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Getting ahead of the curve in business
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Understanding human dynamics - status and prestige hierarchies.

Understanding human dynamics - status and prestige hierarchies. | Business change |

As a facilitator, people often comment on “safety” in group settings. Most group work I have done in my career has been safe, relatively speaking. There may have been the possibility of retaliatory actions for speaking up, workplace bullying or general boorish behaviour, but I have hardly ever (!) worked in spaces where real physical safety was an issue.

Still, the issue of safety and fear comes up surprisingly often, and this article at the gave me a few insights about this problem.

This article looks to ancient human history to understand some of these dynamics and it begins by looking at two kinds of status in humans: dominance and prestige. In dominance hierarchies we are afraid of the higher status person and there is deference and backing away. In prestige hierarchies we are drawn to the higher status person because they have information that can help us survive.

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Change Your Employees' Minds, Change Your Business

Change Your Employees' Minds, Change Your Business | Business change |

It's a very interesting approach in this article. Some experiments with monkeys show us how works the brain... I think the human being is not really differtent! [note mg]


Many business leaders don't care why employees do anything as long as they follow the company's rules, processes, cultural norms and laws.


But we've found that leaders can create and sustain stronger business results if they understand — and manage — how employees approach their work every day. When employees' thoughts, feelings, and beliefs are aligned with their daily work, they do that work better. Leaders, though, can be squeamish about approaching topics many think are better left to psychologists, so they don't even try to create alignment.


In the work underlying Beyond Performance, we found a technique we call 'laddering' that even the most hard-nosed business operators can feel comfortable with; the reason is that it closely resembles the "five whys" approach lean organizations use to get to the root causes of performance problems. Laddering mirrors the five whys, applying it to people's mindsets instead of operational problems....


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Via Martin Gysler
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