This summer break I have managed to go through a few inspiring books and among them three highlights:
– “Sapiens” from Yuval Noah Harrari
– “Unboss” from Lars Kolind and Jacob Botter
– “Start with Why” from Simon Sinek
The three are great books to reflect upon how we behave in our organisations. There is one commonality across all of them: the importance of having a strong sense of PURPOSE.
A big difference between humans and animals is the fact that we can imagine things and create fictions, gather people around a vision and develop shared goals and focus the efforts of the group towards achieving those goals through applying our collective intelligence and capabilities; our Network Coefficient. There was a strong sense of purpose developed through ideology, religion among many others that allowed us to develop and spread across the world.
Paradoxically, since Taylor´s days we are organised in (yes, efficient in the short term) industrial, rigid command and control organisations with hierarchies, bureaucracy and bosses giving orders and in most cases with no real sense of purpose, which does not make any sense anymore. People working five days to get through to the weekend and having jobs as a necessary evil to live their lives is such a sad prospect.
There is the need to unleash the collective power of the organisation through inspiring people with a strong sense of purpose; communicate why we are doing what we are doing and allowing people to contribute where they can make an impact. People can get in the flow, become inspired and intrinsically motivated.
What I find fascinating is the evolutionary process to “unboss” an organisation and what it takes until reaching the tipping point where there is a significant critical mass of people understanding and sharing the idea to really make it settle down. There is so much friction when the old ways are not dead and the new is still not born; when the structures and the processes are still grounded on the old ways of doing things, which, in fact, is what makes many/most people safe in their jobs.
The value resides on the contribution each one of us could make to the group in a wide sense, to the organisation and to society. That is the way forward. There is the need for leaders that are genuinely open to embrace the new reality to start “unbossing” our organisations.
I am proud to work for a company and a CEO that embraces and promotes these ideas allowing me to be “ubossed” and to focus on the intersection of my strengths and my passion, aligned of course with the company´s purpose. We are at the beginning of the journey but we will surely get there because the traditional way of operating is over and sooner or later this will become evident for everyone, even for those in denial.