors, not pro–Islamic State groups, were likely behind the incident. Even when attribution is possible, it is not guaranteed that domestic or foreign audiences will believe the claim unless officials reveal potentially classified methods used to determine the identity of the perpetrator, damaging intelligence assets. Under pressure, responses are likely to be made quickly with incomplete evidence and attract a high degree of public skepticism. This creates clear risks for policymakers. Quick damage assessments could lead to an overestimation of the impact of an incident, causing a state to respond disproportionately. Misattributing an incident could cause a response to be directed at the wrong target, creating a diplomatic crisis.

Developing a Proportionate Response
Policymakers should consider three variables before developing a response. First, they should understand the level of confidence that their intelligence agencies have in attributing the incident. Although there have been great strides in intelligence agencies’ ability to attribute malicious activity, digital forensics is not perfect. The degree of attributional certainty will have a direct impact on the action taken. For example, if the level of attribution is low, policymakers will be limited in their choice of response even if the severity of the attack is high. They may choose a less valuable retaliatory target to limit the odds of escalation and international criticism. There may also be instances where there is so little evidence for the source of the attack that the victim may choose not to respond.
Second, policymakers should assess the cyber incident’s effects on physical infrastructure, society, the economy, and national interests. Questions include: What was the physical damage caused by the affected systems, and was there any impact to critical infrastructure? What type of essential services are affected? Has the incident caused a significant loss of confidence in the economy? What was the incident’s impact on national security and the country’s reputation?
Third, policymakers should consider the range of diplomatic, economic, and military responses at their disposal, from a quiet diplomatic rebuke to a military strike. Responses need not be limited to cyberspace—nothing bars a state from using other channels, though each carries its own risks.
Cyber responses can be taken in addition to diplomatic, economic, and military activity. However, they would most often be delivered covertly and could be difficult to develop quickly unless a government had prepared capability against a specific target, likely involving prior cyber espionage, an unparalleled understanding of a target’s vulnerabilities, and a custom exploit kit at its disposal. As an example, Stuxnet reportedly took years to develop and deploy. An overt cyber response can be unappealing as states may lose the ability to launch similar responses against other targets. Although states may outsource their responses to a proxy, doing so could limit their control over the response and lead to escalatory activity. Therefore, policymakers are likely to concentrate on other levers of power, alongside whatever they may do covertly.
Given the likely pressure governments will feel to respond to significant cyberattacks, policymakers need to develop a response framework before a disruptive or destructive cyber incident occurs. Although each response will be case specific, a framework will enable policymakers to quickly consider their options.
Figure 1 represents a possible framework that policymakers can build on. Combining incident impact, policy options, and proportionality, it outlines the different levers of state power that can be applied in response to escalating levels of cyber incident. It plots the effects of a cyber incident, with website defacement at one end of the scale and loss of life at the opposite end. This is plotted against the level of response, ranging from media statements to military responses. Across the response spectrum there will be inherent political and legal risks associated with each decision, and risks increase as the level of the response increases. The proposed responses are applicable to state-sponsored activity. For disruptive or destructive activity caused by individuals, criminal networks, or others without state backing, law enforcement responses are more appropriate.

