Each year, TeamWomen honors a woman who emulates all of our WaveMaker Award categories with a Lifetime Achievement Award. This year, we are honored to recognize Jody Thompson, Founder of CultureRx. Her legacy inspires individuals and organizations to pave the way for future leaders.
About eighteen years ago, a co-worker and Jody knew the way they were working didn’t make sense. They discussed their concerns and frustrations but knew more needed to be done. “Speaking up and questioning the status quo was one of the best decisions I ever made,” stated Jody.
They launched an experiment at Best Buy that created a radical and disruptive culture change. Their experiment caught the attention of several prominent researchers who collected data to help them discern how to work to lead to the best outcomes for the organization and the people they employ. Through this experiment in the workplace, they developed the Results-Only Work Environment™ (ROWE™). ROWE is a management strategy that shifts the focus from time spent at work to results. Many women shared that when an organization shifts its focus from managing their time spent at work to results produced, they achieve better outcomes in their professional and personal lives.
Based on their experiment results, Jody co-authored two best-selling books about ROWE and the need for workplace change. Ron Heifetz (Founding Director of the Center for Public Leadership at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University) lauded ROWE as ‘pure management innovation.’ Daniel Pink recognizes her as one of the six business thinkers who really gets it and who understands what organizations need to move forward successfully. Our brains are wired to follow the crowd during times of stress and uncertainty. It is natural to fear change, and yet change brings growth. Many people told her that ROWE would never work at their organization. However, she remains grounded in the belief that this is what she was meant to do. This unwavering belief in how she can best be of service to others gives her the courage to persevere, keep going, and face every obstacle in her path.
Today she continues to work with organizations internationally to help them implement, adopt and sustain ROWE. Her lifetime goal is to make ROWE the status quo!