The organisations we admire, and the places where most people would like to work, are known for having a special environment or corporate culture in which people feel, and perform, at their best. The writer, Manfred Kets de Vries, calls these authentizotic organisations.1 These companies have meta-values that give organisational participants a sense of purpose and self-determination. In addition, people feel competent, experience a sense of belonging, have voice and impact on the organisation, and derive meaning and enjoyment from their work. Organisations with authentizotic cultures are not only benchmarks for health and psychological well-being in the workplace, but they are very often profitable, sustainable enterprises as well.
by Manfred Kets de Vries
Manfred Kets de Vries is a consultant on organisational design and strategic human resource management to leading European, US, Canadian, Australian, African and Asian companies. He is the Chairman and principal owner of the Kets de Vries Institute, a global leadership consultancy firm, incorporated in 2009. Financial Times, Le Capital, Wirtschaftswoche and The Economist have judged Manfred Kets de Vries one of the leading thinkers on management. E-mail: email@example.com
A great place to work is one where people:
Find meaning in their work.
Trust the people they work for/with.
Have pride in what they do.
Enjoy the people they work for/with.
The meta-values of authentizotic organisations are fun, love (implying working with a close community of people) and meaning (profit with purpose). Are you working in one of these organisations?
I believe that one competitive advantage that comes from this type of organisational culture is the ability to create effective work teams. Competitive advantage now lies with organisations that bring their specialists in research, manufacturing, logistics, talent management, marketing, customer service, and sales together with speed and efficiency to get their products and services to market. Organisations in social services, education, health care, and government also operate in complex environments that face similar issues and require a high degree of collaborative action. Across a wide range of organisations, teamwork can provide the competitive edge that translates opportunities into successes.
So why is it that, although authentizotic organisations seem so desirable when seen from the exterior, and so pleasant when experienced as an employee, ultimately, so few organisations can claim to have this culture? Why it that teams are so often dysfunctional? Some answers may lie in our own human nature: our ability to trust one another just so far, and perhaps not far enough; and our inability to see past our own needs in order to understand that richer benefits, both psychological and material, may be easier to obtain through the collective efforts of a group rather than as individuals. But that is not so easy for us to accept, let alone change. »