Figure 1. Policy Responses to Escalating State-Sponsored Cyber Incidents
As with other areas of international relations, proportionality emerges through state practice—the expulsion of diplomats in response to a mild violation of sovereignty is perceived as proportionate only because states have been doing it for decades. When one country levies economic sanctions, the sanctioned country often responds in kind—Russia responded to U.S. sanctions over its annexation of Crimea with sanctions of its own. This same logic applies to cyberspace. While there may be pressure to respond disproportionally to deter future attacks, international law requires that states only take forcible measures that are necessary and proportionate to successfully repel or defeat a disruptive or destructive cyberattack, limiting the “scale, scope, duration and intensity” of any action a victim state may take. Furthermore, responding proportionally may make it easier to build the international coalitions necessary to isolate and punish the attacker as well as limit the likelihood of escalation.
If a country is the victim of a state-sponsored website defacement, a public denouncement is likely the most appropriate response. Moving up the scale, any activity that begins to manipulate or destroy data would potentially require diplomatic action, such as a demarche in low-impact cases or the expulsion of diplomats if the incident affects the victim’s economy. Once the economy is adversely affected, a range of economic responses can be used in coordination with diplomatic pressure, from freezing individuals’ financial transactions within the sponsoring state to levying international sanctions. Should an incident cause physical damage, a policymaker could consider a military option as an appropriate and proportional response, from military posturing to an attack, depending on the incident’s severity. All of these options can be complemented with cyber or covert action, which will also need to be proportionate to the damage caused by the incident.
Each state can begin developing its own policy response framework by first working with the private sector, particularly in critical infrastructure. Critical infrastructure is a priority for attackers, making it important for infrastructure operators to be involved in the development of a response framework. They are in a good position to advise government on incidents that would affect their operations and how severe an incident would need to be before a response is required.
Second, policymakers should clearly understand the costs associated with each response in the framework. Each response will have an impact on a country’s diplomatic relations, reputation, and military and intelligence operations. These effects need to be understood before a response is chosen. Assessing options will require input from relevant government agencies, as well as critical infrastructure operators, whose operations could be affected by a response.
Cyber incidents provide governments with a highly complex set of decisions to make, from understanding the severity of the incident to assessing appropriate responses to take, while continually evaluating the risks involved in taking certain courses of action. The framework, while deliberately simplified, provides a rudimentary model for framing the potential responses to a state-sponsored incident before one occurs. This should give policymakers a starting point from which to make their own assessments on courses of action to take during a time of crisis.

Preparing Businesses For Generation Z

  Buckle up businesses and governments as a dramatic shift is coming.  Just when we could barely  understand or could monetize the millennials, generation Z is on its way. Since most of generation Z were born after 2000 their oldest members are turning 18 and will start entering the work force in large numbers in just a few years. 

To make it even more interesting Gen Z’s career attitudes are significantly different from the millennials who preceded them. This will completely change the way this future market will buy,work,live,play and date. I personally think the best in super efficiency is yet to come. 

Research firm Universum surveyed high school students and recent graduates in 46 countries. One big theme around the world: Members of Generation Z see themselves as entrepreneurial. In fact, 55% of 50,000 Gen Z-ers Universum polled said they’re interested in starting their own company. Why? They want to be their own boss and think starting a business is a great way to make an impact. 


 Even though Millennial generation is bigger, more diverse than boomers, Universum researchers have seen a gradual rise in entrepreneurial interest with each generation, and expect that trend to continue from millennials to Gen Z, says Katharine Lynn, Universum’s associate director of marketing and communications. The “growing pervasiveness of startups” like Facebook and Uber”. The increasing desire for independence are helping fueling that drive and interest which Inturn has increased a strong sense focus on their tech skills, which can be learned regardless of where you go to school or what you study. 

Gen Z’s independent streak is much stronger than millennials’, with 32% of Gen Z respondents saying autonomy is one of their most important career goals, compared to just 22% of Gen Y. Less essential for Gen Z? Work-life balance, cited by 40% of Gen Z-ers vs. 54% of millennials. And the intellectual challenge of a career is critical to just 19% of Gen Z compared to 32% of Gen Y. Meanwhile, only 27% say it’s important to feel they’re serving a greater good with their work, compared to 35% of their elders surveyed. Even though Millennials aren’t like the Gen X’s the rest of the subsequent generations will benifit greatly from their leapfrogging of technology, goods and services produced. Of course, Gen Z is still made up of mostly students and their relative inexperience may be their single biggest strength of not being influenced by current ways of being and thinking. Despite their zest for entrepreneurship, members of Gen Z are not terribly optimistic about their financial prospects as only 56% of Gen Z expects to have a better lifestyle than their parents, compared to 71% of millennials. I would predict that it would not be long when super efficient shared economies will be the norm spearheaded by the world of Generation Z’s. 

By Naved Jafry & Garson Silvers

Understanding the Curating Of An Organization’s Culture

Business leaders believe a strong organizational culture is critical to success, yet culture tends to feel like some magic force that few know how to control. So most executives manage it according to their intuition. Although according to Lindsey Mcgreggor answering three questions can help transform culture from a mystery to a science: 1) How does culture drive performance? 2) What is culture worth? 3) What processes in an organization affect culture? In this article, we address each of these to show how leaders can engineer high performing organizational cultures and measure their impact on the bottom line.
How does culture drive performance?

