The following is from an article by Geoffrey James which was posted by Inc. Please read the full article for details and more information.
“Want to know what it takes to succeed? Forget conjecture and opinion. Here’s the answer, backed up by scientific research.
There are thousands of books about business success, but most are based upon the author’s personal observations and consulting experience. That raises a question: Is there any science to business success?
Surprisingly, you can find a great deal of science in the five basic principles:” Tthe author discusses the following principles in detail]
1. Successful companies tell stories.
“….According to psychologist Brian Sturm at the University of North Carolina, swapping relatable stories brings people closer together and builds trust, making them part of the same tribe and therefore appropriate as business partners…Though stories connect people emotionally, people quickly forget facts provided outside the context of story. In fact, most people forget 90 percent of the information presented to them within “a relatively short period of time.” [Read more]
More: How to Tell a Business Story
2. Successful employees work smarter rather than longer.
“…According to studies conducted by Ford Motor Company early in the last century, the sweet spot for worker productivity is around 40 hours a week. Adding additional hours creates only a minor increase in productivity that turns negative in three to four weeks…The problem is that overworked people start making avoidable errors, which then take additional time to correct. The solution, of course, is to “work smarter.” But what does that mean? [Read more]
More: The Surprising Secret of Time Management
3. Successful companies recruit team members, not superstars.
“Conventional business wisdom says your organization will succeed more easily and quickly if you hire as many top performers as possible. In other words, the more superstars on your team, the better your team….Though that all sounds reasonable, it doesn’t work in practice. Stack ranking results in all sorts of weird and dysfunctional behavior, because employees are goaled on looking good while making others look bad…Indeed, superstars tend to become successful at the expense of others…Business success, however, is always a team effort, which means that successful companies must hire people who can put their egos aside and help everyone to become more effective and efficient.” [Read more]
4. Successful companies treat honesty as the best policy.
“…many companies have tended to look upon corporate ethics as an expense. The assumption is that it’s more profitable to cheat than to play fair, as long you don’t get caught…However, groundbreaking research by emeritus business professor and author Robert B. Cialdini indicates that cheating generates huge hidden costs, even when leaders think they’re getting away with it…the first category, which creates expensive churn and turnover. Because turnover costs can easily be two to three times the yearly cost of an employee, the result of cheating is a lower profit margin. What’s worse, the employees who are OK with corporate-level cheating are OK with personal cheating, which explains (among other things) why rogue trading has become so common in the financial industry…” [Read more]
More: When Leaders Cheat, Companies Lose
5. Successful companies seek to reduce worker stress.
“There’s no simpler way to put it: Science says that stress is the No. 1 enemy of success. According to the American Psychological Association, stress results in a host of health problems…Health problems of this sort don’t just result in productivity-killing absenteeism but also (when combined with the work-longer-hours ethos) presenteeism, in which staff members go to work even when ill with a communicable disease.” [Read more]
More: 6 Easy Ways to Reduce Stress
“Not every successful business embodies all five principles, but if you read some of those thousands of books about business success, I’d wager you’ll find that all successful businesses implement at least four of them.”