The Enneagram in Business: Real-World Applications Demonstrate its Transformational Power
Mary Anne and I have made a career of introducing the Enneagram in the workplace to improve operations and promote growth. However, I thought you might benefit from reading how the Enneagram has served national business leaders. In this and upcoming editions of our newsletter, we’ll give business corporate professionals center stage, allowing them to share their individual and practical applications of Enneagram use in their individuals worlds.
Scott Jamieson is the former President and CEO of The Care of Trees, an award-winning, tree preservation firm with 500 employees and 24 locations nationwide. Scott describes the Enneagram as being “the most powerful self development tool” he has ever used. During the nine years in which Scott oversaw The Care of Trees, it became the second largest commercial and residential tree preservation firm in the world; it increased in sales by 112%; reduced sales outstandings from 45 to 31 days; increased in company stock value by 130%; was the recipient of the Arthur Andersen Best Practices award for Motivating and Retaining Employees; and was the subject of magazine, radio and television interviews.
“The issues that curtail business success aren’t so much about products, services, or pricing structures. They are about people,” says Scott, who will soon become a Certified Enneagram Teacher. “When employees are growing, the organization grows exponentially.” Scott left The Care of Trees earlier this year when it was sold. He reflects on the many ways in which the Enneagram helped him in his leadership efforts.
Jamieson on Corporate Culture
“The Enneagram was introduced as a sale training tool at The Care of Trees, but soon became indoctrinated into virtually every aspect of our corporate culture. It really helped our leadership become aware of their management styles and break down the barriers that impeded communication and efficiency. For example, one of our regional managers was awakened to his defensive communication approach and the effect it had on others. Ultimately, we all achieved greater awareness of ourselves and our peers, resulting in greater productivity.”
On Corporate Behaviors
“While the Care of Trees had one of the best safety records in the industry, the company still had its share of on-the-job injuries. Collectively, our management team decided to improve upon this status by adopting a “no one in our family gets hurt” philosophy which translated to an advance analysis of potential dangers at work sites. The mutual trust developed through the Enneagram self discovery process resulted in an environment of approachability that encouraged our male dominated staff to ‘watch each other’s back.’ In the first year of implementation, the new safety behaviors resulted in a 20-30% decrease in accidents and a $100,000 reduction in worker’s compensation claims.”
On Sales Growth
“Use of the Enneagram had a huge impact on sales, revealing to our staff how their presentation of themselves was perceived by those of other Enneagram styles. Staff members who were a Style 9 learned how to bounce back from rejection. Those who were Style 2 discovered their pre-disposition of “giving away the store.” Another sales person who had repeatedly attempted to reach the million dollar mark was able to do so following his self discovery. Following Enneagram training, company sales consistently increased by 10% a year.”
On Personal Leadership Style
“As a Style 9, I discovered that my work approach of soliciting ideas and consensus was often perceived as being indecisive. While I will always value and solicit input when making a decision, I began gathering information in a less obvious manner. Accordingly, I began to be perceived as a strong leader among our company of 500 employees and enjoyed greater leadership success.”