If the human brain performs best in situations of conflict and the human psyche thrives on competition, how do we reconcile this with the human race’s dependence on cooperation for survival?
Even organisations where we would expect individuals to work together for a singular common aim, such as healthcare, have been permeated by competitive tendencies, whether this be the personality of the major decision maker or in the tendering for the provision of services. Will this human instinct to incentivise by prize ultimately lead to our demise?
Or could there be a better way?
If you were to take a look at The Sunday Times 100 Best Companies 2011 list, and spent some time drilling down into the narrative for some of the organisations, you will find some common themes:
- Inspirational leadership
- Employees who feel valued and that they have a voice
- A common ownership of purpose
- Excitement in the direction the organisation is taking
- A sense that ‘doing it right’ is as important as the drive for profit
All of these boil down to just two key factors: listening and ownership.
But if you have 20,000 employees/associates/partners, how can you possibly deliver this? How can you pick out the important bits from a multitude of conversations? How can you ensure that people having the same conversation in different geographical locations are brought together?
Once upon a time it would have been nearly impossible. Virtual technologies have changed the status quo.