Mind the Gap!

August 7, 2020

Social connections require time to be constructed. Long lasting relationships gainconsistency and complicity as they survive to conflicts, losses and crises as much as they celebrate collective conquests and changes to superior levels.

The pride to belong is something sufficiently abstract to be encapsulated in prescribed pills. After all, to feel part of a group is so intrinsic to the human condition as well as the search for distinctive social status that makes us unique, even inserted in the collective.

Feeling of belonging has also been a dynamic concept throughout the time, and absolutely situacional depending on personal and social questions. There was a time when organizations provided such attention in an autocratic and paternalistic way, suffocating the individuality in favor of the group convenience. Individuals were then part of a larger gear kept by ironed bird cages, a part from the productive process system exactly for the exaggerated and fomented specialization due to the increasing search for productivity expansion. The pride to belong was thus directly associated to the conception of being part of something incredibly gigantic, admired and infallible. We still experience such traditional models nowadays.

But the contemporaneousness also invites us to defy traditional paradigms. It would not be different with the organizational models. The erosion of the institutional bastions of the XX Century breached with unilateral hierarchical logic in favor of a something more fluidic and horizontal. The subliminar premise of this change was exactly to bring speed and flexibility to the system. All legacy was located as infrastructure in the new paradigm of APIs and APPs. Agile, simple, ephemeral. The impetuous squad spread throughout the organizational body recreates the work context as a microcosm wired to a diffuser universe. The pride to belong also becomes connected to more agile and operational deliveries, probably with more obvious and immediate feedbacks on the impact of the work in something concrete and visible, even restricted. Only alienation in relation to the whole remains a reality as the cells function as part of an organism little intelligible yet.

The emphasis on inspired intentions has been the tone of the contemporaneous time. No more pragmatic and self centered in missions of growth and domain. More inclusive and abstract in missions that engage different stakeholders in noble days of well-being. Nowadays, the pride to belong to something that surpasses the proper organization is essential for the enrollment of collaborators in an organizational project.

Such digression on the proper evolution of the organizations - of course I refer to large and middle market companies here - is also preamble for the reflections on the impact of the popular pandemic on the construction of these social relations. The drawn out confinement is a real threat to the consistency of these personal and social bonds. Certainly, it is more challenging for the older generation, but also excellent for the recently inserted workers in the corporate world.

The remote work as an alternative is certainly a gain for the pride to belong since that makes possible different personal and familiar dynamics in particular situations -from the urban caster of vehicles until an earlier exit to prolonged holidays.

The remote work as paradigm can bring disconnection with the collective corporate object. In this case the pride to belong fades away for the unfamiliarity caused by the distance. Social conformity is lost, complicity and companionship are lost, and bond is lost.

The social relationships need to be strengthened urgently.

Mind the Gap!


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.