After surveying over 20,000 workers around the world, analyzing 50 major companies, conducting scores of experiments, and scouring the landscape of academic research in a range of disciplines, we came to one conclusion: Why we work determines how well we work,

How to Be It takes a careful mix of mission, management, and culture. One 2013 study illustrates this well. Researchers asked almost 2,500 workers to analyze medical images for “objects of interest.” They told one group that the work would be discarded; they told the other group that the objects were “cancerous tumor cells.” The workers were paid per image analyzed. The latter group, or “meaning” group, spent more time on each image, earning 10% less, on average, than the “discard” group — but the quality of their work was higher. Reshaping the workers’ motive resulted in better performance. Academics have studied why people work for nearly a century, but a major breakthrough happened in the 1980s when professors Edward Deci and Richard Ryan from the University of Rochester distinguished the six main reasons why people work. We built on their framework and adapted it for the modern workplace. The six main reasons people work are: play, purpose, potential, emotional pressure, economic pressure, and inertia. The work of many researchers has found that the first three motives tend to increase performance, while the latter three hurt it. We found that the companies most famous for their cultures from Southwest Airlines to Trader Joe’s maximize the good motives, while minimizing the bad ones.
Play is when you are motivated by the work itself. You work because you enjoy it. A teacher at play enjoys the core activities of teaching — creating lesson plans, grading tests, or problem solving how to break through to each student. Play is our learning instinct, and it’s tied to curiosity, experimentation, and exploring challenging problems.

Purpose is when the direct outcome of the work fits your identity. You work because you value the work’s impact. For example, a teacher driven by purpose values or identifies with the goal of educating and empowering children.

Potential is when the outcome of the work benefits your identity. In other words, the work enhances your potential. For example, a teacher with potential may be doing his job because he eventually wants to become a principal. Since these three motives are directly connected to the work itself in some way, you can think of them as direct motives. They will improve performance to different degrees. Indirect motives, however, tend to reduce it.
Emotional pressure is when you work because some external force threatens your identity. If you’ve ever used guilt to compel a loved one to do something, you’ve inflicted emotional pressure. Fear, peer pressure, and shame are all forms of emotional pressure. When you do something to avoid disappointing yourself or others, you’re acting on emotional pressure. This motive is completely separate from the work itself. 

Economic pressure is when an external force makes you work. You work to gain a reward or avoid a punishment. Now the motive is not only separate from the work itself, it is also separate from your identity. Finally, inertia is when the motive is so far removed from the work and your identity that you can’t identify why you’re working. When you ask someone why they are doing their work, and they say, “I don’t know; I’m doing it because I did it yesterday and the day before,” that signals inertia. It is still a motive because you’re still actually doing the activity, you just can’t explain why.

These indirect motives tend to reduce performance because you’re no longer thinking about the work you’re thinking about the disappointment, or the reward, or why you’re bothering to do it at all. You’re distracted, and you might not even care about the work itself or the quality of the outcome. It is observed that high performing culture maximizes the play, purpose, and potential felt by its people, and minimizes the emotional pressure, economic pressure, and inertia. This is known as creating total motivation (ToMo). Take, for example, an experiment conducted by Teresa Amabile at Harvard. She assembled a group of poets to write a simple short poem on the topic of laughter. Before they wrote anything, she had one group read a list of “play” reasons for being a poet (“you enjoy the opportunity for self-expression” or “you like to play with words”), and she had the other group read a list of emotional and economic pressure reasons (“you want your writing teachers to be favorably impressed with your writing talent” or “you have heard of cases where one bestselling novel or collection of poems has made the author financially secure”). She found that the play group created poems that were later deemed about 26% more creative than the poems of the pressure group. The play group’s higher total motivation made a difference when it came to performance.
How to Measure Total Motivation

We survey employees of an organization, asking six questions–one for each motive. Each question determines how much of each motive a person feels in their work, on a scale between 1 (strongly disagree) and 7 (strongly agree). Then we use the following formula to calculate the individual’s total motivation, which is then used in calculating that of the organization:
(10 x the score for play) + (5 x purpose) + (1 2/3 x potential) – (1 2/3 x emotional pressure) – (5 x economic pressure) – (10 x inertia)
We determined the weighting of each motive by conducting regressions between each motive and performance across industries, and then simplified to build a simple metric that ranges from -100 to 100. The weights demonstrate that the closer the motive is to the work itself, the more it drives performance.

