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Culture of Empathy Builder:  Jackie Acho

Empathy Deficit Disorder:
Healing from Our Mix-ups About Work, Home, and Sex

Jackie Acho

Jackie Acho is President of The Acho Group, a strategy and leadership consulting firm. Prior to founding The Acho Group in 2005, she was a Partner in the Midwest Complex of McKinsey & Company. She has worked for technology, industrial, academic, nonprofit, and economic development clients on a variety of issues, with particular focus on growth and innovation, strategy, and leadership development for more than 25 years. Jackie is author Currency of Empathy: The Secret to Thriving in Business & Life


The empathy deficit disorder is the result of an economic system built on the separation of work and home. This separation has devalued the most foundational form of empathy - the emotional, embodied, so-called affective empathy that is our birthright. As a result we have forgotten who we are...

(Source: Wikipedia Dance)
By aligning our new external reality with our innermost humanity, co-creation offers a solution to our empathy deficit disorder and an opportunity to unite our divided world. Empathy is that powerful.

Sub Conference: Workplace




Healing the Empathy Deficit Disorder: Jackie Acho and Edwin Rutsch
(View On Youtube or On Facebook)




Currency of Empathy: The Secret to Thriving in Business & Life

February 1, 2020
by Dr. Jacqueline Acho

Our country is divided in so many ways, with a growing chasm between men and women. The news cycle is discouraging. Emotional and physical toxicity is affecting our health and well-being. There are words for what is happening. We are suffering from an empathy deficit disorder.

The good news is there is a way out. Healing starts with reexamining our modern myths about how we work, what “quality time” at home really means, and why the age-old battle of the sexes persists. Is there a way to come together in this era of bitterness, distrust, #MeToo, and #HimToo? Empathy Deficit Disorder sets the table for that new way.


Introduction: Signs of our Empathy Deficit Disorder

Chapter 1:  Mix-Up No 1. Leadership Is One guy at the Top of a Pointy Pyramid

Clearing Up Our Mix-Ups About Work, Especially Leadership

Chapter 2:  The Human Power of Empathy

Chapter 3: The Corporate Psychopath

Chapter 4:  Leadership as Usual is not  Effective Because it is not Affective

Chapter 5: The Age of the Network

Chapter 6: Affective Empathy is the New Asset Class

Chapter 7: The Economic Endgame: Empathy, innovation, and the Bottom Line

Chapter  8: Upending the Leadership Pyramid

Clearing Up Our Mix-Ups About

Chapter 9: Mix-Up No 2 - We Need Quantity Time at Work but Quality Time at Home

Chapter 10: Bad Dreams at Home - No Lights in the Village

Chapter 11:  Recurring Nightmares at Home

Chapter 12:  Woman Aren't Leading

Chapter 13:  Solving the Fundamental Problem Time

Clearing Up Our Mix-Ups About Sex, the Font of -Isms

Chapter 14:  Mix-Up No 3 - The Biggest Mix-Up of All; Caring is Woman's Work
Chapter 15:  Psychopaths Are People Too... Usually Men

Chapter 16:  When Only Women Care, Men are Underemployed

Chapter 17:  When Only Women Care, Men  Die

Chapter  18:  When Only Women Care, Boys yearn and Sexism Ferments

Chapter 19 :  When Only Women Care, All the -Isms Ferment

Chapter  20:  The #Sexy Leader: The Real Leader of the Future


The Future Can Be Empathic/... and#Sexy

Chapter  21:  Sex and Second Chances

Chapter  22:  The Dream: Co-creation at Home

Chapter  23:   The Dream: Co-creation at Home

Chapter  24:  Entrepreneurs with soul

Chapter  25:  Entrepreneurs with Mojo

Chapter  26:  An Optimistic View of the Future, i,e, Millennial Are Not Lazy


APPENDIX A: The Math of Empathy: What and How We Count and Matters

APPENDIX B: Evolutionary Changes in Real Time: Epigenetic of Empathy
APPENDIX C: Women Have More Empathy Than Men...So Far







Jacqueline Acho - Empathy Deficit Disorder

Empathy is the missing link to innovation and children can help us find it.




A good day’s work requires empathy
Jackie Acho




May 15, 2013 - Empathy is a Contact Sport…Bleeding Hearts Need Not Apply
"Paul Bloom gives important and eloquent voice to the critics of “empathy” in his recent piece in the New Yorker. I read it with great interest, respect, and gratitude to him for shining a light on how the idea of empathy can be misperceived and misused, especially politically.
Much of the confusion lies in various interpretations of what “empathy” is and is not...

I agree with Bloom: “it is impossible to empathize with seven billion strangers, or to feel toward someone you’ve never met the degree of concern you feel for a child, a friend, or a lover. Our best hope for the future is not to get people to think of all humanity as family—that’s impossible. It lies, instead, in an appreciation of the fact that, even if we don’t empathize with distant strangers, their lives have the same value as the lives of those we love.” "


The Currency of Empathy
The Missing Link to Innovation and Inclusion
from CEOs for Cities  

  • Innovation in large organization - not very good

  • Innovation drives growth

    • is it individual?

  • There's a lack of innovation in big orgs

    • why? Empathy deficit disorder

  • Empathy

    • do you need a bleeding heart?

    • it's understanding other people to help them grow

    • need practice

  • Change

    • empathy gives courage to move through fear, etc,

  • Her empathy starts with her children

  • Leaders who are empathic

  • Human needs - meaning, growth, be whole  - a currency of empathy

    • meaning - a higher purpose

    • growth

    • be whole

  • Psychopathy and if organizations sap our empathy - then what?




May 30-31, 2013 - Ahsoka Future Forum
Building Changemaker Teams: Activating Empathy at Work

"Innovative leaders increasingly see empathy as a critical skill, allowing people and teams to effectively spot and advance ideas that are invisible in traditional hierarchies. From janitor to CEO, empathy enables all to engage with the vision in fundamentally new ways and work across limiting silos to imagine and realize creative solutions. At a time when organizations form and dissolve more rapidly than ever, nimble, trust-enabled cultures - even in large companies and organizations – are critical to problemsolving, idea-generation, and continuous learning. Explore the link between empathy and leadership, innovation, and overall performance, and discover social entrepreneur-led solutions that can help you transform your team."

I believe I have experience and fresh perspectives on these things in particular:

1) Why empathy helps drive innovation (and sharpens the whole picture of “healthy workplaces” “perform better”, a case McKinsey and others have made, but with long lists of what levers to pull). Empathy brings it all into focus. This is my experience in almost 20 years of client work and is the focus of research we’re designing now.

2) What the importance of empathy means for how our leadership development models should change, so people can lean into what builds empathy as opposed to leaning into what’s there now and away from their families/communities/etc. This also takes into account early childhood development. A personal story/antidote of work/family balance, starting with leaning in full throttle through the birth of 2 children. Focusing on empathy would thus drive long sought after but elusive inclusion (in the virtuous loop with innovation also).

3) Why empathy is vital and under emphasized in STEM education and STEM industries…and how this also stunts innovation. We need science, engineering, math, coding, etc WITH A HUMAN FACE if we are to build an abundant world (possible now, with the science and tech we know today – great book: )

4) Why all of this is on solid spiritual ground, whether we practice Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, Islam….or yoga. We are build to do big things in collaboration with each other, but our reductionist organizations geared toward industrial efficiency sap our humanity.
These are the things I’m consistently compelled to communicate as I see missing pieces in what’s out there.

The org behavior people talk about their stuff and the innovation people (where I started) talk about how to be smarter and more creative, but the two camps don’t overlap. And the spiritual and business realms never really interact meaningfully in popular culture.