Frank Wander, Founder & CEO of PeopleProductive, was interviewed on Mission Matters Business Podcast by Adam Torres.
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PeopleProductive is helping create a world where people, and the companies they work for, thrive together, according to Frank Wander. To do this, PeopleProductive provides solutions to client companies that enable them to most effectively use the time, talent and emotional energy of their people. This generates measurably higher returns on human capital. PeopleProductive is the first company to methodically turn human capital into financial results.
Before founding PeopleProductive, Wander realized leaders knew everything about processes and technology, yet little about the human side of their business. This gap became evident as he ran turnaround transformations of large IT divisions and learned that the root cause of IT failure was talented people being used as interchangeable parts. In practice, nothing could have been further from the truth. The performance advantage of acquiring high aptitude talent and arming them with deep institutional knowledge was profoundly obvious. When they were also nurtured in a performance enhancing culture, productivity moved multiple levels higher. As it turned out, humans were not interchangeable parts, but assets that must be grown. Until the humans as parts paradigm was broken, he knew the organization wouldn’t blossom.
“Companies are still struggling with that battle today,” shares Wander. “There’s no question, it’s an evolution going on. I can see the rehumanization of work is indeed happening. Although these things take time, you eventually reach an inflection point where it moves fast.” We are just about there now.
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Unlocking time, talent and emotional energy
Culture is the leadership team’s reflection, Wander says. “If people are leaving, it’s because the leaders aren’t doing enough to keep them; they’re not growing them; they don’t care about them. Caring is a pathway to everything. You’ve got to care about those individuals and their success legitimately – you must get to know them; you have to understand what kind of growth objectives they have.”
“Your job is to coach them and ensure that they become better under you,” he continues. “There are large pools of untapped talent potential present all over these companies. You should tap them and put that latent energy to work in your company. Leaders have to become experts at unleashing human capital because those are the assets that will grow and produce the ultimate revenue for the firm.”
He further explains how companies must harness the emotional energy of their people. Two accelerator pedals drive it, he says: one is passion—an internal accelerator. “If you can get the person excited about the mission and what they’re doing, if they could see how their work connects to this bigger purpose that matters to them, then they’re going to put more energy into it.”
Next, there’s the mood of the place itself. “Many people call that the climate, but humans pick up on the mood of the environment around them – they sense it. That is also referred to as relational energy,” he says. “So, mood is a second accelerator that you, as a leader, should be skilled enough to use to boost organizational energy.”
How does PeopleProductive help?
PeopleProductive helps companies turn human capital into better financial results.
“We help companies measure how effectively they’re using their people’s time, talent, and emotional energy,” Wander says. “We give them roadmaps and tools to help them unlock more of the human potential in their organization. We ultimately help them link it to KPIs that show how you’re driving higher returns.”
“You need an enlightened leader in a company who will embark on this because there is work involved; if you have a high EQ leader in a small company, they have pretty good cultures already,” he notes. “So, they don’t need this tool nearly as much as larger organizations, like mid-market companies and others where there are many blind spots.”
The road ahead for People Productive
“We’re working now on human performance engineering for the whole enterprise— the aptitudes and talents across every organization so that a company can roll up its state,” Wander says. “We’ve also worked on a human capital balance sheet. Humans should understand their human capital value and grow it.”
To learn more about PeopleProductive, visit https://www.peopleproductive.com/.