What is culture worth?

Creating a business case for culture isn’t impossible. While it is difficult to measure whether someone is being creative, proactive, or resilient in the moment, it’s actually not difficult to calculate total motivation. Using six questions, one for each motive, we can compute an organization’s ToMo using very simple math (see the sidebar for the calculation) and then determine its impact on performance. Take for example the airline industry. Players share the same terminals and use the same planes, but customer satisfaction differs widely across carriers. When we measured the total motivation of employees of four major airlines, and compared their cultures with an outcome like customer satisfaction (as measured by the ACSI / University of Michigan), we saw that an organization’s culture (as measured by ToMo) tightly predicted customer satisfaction. In other words, cultures that inspired more play, purpose, and potential, and less emotional pressure, economic pressure, and inertia, produced better customer outcomes. We saw this play out in retail, banking, telecommunications, and the fast food industry as well. And the impact isn’t limited to customer satisfaction. In one hedge fund, the highest performing portfolio managers had higher total motivation. And in one retail organization we worked with, we found that the difference between a low ToMo and high-ToMo sales associate was 30% in revenues.

What processes in an organization affect culture?

We have asked thousands of managers how they would define a high-performing culture. Most don’t have a great definition. So here is one: Culture is the set of processes in an organization that affects the total motivation of its people. In a high-performing culture, those processes maximize total motivation. When we measured how different processes affect employees’ total motivation, we learned a couple things: There is no silver bullet. Many processes affect people’s ToMo at work. By surveying thousands of US workers, we measured how much the elements of a workplace from how a job is designed to how performance is reviewed affect ToMo. What we tend to think that leadership matters most to motivation, other processes can have an even bigger impact. The x-axis shows the ToMo scale (which goes from -100 to 100). The grey bars represent the range to which each process affects an employee’s total motivation, as gathered from survey responses. For example, how a role is designed can swing total motivation by 87 points. A badly designed role results in ToMo scores as low as almost -40, whereas a well designed role can result in a ToMo as high as almost 50. That’s huge, given that in many industries, the most-admired cultures tend to have 15 points higher ToMo than their peers. Some companies make special efforts to design a highly motivating role. Toyota encourages play by giving factory workers the opportunity to come up with and test new tools and ideas on the assembly line. W. L. Gore & Associates gives people free time and resources to develop new ideas. And Southwest Airlines encourages their people to treat each customer interaction as play perhaps you’ve seen how some flight attendants have turned boring safety announcements into comedy sketches. The next most sensitive element is the identity of an organization, which includes its mission and behavioral code. For example, Medtronic enables its engineers and technicians to see the medical devices they’ve made in action, so that they can see the purpose of their work. The Chief Talent Officer at UCB Pharmaceuticals told us how he recently started inviting patients to executive meetings, so the people making decisions can see how their work makes a difference. And a Walmart executive told us that he kicked off management meetings by reviewing how much money his division had saved customers rather than how much money Walmart had made. The third most sensitive element is the career ladder in an organization. Recently, many companies have concluded that their system of evaluating their people, which drives the promotion process, tends to destroy performance. Systems where employees are stack-ranked or rated against each other will increase emotional and economic pressure, reducing total motivation and thus performance. As a result, companies from Microsoft to Lear are moving away from performance review systems that foster unhealthy competition. Culture is an ecosystem. The elements of culture interact with and reinforce each other. One example is sales commissions. In general, we found that having a sales commission decreases the ToMo of an individual. However, if that individual also believes that their work materially helps their customers, the commission increases their ToMo. This makes sense through the lens of total motivation: if you don’t believe in what you’re doing, the commission becomes your motive. That’s low-ToMo. If you do believe in what you’re doing, the commission is gravy. It may even help you track your progress, increasing play. That’s high-ToMo.
What leaders can do

