Looking at the world from Abundance

By Ana García Villas-Boas, partner at Madavi.


In 2012, Nikandre Kopcke, a young woman, a New Yorker, half Greek-half German, a graduate in Sociology and studies of gender, wanted to do more for the women refugees in London than simply collaborate with an NPO. The majority of these women do not speak English, do not have a profession and are illiterate. They flee from their countries, which are immersed in conflict and war, looking for a better life for their families. However, they land up in a place where they do not understand the language, or the culture and are often treated disrespectfully.

Kopcke had the idea of asking them what they could do extraordinarily well. The majority answered that they could cook exquisite native dishes. Based on that information, they developed a project that has ended up in a pretty successful theme restaurant in London, called Mazi Mas, where there are chefs from different parts of the world. This Project has changed the lives of many women and their families, permitting better integration, work and general flourishing and dignity in their lives.

Looking at the world from abundance is seeing the best of what is.

This story reflects what it means to look at the world from abundance.

Abundance is the resources that we have. All our strengths and all the possibilities that exist. It is seeing the best of what is. It does not mean not looking at the problems, nor the risks but rather analysing them from a different perspective, from the potential there is in every situation and how that can help reach what we want to achieve. It is the mentality of abundance versus that of scarcity, which puts its focus on what is missing and on what is not working.

It has been scientifically proved that our mentality conditions our attitude towards circumstances and how having a mentality of abundance provides benefits to our health, to our professional lives, to our emotions and definitively to our quality of life.

Barbara Frederickson, professor of Psychology and the Lead Investigator at the laboratory of Psychophysiology and Positive Emotions at the Universidad of North Carolina, has investigated for more than 30 years the effect of positive emotions. Her investigation proves that people with a positive attitude overcome difficulties more rapidly and have greater resilience. From her investigation she developed the “Theory of Broaden and Build”. That is to say, positive emotions, instead of resolving the challenges of survival, resolve the challenges of development and growth.  A positive mind is the fertilizer for creativity, for expansive and visionary thought, for empathy, co-operation and connecting.

Moreover, by broadening this way of thinking one is much better prepared to overcome adversities. Her investigation throws light on how people with a positive mind set when they overcome obstacles come out reinforced and with an exponential personal or professional development.

Moving on to the world of organizations, the investigations of Frederickson show that the teams with high performance have a ratio of 3:1 of positive messages compared to negative ones.

Marcial Losada and Emily Heaphy, who studied the impact of conversations in teams calculated that the ratio of positive interactions versus negative ones of the teams of high performance was 6:1.

Benefits of leadership and management from abundance

Companies like Tesla and Unilever are examples of how leadership and management from abundance raise the goals of their business and allow the latent potential of their employees and clients to flourish, and where the innovation is constantly present in their cultures. In Spain, we have the example of Eroski, where they are applying abundance in order to change the contact point with the client. It raised the index of client satisfaction from 68% to 83% in three months and after a year it is today at 87%. These cases confirm that discovering the best of what is in the people, the teams and in the organizations and giving it value, creates the perfect conditions to unfold all the potential and raise the motivation and the energy levels to stimulate innovation and learning.

These conditions help reaching better aspirations than exist for the business, for the employees, the clients and the suppliers, as well as for society. Nowadays, the goal of businesses have most meaning and obtain better results when the positive impact on the ecosystem is valued. It is a key lever for the sustained long-term profitability of the business. It is the basis of the philosophy of “Do good to do well”, which pursues a better legacy for future generations.

positividad éxito en la vida y en el trabajo

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