Back to the (same) Game

July 11, 2020

In pandemic times, our cognitive bias are even more exalted. Imagining the future from a present acute vertex is to flirt with the attractive emptiness. Our preferences lead us to imagine a hypothetical world only possible in our illusions stimulated by ambiguities and restrictions of the current moment.

One of the intense and controversial debates is just related to the new work possibilities concerning the environment. Flex Office is the new faddiness in the corporative agendas everywhere, desired apparently by many individuals that today are enjoying less time in the transit and, perhaps, some blessings at home.

Opinion surveys indicate that the world of the offices will never be the same. In fact, some companies are already reducing their physical spaces, others are already remodelling layouts, and others are even moving to urban areas with less concentration of people. On the other hand, families are moving to the bucolic environment of countryside or beach, dreaming with a better balance of life and, clearly, with lower cost of living.

The flexibility of work will be the new organizational paradigm. This (almost) everybody waits today.

It is important to say: We have not been in Home Office during the last months. We have been confined, with fear of a potentially lethal virus and afraid of losing familiar income. Now we initiate the return to a presumed unknown world, in which new habits and codes are in formation. Personally, despite the depth of the vertex, I believe that the effective changes of social behavior will still be marginal.

Synchronic and diachronic not always converge in their proposals.

One of the main characteristic elements of social groups is the political articulation among their members in search of power, influence, status and wealth. It is something intrinsic in our existence when instinct, emotion and reason are in harmony.

And, at least until today, political articulation occurs person to person, almost always out of spotlight and of the audiance look. It occurs in backstage, in chats circles, in meetings and failures in meeting, in exchanging of interests, in hidden agendas, in agreements, in occasional interactions.

By returning to the offices, at some moment in time, those that are presents probably will be capable to promote their articulations in the social and political field that are unveiled. Reaching for better results to their efforts, they will sign to the absentees that real life is still far from video game' screens.

Then, we would have a classic result of the famous game of Prisoners Dilemma eternalized in the research line Theory of the Games in Economic Sciences. The result of a rationally possible balance indicating that personal interaction in work environment will be (as always has been) the best choice that any leadership can make in search for power, influence, status and wealth. Even if the result of maximum well-being indicates the possibility of a more flexible and distant work from the physical environment.


Daniel Motta is the Founder and CEO of BMI Blue Management Institute, a leading niche consulting firm. He is a global thought leader focused on culture, strategy and leadership. He has a PhD in Economics, MSc in Financial Economics and BA in Economics. He is also an OPMer from Harvard Business School. He is the Managing Director of USA-based VC company White Fox Capital and the Senior Tupinambá Maverick of bossa&etc. He was a co-founder of Brazilian Society of Finance. He currently serves NGO UNIBES as Strategic Planning Principal. He is the author of the best selling books Essential Leadership and book Anthesis. He also has three articles published by Harvard Business Review. He is a Board Member of MASP.