A pragmatism consistent with the contributions of neurosciences
The event of the month of February is undoubtedly ARTE's documentary on happiness at work. Many idealists were waiting for it. However, this documentary shows that while the results are there, the unlearning process that needs to be carried out is not always a path strewn with roses. The craze for this film on social networks demonstrates, if proof were needed, that happiness at work is a strong aspiration for many people.
Photo: Illustration of the documentary Le Bonheur au Travail by Martin Messionnier ©Arte
DTheir enemies are pointed at: the ego of certain leaders (leaders, trade unionists, established managers, disbelieving employees) and the desire for control that has structured organizations anxious to control productivity. In many organizations, it has become clear that the system of coercion we invented has become counterproductive in solving today's problems. The will to control still inhabits the mind of the power-obsessed being. This film shows that cooperation, based on the involvement of all, naturally generates self-control. Either spontaneously by the responsible individual who considers, in all ethics, that he owes quality to his clients and, in all loyalty, to his peers. Or because people who do not respect this commitment are sanctioned and then rejected by the other players.
In the spirit of motivation, intention is at the source of movement, the energy released from it is supported by a doping brain chemistry (dopamine). The reward system, housed in the limbic part of the brain, is satisfied with the subject's pride in showing his or her abilities within a respectful collective. Positive emotions support the desire to participate and belonging. At the heart of social relationships based on commitment, oxytocin plays its role and facilitates a relationship of trust. It nurtures social bonds and team spirit. Intrinsic motivation has more power than extrinsic motivation. Being taken for a fool has never made you intelligent. Many people know this, neurosciences prove it, few do. Fear, the enemy of risk-taking, favours avoidance, producing passive collaborators.
Rather than pointing out the ego of the leaders, I prefer to talk about their anxiety. Receiving short-term dictates from greedy shareholders creates tension and a focus on priorities that destroy the spirit of openness to the "human factor". Shareholder pressure, obligations to be exemplary (we never say what exemplarity means, as if it were self-evident and the word "exemplary" meant moral and ethical behaviour), respect for legal, financial, legal rules... Without forgetting CSR, psychosocial risks, gender equality..., without forgetting to invent a relevant strategy, ensure quality of service, ensure innovation... The decisions they have centralized lead them into an impasse. Trained in the school of intellectual superiority and denial of emotions, invited to class mimicry, many leaders find it difficult to take the risk of trust and thus deprive themselves of a more fulfilling role. In this report, those who choose the "liberated" company are either owners who act out of conviction or leaders who have to deal with situations that are so critical that they paradoxically offer them the possibility of a paradigm shift.
A new ROI based on the involvement of individuals, on their imaginative capacity, on their cohesion, can be valued. Whether through the implementation of agile methods, the transformation of modes of collaboration, the invention of a more collegial governance...the development of trust is at the root of these transformation approaches. When, in this documentary, an experienced executive insists that trust produces more value, that the cost of control has become prohibitive, he is stating a truth that goes straight to the heart of many employees in companies subject to absurd constraints. Today, the social rules in force can also be a brake, or even an impediment to certain initiatives. Managerial innovation will have to find new room for manoeuvre by moving away from the models of the past and taking new paths.
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Well yes! In the midst of all the complexity, trust is a rational choice. To attempt the adventure of unlearning reinforced control and learning freedom of action, this film brings us proven business models. We have a context that imposes paradigm shifts. We have neuroscientific notions that allow us to understand why trust produces more intelligence than coercive control. We have experienced coaches to accompany leaders on this emotionally demanding path. We have tools to make teams work together and invite them to take new initiatives. Inventing a win-win deal, which produces more value for stakeholders, is a great challenge. So, courage, because as the speakers at the conference "the work of the leader" during the Happy Days at Work put it, it's easier said than done. But it is possible, trust, it works and this "beautiful journey is well worth the detour".
- Conference : Happy Days at Work: "The Work of Leaders" Conference on February 12, 2015 at the Gaieté Lyrique
- ARTE documentary on happiness at workFebruary 24, 2015