Looking at all these processes together, it’s clear that culture is the operating system of an organization. Senior leaders can build and maintain a high-performing culture by teaching managers to lead in highly motivating ways. For example, one study of bank branch managers showed that offering high-ToMo leadership training led to a 20% increase in credit card sales and a 47% increase in personal loan sales. CEOs should make a business case for culture (with a budget) and enlist HR and business leaders to improve the elements that affect culture, from role design to performance reviews. Even without redesigning processes, however, team leaders can start improving the total motivation of their employees by: Holding a reflection huddle with your team once a week. Teams we’ve worked with hold an hour-long huddle once a week in which each person answers three questions directed at encouraging: 1) Play: What did I learn this week? 2) Purpose: What impact did I have this week? And 3) Potential: What do I want to learn next week? Explaining the why behind the work of your team. One executive at a retail store told us she often introduced a new project by saying, “We have to do this because Linda [the boss] asked for it.” This was motivating through emotional pressure, which was hurting her team’s performance. So she started explaining why a project would help the customer instead.

Considering how you’ve designed your team’s roles. Does everyone have a space to play? Think about where people should be free to experiment and make that clear. For example, a Starbucks manager told us that he lets each employee experiment with how they connect to each customer, and a bank manager we worked with said he encourages people to suggest process improvements. Then ask if everyone has the opportunity to witness the impact of their work, and think about what might help them build a stronger purpose. Finally, find out where each team member would like to be in two years — and come up with a plan to help their reach their potential. Overall A great culture is not easy to build it’s why high performing cultures are such a powerful competitive advantage. Yet organizations that build great cultures are able to meet the demands of the fast-paced, customer-centric, digital world we live in. More and more organizations are beginning to realize that culture can’t be left to chance. Leaders have to treat culture building as an engineering discipline, not a magical one.

By Naved Jafry & M.Dhanerawalla

What Enterprises Need To Know About Creating Sustainable Development Goals


Which goals are key for businesses? What sectors do they address? Will they make any difference? Here are some insights on many of the 169 SDG targets which can come handy when building a SDG compatible organization. Where the millennium development goals were seen as applying principally to developing countries, the sustainable development goals will apply globally. What do businesses need to know about them? Ahead of the formal adoption of the sustainable development goals (SDGs) at the UN’s Sustainable Development Summit in New York, we wonder what are the SDGs, what do they mean for business and what impact will they have?
What are they?
The SDGs effectively replace the millennium development goals (MDGs), which were in place from 2000 to 2015. Whether you believe the MDGs were a success or not, they certainly became a fulcrum for global development. In 2012, at Rio+20, it was agreed that a new set of goals would be drawn up, based on widespread stakeholder engagement. The final 17 goals as agreed by all 193 member states of the UN cover a 15-year timeframe to 2030 and include 169 targets. “Unlike the MDGs, the private sector has been very involved in their creation,” says Simon Kingston, global development practice lead at Russell Reynolds Associates.
Which goals are most business-specific?
MDG sceptics long argued that the only reason people were lifted out of poverty from 2000-2015 was the economic growth of developing and middle-income markets, most notably China and India. In a sense, the SDGs build on that argument and embrace private sector growth as a means for development and poverty reduction. Goal 8 includes targets to achieve full employment for all, protect labour rights and tackle the Neet (people not in education, employment or training) crisis, the last of these by 2020. It also includes the memorable phrase “decouple economic growth from environmental degradation”, which could become the slogan for sustainable business.Goal 9’s “sustainable industrialisation” talks of a need to significantly raise “industry’s share of employment and gross domestic product, and double its share in least developed countries” – a pro private sector stance (and arguably anti public ownership). “The important elements for business is that their role has been recognised,” says San Bilal, head of the economic transformation and trade programme at the European Centre for Development Policy Management. “They are not considered the bad guys any more. The discourse has changed – seeking to make profit is not seen as [incompatible] with development.”However, Rob Cameron, executive director of SustainAbility and former CEO of Fairtrade International, says: “Don’t overlook Goal 1, end poverty in all its forms, everywhere … the question becomes one of equity, and business will need to address that.”

