Will we work for the system until we burn out?
For the liveliness of a person in an organization, we are offered some solutions: compassion, love and co-creation. Are we already able to achieve them?
We live in a period of a ‘flood’ of excess information that rarely anyone can make sense of it all. Value-added information can also be lost in this ocean of media. Thus, the results of our doctoral research in 2018, which shows the state of humanity within organizations, were also ‘lost’. We found in the processes of the modern organization and the 4.0 organization: “a significant difference of compassion, freedom and reference.” Instead of science being active, deepening and informing the general public of more than current, if not alarming, results, it does not care because they may be ‘too simple’ or contrary perhaps too rooted.
However the results prove that the organization directly impacts the person and forces him to change and adapt against his will all the time. And right here is the seed of radical change. With these results, the leaders of organizations could take active action in practice to turn the operation of organizations in the direction of uplifting humanity. The year 2021 is proving to be the rock bottom of our civilization in several strategic places, and a great task is set for all of us: How to achieve humanity in an organization?
Human values have always been my second nature, especially in my first work organization, where compassion came first. People with various health problems and signs of illness came to us every day. We helped them to the best of our abilities and it turned out to be crucial that we worked together as a connected pharmacy-medical team, that a person in need is never alone.
Where exactly is the place of a human in an organization? Whoever has read the book, William Whyte, “The Human of Organization,” knows that he dedicated it to the human who creates organizations. His belief was that people not only work, but also belong to an organization. He clearly states us that the foundations of modern organization were not laid by human, but by intellectuals. What do we define in practice under the term organization?
An organization can be defined as a ‘phenomenon’ of human integration to achieve different purposes. It is this idea and purpose that the ‘people of the organization’ place and expand into their mission that is the direction of their action. The dynamic realization of the mission, however, gives vitality to an organization, so that the organization establishes harmony both in the internal and external environment.
An organization is all-encompassing. Therefore, an approach is appropriate, if we look at it anthropologically as a living being, as its vitality begins in every human cell. Fritjof Capra also states: “Humane organization is understood as a living system.” This definition is multifaceted, as it is, on the one hand, a person as a creator of processes and, on the other hand, an organization as a structure in which processes take place. This eternal dual role of the human confirms that the human is a process and also at the same time a structure of an organization.
Organizational processes do not seem to have an end, as they are endless and it seems that the organization of the 21st century has no visible form, or is more intangible than tangible. All this, however, depends on the dynamics of free human communication, as an observer and as a co-creator.
Establishing dynamic communication in the constant dynamics of the human means that the processes are alive and bring living life to an organization. However, if there is no dynamic communication, if ideas get stuck in the ‘rigid bureaucratic mills’ of an organization where there is no interest in life but power, hierarchy and control prevail, then we can speak of an inanimate organization.
Human ‘flow of life’ creates a humane organization where people are respected, trusted, given safely, which empowers them. In this way, a person becomes emotionally stable, internally satisfied, self-creative, work motivates him all to be able to live and enjoy his role. In this way, the conditions are created for the organization to become a self-organized community, where the flexibility, creativity, humanity of people is increased and their personal quality 'shines' with full potential.
A person who has a love for: himself, co-creators and the environment that belongs to him, of course, makes an effort again and again. There is an universal will and natural self-creativity in him, but one day, it literally breaks under the pressure of an inhumane organization. How to go beyond the framework of non-creative processes?
Examples from practice prove that when a person finds himself in ‘bureaucratic mills’, days, months, and years of an unheard ‘human organization’ revolve, he slowly runs out of will, motivation, becomes more and more deaf, blind, disinterested and not engaged in work or living life. Such a person becomes less and less self-creative, has a ‘disease of an organization’ often caused by internal toxicity.
In addition, a human becomes a ‘machine of organization’ from which he receives instructions, fulfills them without his own thinking, without words and of course, everything must be carried out without errors. But it is human to make a mistake, especially if a person is operating under severe daily stress and is facing a series of inhumane relationships, which is not truly a relationship, but has only one direction of action.
Stressful conditions and also alienated work are no longer a joy to a human, no more heartfelt work and a smile on his face that encourages the entire work community. Feelings of guilt and hurt are deep, as such a person in the body is no longer able to feel the mission of the organization because he is excluded, he is no longer part of the whole. Anthropologically speaking, this kind of work is literally resisted by a human from every cell, from his mind, heart and soul and every day more and more, to the point where the process of physical illnesses begin in various parts of the body.
Organizations either do not understand or do not have enough knowledge to understand the fact that when there is no life energy in people, there is no life energy in the organization either. People are slowly getting sick and suffocating under the pressure of inhumane organizations, which remain only inanimate power structures where human vitality is destroyed or even mutilated. The paradox, however, is that today’s unpredictable environment demands the greatest flexibility and creativity from people ever.
Where to look for the vibrancy of an organization? The answer lies in compassion, love, and co-creation in self-organized human communities. The time of inhumane organizations that have decided to put profit before life seems to be running out. I wholeheartedly believe that the ‘people of organizations’ will awaken and see the truth and only then begin to realize that if there is no living life in the people who co-create, the organization simply opts for the process of decay.
Today it is a ‘great challenge’ for us all in our history. The process of decay is followed by cleansing at all levels, which will not be easy and also can be very painful. But let's keep our humanness and start co-creating Now! For it is already perceptible that “The Organization of the Consciousness Human” is already strongly arising in people.
Original professional article prepared by:
Assist. Prof. Tanja Balažic Peček, PhD
Dr. Peček is from a small Slovenian village, in an unfulfilling political environment. Regardless, she managed to protect her inner world of noble passions. After her successful pharmaceutical employments, she eventually found the inner spark to wake up and live out of her own, true Self. After earning her doctoral degree she now lives and loves autopoiesis in daily practice. She is an anthropologist, author, holistic health researcher for the revitalization of the human community and an ambassador of autopoiesis. Tanja is a genuine human, who is truly autopoietic in a living coherence of the dynamic Agape in Action.