Quality in organizations depends on high-quality human beings. What does this mean? A high-quality person is a skilled professional or technician but this point is only half of the story. A high-quality human being is also grounded in two sets of experience: personal and vicarious, direct and indirect. Personal experience comes from a rich and varied life, an open life dedicated to growth, wander, and accomplishment. Vicarious experience is learning, for education is the collected experience of humankind. Education, specifically in the humanities, relates to the total wisdom of the human race. Education is, therefore, accelerated experience or what we have been calling these days as super-learning. Departing from the scholarly notion of accelerated experience, what is the best model for any kind of institution? A company, family, agency, brain, organism or a university? The point is that any organizational model will have to include a blending of sciences B technology, professional skills, attention to the body, and the humanities. We must not develop people just for the sake of developing them or even for the sole purpose of organizations themselves. Organizations exist for developing people. For years we have been researching and playing with the concept of business as a university, referring to a place where character and leadership are taught, not in fundamentalism issues but through an elegant integration of business realism and human sensibility. The journey has been a very complex and interesting one, and it is our strong contention (following other philosophers) that only in this way can we educate youth for the future. This has led us to the advocacy of a different understanding. All organizations will have to exhibit a profound comprehension of the inevitable connection between results and sensibility. This will show the merger of results and sensibility in their internal behavior (their management systems and production processes). They will also demonstrate the coupling of results and sensibility in their external behavior (their products, services and community contributions). There is a necessary tie between effective operations and how people think and feel. Thus, structuring the result B sensibility connection is key to the new way of doing business. Results require sensibility. Organizational cooperation, teamwork and efficiency require new ways of thinking and feeling about reality. This was Plato`s imperative: Power requires wisdom. Organizational effectiveness requires love, caring, and compassion. Competitive advantage requires human depth and understanding. Productivity requires meaningful work and personal actualization.
High quality products and services require high-quality people and high-quality interactions. A surge on cannot fake it in an operation, an engineer cannot fake it in an aircraft and a manager cannot fake it in developing a human being. People cannot be hypocritical in how they treat each other. The result of a given life = ability (0 to 100) x sensibility (0 to 100) x actions (0 to 100).
Again, it is not that we have so much to do that we cannot find time to think and feel as human beings; it is because we do not think, feel and act as human beings from the start that we have so much to do.
Copyright 1998 QBS, Inc.