Which sectors are addressed?
There’s a fair bit in the goals for the food and drink industry. Goal 12 includes halving per capita global food waste at the retail level and reducing food losses along production and supply chains. Goal 2 also seems to favour smallholder farmers over large-scale agri-business – “double the agricultural productivity and incomes of small-scale food producers … including through secure and equal access to land”. For the energy industry, fossil-fuel subsidies are to be phased out “where they exist, to reflect their environmental impacts”, while increasing “substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix”. Water and utilities obviously have a direct interest in Goal 6 (ensure access to water and sanitation for all), while the fishing industry is targeted by Goal 14(conserve oceans, seas and marine resources).
Recurring theme of trade liberalisation
The removal of subsidies and trade barriers recurs throughout. As well as fossil-fuel subsidises, the prohibition of fisheries subsidies is called for in Goal 14. Goal 17 gives robust support to global business and free trade, and calls for meaningful trade liberalisation under the World Trade Organisation (WTO), while the “means of implementation” section of the SDGs twice describes international trade as an “engine for inclusive economic growth”. We can expect to see the Doha Development Agenda come back to the fore.“Governments cannot ignore their responsibilities,” says Cameron. “There is no such thing as a free market, there never has been – government sets the rules by which commerce is done … that regulation has to shift.”
Sustainable business becomes mainstream
The circular economy, supply chain auditing and sustainability reporting – all come out of the shadows and into the limelight.Goal 12 calls for the 10-year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production to be implemented, which promotes whole life cycle, cradle-to-cradle approaches among other things. Target 12.6 calls on member states to encourage companies to “integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle”. Expect to see a lot of activity around reporting standards such as the Global Reporting Initiative.
Will the SDGs make any difference?
Not everyone thinks so. These are aspirations, not legally binding commitments. Bill Easterly, co-director of New York University’s Development Research Institute, has called the SDGs “a very big container of verbal fudge”. Many,including David Cameron, have decried the sheer number of goals and targets. “Let’s not be naïve,” says Bilal. “The SDGs provide a nice framework but in themselves are not sufficient to change approaches and attitudes … with 169 targets, the full implementation of the SDGs will not be possible.”However, even if they do preach to the converted, Kingston believes converts can now increasingly “influence their supply chain, through contractual arrangements, expectations and scrutiny. That’s the next generation of this agenda … What we’ve learned from the MDGs is having a shared framework and shared language is something one shouldn’t be too cynical about … and it is a revelation to see people like Paul Polman now in the middle of this, rather than the outside looking in.”
What happens next?
Following the UN summit, multi-sector working groups will form for each of the 17 goals. A UN business advisory council will also launch their website that will offer businesses a step-by-step guide to how they can address the post-2015 agenda and the International Chamber of Commerce has launched a guide to help companies contribute to the SDGs for a much promising future.

