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The Corporate Human Ecosystem

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  • Writer's pictureHans J. Schmolke

Companies have lost their binding power

The years of the pandemic did not pass each and every one of us by without leaving a trace. There was no alternative to radically adapting everyday life. We had to make things possible that previously seemed unthinkable on such a scale: Homeschooling, home office....

Home, our home, suddenly took on a different meaning. It became school, workplace, it became cramped and the situation inescapable. Conflicts ignited on everyday things and became causes of serious discord or better understanding among themselves.

None of us is the same after the pandemic as before. Our view of things has changed, our idea of what is valuable and what we expect from life.

This has also changed our view of our workplace, of our everyday working life, of the company where we spend the majority of our day. As a result, it can be said that our bond with the company we work for has suffered. An important aspect of this is the social relationships among colleagues, which were an important part of this bond before the pandemic. Increasingly, corporate employees are asking the question, is it worth spending my life in the reality of this job? Before the pandemic, the question did not arise, but in the lockdown, other realities have emerged.

This development is reinforced by the new transparency on the labor market and thus the reversal of the balance of power there. The demand market has become a supply market. For many qualifications, there are more vacancies than available specialists.

Many things will not be the same after the pandemic. Home office is one example. In many companies, the number of workplaces has shrunk during the period of absence, so that individuals no longer have a fixed workplace. Overall, the liberation from the shackle of the desk in the company has brought alienation.

'The company', one of the social hotspots in society, and once a place, firm and equal for all those employed there, has lost its binding power.

For companies, this has unprecedented consequences. One of them is the bloodletting of people. The resource of manpower has become mobile. The loss of people must be countered by a gain. The new people need onboarding. Once they are trained, they stay shorter than usual.

Many new challenges! Where are the levers to respond to them? It's just as well that insight into these set screws has improved massively in the past.

Man vs. machine

Every human community is made up of a mix of the same types of behavior we all know from our surroundings: the cautious, the brave, the introverts, the extroverts, the dreamers, the realists, The larger the human community, the more similar the composition, regardless of language or culture.

A machine works reliably and always the same. The human being does not succeed in this. He always brings his own internal weather with him, and depending on his mood, the same situations can end up quite differently. From this point of view, the imposition in man-machine cooperation is the human being.

Nevertheless - and this is one of the insights - human beings also behave in their subjectivity according to certain patterns which an individual shares with many others, with whom he or she forms a subjectivity group, so to speak.

Beyond the diversity of behavioral patterns, all people are subject to one rule of the perception-assessment and action-schemwa, independent of their culture. It is the inertia of action in everyday life.

Whether internal or external termination, whether termination of the cell phone contract or the marriage relationship - all of this is preceded by a process in which negative experiences accumulate, intensify and then finally result in a decision, in an action.

This process, as empirical evidence has shown, is no different in Mongolia than it is in Argentina. What is different, however, is how many things have to come together for it to happen, and how many steps have to be taken before the decision is made.

The data showed that the different mentalities are similarly distributed in the population across countries. A daring Spaniard is more like a daring Chinese than a timid Spaniard. For the individual, this is impossible to discern. That's why we tend to distinguish cultures by language and color of clothing.

However culture is defined, as long as people are behind it, it is hardly predictable. From this point of view, the machine is friendly. It bows to physical laws and can be calculated and controlled. The human being escapes logic.

Better to say: our logic. Because, on the one hand, we are too close to the problem, namely a part of it, and do not have the distance. On the other hand, we like to think physically-logically and thus only look at the surface and not at the mode of action behind it.

This is, where Artificial Intelligence can make a big difference. As long as it serves as a tool to use, and not as a rule to follw.

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