Glue in Unsafe Times

July 3, 2020

Productivity and involvement are essential elements of the high performance in any social context related to the production of anything important to the members of the group.

In the case of a family, there is a division of work between all members and the relevance of care with the relations so that the social fabric is fortified throughout the time, against the inevitable fray caused by random problems and for the proper previsible interaction around susceptibility and idiosyncrasies of each one.

In the case of a company, there are also papers and responsibilities shared around goals of the business structuralized throughout the processes and the management systems. And there is the necessary agenda of involvement for construction and preservation of the emotional bonds that, throughout the time, prevent these people to be mere strangers occupying positions.

Of course, productivity requires many other independent elements of the involvement agenda. Abilities, knowledge, tools and environments are basic for production of wealth in a significantly superior level to the conventional average.

Involvement is also related to so many other elements beyond productivity. Profiles of the leaderships, sense of justice and recognition, quality of work relations and sense of a larger purpose (beyond mere financial and operational KPIs, and far from the self-centered regarding the size) are critical aspects.

And we have culture as the essential “glue” of everything. This abstract, intangible and sublime "thing” that at the same time is concrete, factual and perennial. It is exactly the culture that imposes as the fifth critical element for productivity and also for involvement.

There is no high performance without adherence to the culture of the place. Productivity and involvement are critical elements and they only reach their peak when professionals demonstrate such adherence to the beliefs and values. Only culture provides this high level of energy.

In unsafe times caused, for example, by strong external shocks, productivity and involvement are really affected. Such fall is just related to the increase of unsafety generated by uncertainties, ambiguity, losses, attritions and fears. Searching for self preservation, the authenticity and contribution levels can quickly decay.

Again, only one solid culture is capable to keep a minimum safe environment for all the members of the group, making possible the retaken of maximum productivity and total involvment. Cultural solidity is very particular of each context, each history, each group. However, cultural solidity also benefits strong coalition of leaderships on the same objectives, processes and consciously modeled systems, rites and incentives lined up and, mainly, of the intense exchange between all the participants.

The current pandemic has not modified this so intrinsic aspect of the humanity. Culture is the base for productivity and involvment of any social group.

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.