There is no arch without stones

What sustains creativity, motivation and cohesion of teams in your company?

Marco Polo describes to his audience a bridge. He describes it stone by stone.

Kublai Jan doesn’t quite understand its explanations and asks for more details:

“Marco Polo, please tell us which of all is the stone that supports the bridge.”

“The bridge is not supported by this stone or that other one,” Marco Polo responds, and goes on saying: “The bridge is supported by the line of the arch formed by all the stones.”

Kublai remains silent while reflecting.

When he finishes reflecting he adds:

“So why are you talking about the stones?” As you tell it, it seems that the only thing that matters is the arch ”

Marco Polo, very calmly responds: “Without stones there is no arch”

There are no teams without people. There are no organizations without teams.

Without people, there are no customers with needs, no products to meet their needs, no ideas to design the products, no creativity to think of a new design, no innovation to reinvent the business, no direction to follow.

Without any of the above there is no progress: neither cultural nor economic.

At the time of the industrial revolution we were driven by the fantasy of being able to increase production by shortening time and exceeding natural limits.

The human person, with his non-automatable parts, let’s say, his capacity for autonomous thinking, his emotions, his expectations and desires, his capacity for relationship and his creativity seemed to be an obstacle for the time production race that enterprises had entered to. It seemed that all the – diverted the company from its objective.

To comment on the above, I like to use the metaphor of whole rice grains. 

When we focused on how to cook rice faster, the solution we arrived at was to eliminate its outer shell. The reason is that it is harder and has more resistance to the effects of heat than its softer internal part.

“We got it!” We told ourselves. “We have beaten nature and time,” we added.

Until we realized that that dish that took us less time to put it on the table, lacked all the energy and vigor that, on the other hand, were still present in the removed shell.

The same happened to our companies and ventures.

Our fantasy of being able to produce by shortening time and exceeding the natural limitations thanks to eliminating the human part, left us with efficient enterprises but with no soul, with no brand message, and with products and services that didn’t make a difference nor in the market nor in the clients.

Harvard studies conducted by Teresa Amabile, Director of Research at Harvard Business School, and Steven Kramer, Developmental Psychologist, author of many articles published in Harvard Business Review, show us that what we don’t see, that is, our employees’ emotions , perceptions and motivations, are decisive in the results of a company, since they determine the degree of creativity of people and teams as well as their degree of commitment to quality work and the equipment cohesion

Increasing productivity and today’s necessary innovation, involves seeking a climate that fosters good emotions, giving space for honest dialogues that allow more positive perceptions of peers and the organization.

And although all this certainly consumes more cooking time, the final stew is not only tastier (useful and competitive), but much healthier (ethical and ecological), and highly desired and demanded (loyalty and afffiliation).

Juna Albert

Business and Data management. Companie’s digital and cultural transformation.


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