What have sickness, recuperation, rest, mindset, humour, energy and diet got to do with companies? These are terms applicable in physical wellness but they are equally relevant in the context of corporate wellness.
Turnaround has become increasingly important, given the financial crisis that hit Asia in 1997, the financial scandals plaguing the Western corporate giants and the emergence of the economies in China and India. In some instances, the businesses appear relatively healthy, though they are experiencing declining market share, increasing costs, losing competitiveness and plummeting revenues. Hence, a major crisis is brewing and will hit any time when the interest rate increases or the economy goes into recession.
Unfortunately, most troubled companies do not survive the turbulence in the marketplace. The average life expectancy of a multinational company is about 40 to 50 years. Many companies die prematurely. Some companies experience poor health with office politics, egos and bureaucracy stifling human creativity, enthusiasm and commitment. Many of these ailing companies suffer from a toxic corporate climate which urgently need to be detoxified, while others are genetically flawed and are thus unable to handle changes in the marketplace.
For centuries, we have been searching for the elixir of longevity. Today, the wellness and health industry worldwide is the one of the fastest growing businesses, and it is expected to grow exponentially to one trillion dollars in a few years’ time. Essentially, the role of the doctor should be one of promoting wellness instead of merely concentrating on curing the patient after he is inflicted with an ailment.
In a similar vein, companies are also seeking the same goal, that is corporate wellness. Corporate wellness is becoming one of the greatest and most powerful terms of the corporate dictionary. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most misunderstood. “Corporate wellness" is not merely referring to physical and mental health programs for the corporate executives.
The term “corporate wellness" depicts the desired state of excellent corporate physical and mental health. And it should be an actively sought-after goal.
“Corporate wellness" is the total well being and complete integration of body, mind and spirit – the realization that everything the corporate does, its strategy, leadership, mindset, culture, values has an effect on its well being. The term “corporate wellness" is used in this context to include the use of modern and alternative medicine.
Modern or Western medicine seeks to treat the symptoms such as poor productivity. The remedy is surgery or downsizing. Alternative or Eastern medicine treats the root cause of the corporate woes. The cause of the poor productivity is perhaps due to its dysfunctional corporate culture. Beyond disease-free medicines, Corporate wellness also seeks for new excellent levels of corporate health such as how to improve the attitude, mindset and soul of the company.
Dr Mike Teng (DBA, MBA, BEng, FIMechE, FIEE, CEng, PEng, FCMI, FCIM, SMCS) is the author of the best-selling business book “Corporate Turnaround: Nursing a sick company back to health", in 2002. In 2006, he authored another book entitled, “Corporate Wellness: 101 Principles in Turnaround and Transformation. " Dr Teng is widely recognized as a turnaround CEO in Asia by the news media. He has 27 years of experience in corporate responsibilities in the Asia Pacific region. Of these, he held Chief Executive Officer’s positions for 17 years in multi-national, local and publicly listed companies. He led in the successful turnaround of several troubled companies. He is currently the Managing Director of a business advisory firm, Corporate Turnaround Centre Pte Ltd, which assists companies on a fast track to financial performance. Dr Teng was the President of the Marketing Institute of Singapore (2000 – 2004), the national body representing some 5000 individual and corporate marketing professionals in Singapore