By Naved Jafry & Garson Silvers


women on top 2With the American election cycle heating up, much attention is given to women’s rights and the female candidates campaigning to be the leader of the free world.But according to Harvard Business School professors, Francesca Gino and Alison Brooks the previous explanations for gender imbalance in high places have been twofold. Some scholars argue that institutional barriers are the key culprit. For example, research has found that people view women as less competent than men and lacking in leadership potential, and partly because of these perceptions, women encounter greater challenges to or scepticism of their ideas and abilities at work. Even in societies and organizations that value gender equality and invest in initiatives to reach it, women are underrepresented in most senior-level leadership positions. They account for less than 5% of Fortune 500 CEOs, less than 15% of executive officers at those companies, less than 20% of full professors in the natural sciences, and only 6% of partners in venture capital firms.
Hence the question of our times is why does the gender imbalance in high-level positions persist?
A series of recent studies that were conducted with Caroline Wilmuth of Harvard Business School points to a new explanation: Men and women have different preferences when it comes to achieving high-level positions in the workplace. More specifically, the life goals and outcomes that men and women associate with professional advancement are different, we found. Other scholars believe the gender imbalance exists primarily due to innate differences in men’s and women’s perceptions, decisions, and behaviors’. For example, research has found that men are more likely than women to engage in dominant or aggressive behaviors, to initiate negotiations, and to self-select into competitive environments behaviors likely to facilitate professional advancement. In one study almost 800 employed individuals to list their core life goals (up to 25 of them) and then sort them into categories provided such as core goals as “things that occupy your thoughts on a routine basis, things that you deeply care about, or things that motivate your behavior and decisions.” Examples include: being in a committed relationship, keeping up with sports, being organized, or attaining power or status. Compared to men, women listed more goals, and a smaller proportion of women’s goals were related to achieving power.These findings dovetailed with the results of prior research that, relative to women, men are more motivated by power. These differences contribute to men holding higher leadership positions than women. Meanwhile, women tend to be more motivated by affiliation the desire for warm, close relationships with others than men, research finds.
women on topDo these different goals lead to different career aspirations for men and women? In another study, over 630 individuals who had graduated from a top MBA program in the last two years a ladder with rungs numbered from 1 to 10 and asked them to imagine it represented the hierarchy of professional advancement in their current industry. We asked them to indicate three different positions on the ladder: (1) their current position in their industry, (2) their ideal position, and (3) the highest position they could realistically attain. We did not find any significant differences between men and women in the current position they reported. And men and women reported similarly high levels for their highest attainable position. But compared to male participants, female participants reported a significantly lower ideal position
Hence according to Gino and Brooks, women tend to believe they have less time in which to attain a greater number of goals, they are likely to experience more conflict in deciding which goals to pursue and which to sacrifice or compromise. When one of their goals is brought clearly to their attention and seems attainable (for example, being offered a promotion at work), women are more likely than men to feel anxious about the sacrifices or difficult trade-offs they would have to make to give that goal more attention than others. Thus women may associate power-related goals (such as taking on a high-level position) with more negative outcomes than men which could help explain why women view a high-level position as less desirable than men do, even if it seems equally attainable.
In another study, roughly 500 adults in a wide variety of management and non-management jobs to imagine being promoted to a higher-level position in their current organization that would substantially increase their level of power over others. Participants predicted the extent to which they would experience nine different outcomes if they decided to accept the promotion. Some outcomes were positive (satisfaction or happiness, opportunity, money, and status or influence) while others were negative (stress or anxiety, difficult trade-offs or sacrifice, time constraints, burden of responsibility, and conflict with other life goals). Participants also indicated how desirable the promotion would be to them and their likelihood of pursuing the promotion. The results: compared to male participants, female participants expected the promotion to bring more negative outcomes, which led them to view the potential promotion as less desirable than men did and to be less likely than men to pursue it. However, men and women expected the same level of positive outcomes from the promotion. In a follow-up study of over 200 executives, again saw that women had stronger negative reactions than men to the hypothetical promotion but the same amount of positive reactions. Female participants also reported viewing the potential promotion as less desirable and indicated that they would be less likely to accept the promotion as compared to male participants.
Overall, the results collected from over 4,000 participants across nine studies showed a profound and consistent gender gap in men and women’s core life goals. Which may lead you to conclude that, that women are not ambitious or that women should not be offered positions of power. But such conclusions would mischaracterize the research. Being ambitious means having or showing a strong desire and determination to succeed. But success, especially professional success, means different things to different people. To some, professional success means achieving power over others and making a lot of money. To others, it means being happy at work, making other people happy, or helping others. And for most people, it probably includes a combination of these outcomes with differing weights of importance. So, if one defines professional ambition narrowly as achieving power over others, then women are less ambitious. But most people especially women do not define professional success in this narrow way.
Based on these data, we cannot make value judgments about whether men and women’s differing views of professional advancement are good or bad, or rational or irrational for individuals, organizations, or society. It is possible that men and women are correctly predicting the differential experiences that they would encounter with professional advancement and are making sound decisions. It is also possible that women are overestimating the negative consequences associated with power, that men are underestimating them, or both.
Hence in conclusion we may safely say that one reason women may not assume high-level positions in organizations is that they believe, unlike men, that doing so would require them to compromise other important life goals. That is an assumption that is worth studying further.
By Naved Jafry & Premod Varghese
Courtesy Harvard Business School (Francesca Gino and Alison Brooks)