The Power Of Emotions In Organizations!

There is a huge difference between feelings and emotions. Feelings are the inputs received by the brain from the environment and are usually sustained. Emotions are the immediate, temporary, and “irrational” outputs.

The driving forces behind human behavior are emotions. The emotion behind every entrepreneur, when envisioning a dream or big idea, has been the spark fueling the engine of progress and development throughout human history.

Emotions arise from the chemicals released by the brain. These can be dopamine, oxytocin or serotonin, for positive emotions (e.g., love, pleasure), and adrenaline and cortisol for negative emotions (e.g., anger, fear). Emotions are hardwired to our brain allowing us to react immediately and “irrationally” when the raw feeling is received by the brain as a survival mechanism. Once the feeling has been processed by the brain, the emotion may be subjected to rational behavior. Hence, the importance of the so-called “Emotional Intelligence.”

However, to expect everyone to have high emotional intelligence is much harder than creating an organizational environment that conveys positive emotions to all those within them, allowing positive feelings to emerge.

This is what building beautifully heterotic, betaphilic, protophilic, or antifragile organizations is all about!

By creating organizational environments conducive to ideal-seeking behavior, in addition to harnessing the protophilic or antifragile properties, organizations further develop the power of synergy, empathy and good will. In other words, when a manager or CEO does something beyond any associate’s expectations, especially if it is “unnecessary” and unexpected, such as an out-of-the-blue bonus, it consolidates a sense of commitment, reciprocity, intimacy, and empathy within the entire organization. There is a “magical” feeling of well-being within the organization and coming to work every day is something to look forward to. There is no need of the infamous TGIF! (A typical pathology of restrictive organizations).

Given the ever-faster speed of living, what is now required is a radical humanization of the workplace. Organizations must abandon the mechanistically-Taylorized bureaucratic structures and develop an organically-designed structure based on Open Systems Design Principles (OSDP).

Despite our appetite for A.I., meta-algorithms, deep learning, and automation — or precisely because of it — , we are fast moving towards what Nassim Taleb calls the “Black Swan Domain.” In this domain, the impact of a highly improbable event is profound. Because these type of events cannot be known, let alone predicted, our sense or need of a higher purpose (other than just surviving) seems to be growing and intensifying along with our desire for beauty, intimacy, humanity. This sense of a higher purpose is clearly evident in Millennials.

Companies that embrace an organically-designed structure based on OSDP, position themselves as global leaders because the synergies generated on a daily basis are unstoppable. In protophilic organizations, every day is something to look forward to and a new opportunity to progress and this is what millennials don’t find in most workplaces because protophilic organizations are still very rare!

One such company is GORE, funded 55 years ago when no one knew about organizational design principles. GORE’s culture embodies OSDP as W.L. Gore explains:

“We’re more than employees; we’re trusted stewards of our business. Each of us makes commitments that help drive the business, and we work together in our organisation structure. In this structure, we collaborate and build connections without the constraints of traditional chains of command — giving us the freedom to encourage and support each other’s growth and development. It’s an environment in which highly motivated people thrive and where we are able to bring our unique talents and diverse perspectives to problem-solve and collectively get our work done

At GORE, reliability is built by redundancy of functions, as opposed to redundancy of parts, typical of restrictive bureaucratic organizations.

The results? Well, for the 20th consecutive year, W. L. Gore & Associates is among the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For®, making the company one of just 12 Great Place to Work Legends™ that have appeared in every edition of the rankings since the list began in 1998!

Let the best emotions in your organization emerge!