Reading through an interesting article about empathy at work, I reflected to some of the things hampering businesses to achieve better results. One of the key things that this article focuses on is how managers fail to act in benefit of the “greater good”, when their own individual position is worsened. This contrasts with a study on rats, where they opt to save other caged animals, rather than eat a nicely prepared meal.
Part of the solution, comes from empathy. It should be part of a great dose of emotional intelligence and leaders that recognize and reward this type of approach. But more than individuals, I believe that the key for change has to happen from a business culture perspective. The article points well to the internal fight between departments and people.
“Decisions are driven by thoughts about “my” people, “my” budget, “my” agenda.”
We should try and make our corporate cultures more “rat-like”, even if that sounds extremely odd.