Today I woke up with a new perspective of ROI. Return On Inspiration. I know ROI is a common business term referring to Return On Investment, but have we ever tried to measure the Return On Inspiration?

We all know a team who is NOT inspired will never succeed in the long run. And a person who is NOT inspired will most likely flounder in a pool of mediocrity. After 30 years of running a teambuilding and leadership development business, Odyssey Teams, I get that the traditional ROI is important. We have worked with some of the most significant companies in the world and ROI has definitely been at the top of the conversation when considering the investment required for us to work with their teams. I understand the mechanics of business and how the people looking at the bottom line will push for sound decisions related to financial resources and the diligent use of any business asset to ensure a positive return for future opportunities. Though, an undervalued element to the human side of business is inspiration. Inspiration is not the only thing, but it might be everything. Have you ever been a part of a team that was successful but NOT inspired? If inspiration is not a part of a team or company formula, I can’t image any level of success being lasting.

In the Cambridge English Dictionary the word INSPIRE is defined as: “To make someone feel that they want to do something and can do it.”

I can’t think of a time in our modern history when the word INSPIRE wasn’t more necessary and critical to success and employee motivation than it is NOW. If we agree that inspiring employees is important and if we can agree that we are literally trudging across the desert of no inspiration, the next questions are simple. What inspires you and what inspires your employees? This topic is definitely worth exploring and may just be the Master Key to unlock true success.

How Do You INSPIRE Employees in a Meeting?

Answer: Make their work personal, make their work experiential and make their work matter. Yup… it’s just that simple. If your people are feeling flat and uninspired, a powerful connecting and teambuilding program needs to happen.

Make It Personal:

Simon Sinek famously said… “Start with Why”. I agree. Why should I work here? Why do I want to do a good job? Why does this client matter to me? Freidrich Nietzsche said it like this, “He who has a strong enough why can bear almost any how”. The answer to WHY will always be personal, valuable, inspirational and motivational to the individual. People don’t work hard for the company. They work hard because it will bring value to their personal life. A new car, house, security, status, recognition, relationship and so on. All personal things that an individual craves is a result of working hard for the company. It’s OK to remind employees that a strong team and successful company mission will provide them value personally.

Make It Experiential:

Benjamin Franklin said, “Tell me and I will forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I will learn”. Our memory is linked to our emotion. If we do not FEEL the information we will not remember it. In school we learn a lesson and then take a test. In life we get a test and then we learn the lesson. We have all been tested for well over a year. COVID life is an unexpected test and many of the lessons we have learned from this experience DO NOT inspire us, connect us, compel us, engage us or drive us to work collectively. We have learned we need those things, but we are forgetting what they feel like as we focus on simply being safe and secure. A well designed teambuilding program will not just inform people about the power of collaboration, it will engage them in an experience that shows them that power. It will remind them how it feels to be a part of something bigger than themselves and will demonstrate the collective impact they can have when aligned with others toward a common goal. This is actually possible virtually or in an in-person setting.

Make It Matter:

Imagine working hard on a project, only to see it tossed aside or not even considered by the decision makers. We have all had a time when we invested ourselves into something and it wasn’t used. Talk about demotivating. Building a prosthetic hand for a person in need or designing a skateboard for a child with limited opportunities are just a few of the ways we can awaken our purpose through experience and make your next meeting matter. People want to see and feel the impact and value of their contribution in everything they do. Remind your employees of their impact and value by involving them in their community and feel the inspiration return to the soul of your team.

Try This: Ask Your Employees to Keep an Inspiration Journal

The more data the better. Each day they are to record anything that INSPIRED them that day. The law of cause and effect is simple, “For every effect in your life there is a specific cause”. If you want to produce inspiration, you need to know what causes it for your team. If you determine what causes inspiration, then we can go about building the best environment to produce those causes as much as possible.

Look around your life right now, look at your team, look at your company. Are they inspired? Return On Inspiration is the ROI that will drive away darkness and make us believe we can accomplish anything together. For more details on Return On Inspiration and how we can make it happen in your team,  contact me Lain Hensley at


Written By:

Lain Hensley

COO & Co-Founder of Odyssey Teams