Gil Reyes is a fitness expert who for seventeen years was the strength and conditioning trainer for retired tennis legend Andre Agassi.

In an interview as part of a documentary I was watching this week he said this…

“You can say a lot of things, you can do a lot of things, but you can’t fake character.”

Wow!

The platform principle of Intentionomics is “People Get Your Truth – over time, your intentions, actions and results will either promote or expose you.”

And I reckon this is what Gil Reyes is referring to as well. Over time what is either promoted or exposed in individuals and indeed in organisations is their character.

It’s quite easy to associate the notion of character with people – your character is your intentions, actions and results on display. As far back as the wisdom of Aristotle we gain insight to this. Aristotle said “Our actions and behaviours are our morals shown in conduct”.

This is true however of organisations as well.

We mostly hear about the ‘Culture’ of an organisation being expressed in terms and approaches like the 7S approach to culture as depicted in the picture with this post, or it could be the balanced scorecard approach, or one of the quality management approaches. Steve Simpson gets a little deeper with his ‘Unwritten Ground Rules” approach, but I personally prefer to describe the collective intentions, actions and results of an organisation as Organisational Character.

Where an organisational culture tends to focus on behaviour and results alone, when we assess an organisation’s character we are looking beyond just the behaviours and actions, we are assessing intentions of the individuals, their leaders, the teams, the departments, the operating units and in sum, the organisation.

Five key questions to assess organisational character are:

  1. How well do employees articulate their intentions for their colleagues, their clients and other key stakeholders they impact through their work role?
  2. What do employees truthfully believe about the underlying intentions of their leaders?
  3. To what extent do the actions and results of individual and collective employee teams reflect the ‘stated’ or overt intentions of the organisation for their customers?
  4. How quickly and openly does the organisation reward positive examples of intentions in action?
  5. How quickly and openly does the organisation punish negative examples intentions in action?

There are other measures and strategies that we are using to help organisational leaders and their teams achieve higher levels of engagement, increased productivity, more resilience to market fluctuations and competitiveness, and it all rests on the impact of individual and collective intentions.

In whatever work role you have, how clearly can you articulate your intention?

In whatever live roles you have, how clearly can you articulate your intention?

Character matters, and it’s simply another measure of the impact of our intentions on living a happy, flourishing and prosperous work and personal life.