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A Shout: Work Is Love and Trust Made Visible Published: Sunday, May 11, 2008 By: Dr. Manuel Ángel (Coco) Morales

Please readers accept this shout.  The hooks exist in the human character to link and relate people more productively and more responsible than they are in most of today’s work settings.  The job of leaders, executives, managers and professional of any organization or community is to create an environment or a culture that brings out the best, not the worst, of what is to be human.  In this age where many are talking about engagement which in essence is a different form of interaction, if you want to convert people into partners, you have to try radical trust, instead of bureaucratic mistrust.  The challenge is how to learn and practice the kind of organizational and teamwork trust that makes a difference.

InPuerto Ricowe have the experience when faced with compelling social challenges, as in times after a hurricane, that many organizations achieve productivity that would ordinarily be considered miraculous.  Even in normal conditions, people in high execution teams, idealistic service, or nonprofit work often get extraordinary amount of highly creative work accomplished and have fun to boot.

After many decades of studying and practicing with high execution teams it is easy to conclude that there is a kind of radical trust relationships that make them work.  There is an appointed leader, but this person pitches in and does real work just like everyone else.  Good peer-level relationships create the foundations for trust, cooperation, and information exchange. 

Relationships of genuine friendship (avoid diplomacy and political correctness) and caring permits members to work through conflict and differences to implement better ways to achieve common goals.

In the knowledge society, and with the global competitiveness huge pressures, the distant, authority based, role-job description relationships among people will not do the job.  Let me repeat.  Bureaucratic, administrative relationships will play short.

The new management design questions are the following: What will take to build an economy based and truly sustainable system of production and service delivery? What kind of relationships to co-workers, customers, and even future generations will produce the level of community needed to motivate such a titanic change?  The answer is a culture where work is love and trust made visible.

A senior systems scientist,  Donella Meadows writes in a interesting book, Beyond the Limits, that the elements of a sustainable work environment or culture revolution go beyond new technologies and better policies, and include networking, speaking truth to power, learning, radical trust and loving.  That is why and with a lot of respect, I can say to this person with whom I work in this pharmaceutical organization, “my friend, I love you”.

In the traditional bureaucratic-legal-formal organization one is not allowed to speak about love.  Everyone that calls upon the capacity of people to practice brotherly and sisterly love is more likely to be questioned than taken seriously.  The deepest difference between optimists and pessimists is their position on whether human beings are able to operate from a foundation of love.  As a Christian and as an optimist I shout: Yes, it is possible!  Thinking the opposite, and mistrusting everyone is a core problem of our society and the deepest cause of unsustainability.

A culture, a leader or an executive that cannot believe in, discuss, and develop the best human qualities, as love and trust, is one that will suffer from over-reacting and from a tragic distortion of information and reality interpretation. 


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