The ROI of Optimism

By Atul Bhatnagar   October 3, 2017

From my view, optimism is essential for creating success.

One can still be hard-charging, intense and pragmatic while also being supportive and optimistic. I would argue that there are true business and financial results to be found in positivity and in cultivating a corporate culture rooted in constant desire for innovation and goodness.

In a previous article, we talked about the benefits of being present, compassionate and confident – I called it being “Aware and Ambidextrous.” And positivity is an organizational extension of these same themes. Let’s explore how positivity has helped Cambium Networks and how it might help your organization.

First, positivity is a force that builds energy, rather than sapping it. When you are positive, particularly as a leader, energy builds. It is not energy depletion. When the team collectively believes they can and will prevail, a “virtuous cycle” takes hold. The desire to make everyone succeed is like the proverbial rising tide, lifting all boats.

Positive thinking is all about creating an environment where leadership and employees are empowered to envision more (and greater) possibilities. This mind-expanding corporate culture takes root when people feel safe and comfortable taking risks, bringing up new ideas and seeing if they can make them happen, while at the same time having confidence that they will be supported. Each action establishes trust that the organization does in fact support risk-taking that drives innovation and doesn’t penalize people for thinking in new ways.

Innovative thinking leads to possibilities that can be narrowed down to a particular vision. Determining one specific vision in turn empowers the organization to focus on and prioritize day-to-day execution. Without focus, an organization can lose its way, and execution can suffer.

And, as the possibility of a great future is revealed, employees are motivated to excel. Positive thinking creates an environment of teamwork, innovation and collaboration. In this kind of environment, people believe in – and take to heart – the company’s mission and put their best foot forward. Each small success is seen as a building block to greater achievement. This can translate to competitive advantage in the marketplace.

It is clear that the combination of being both optimistic and pragmatic really does drive forward momentum and success. Furthermore, as an organization builds a culture of positive thinking, your company will attract other positive thinkers, including like-minded customers and partners, and will be able to even more easily overcome problems and grow.

As problems arise – and they will – the corporate culture should not be one of blaming and finger-pointing. With reasonable precautions and guardrails in place as noted above, a company can encourage risk-taking without risking it all. Everyone succeeds or fails together, and the culture achieves a true commitment to “one for all and all for one.”

The proof that this approach works is Cambium itself. We have a culture of building people up, not breaking them down, and we’ve progressed from merely breaking even to double-digit profitability while posting +20% year over year revenue growth. This is a direct result of the combination of both positive and pragmatic thinking with smart risk-taking. This sort of top-line and bottom-line performance is proof that there is true ROI in superior execution fortified with optimism.