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Problems are active and do not sit around waiting for solutions. Problems always cause a greater or lesser impact in a given environment.

How can something be considered a problem when we still cannot identify what is wrong or at least not as well as it should be identified?

We know that problems do not always have adequate solutions available and that unfavorable situations are not necessarily problems to be identified.

In an organization, it is relatively easy to see that people tend to expect others to find problems that they can solve, rather than taking the initiative to look for or anticipate problems.

One of the reasons why people avoid going looking for and finding problems is the ease with which these people can later discard them. They can always say that the problem is not theirs because that particular problem requires an embroidery of another specialty or because it goes beyond the limits of their functions or responsibility.

Does the size of a problem in an organization come from the impact of the solution we are looking for?

If the problem is big does it mean that it affects a large universe of people?

It is good to remember that before we move to the construction of workable solutions in the scope of organizational innovation we must plunge with passion into the problem, identifying all its environment and accurately delimiting all its contours and details.

Finding problems means identifying the characteristics of the problem, including its location and the consequences of its existence. This means that we need to know whether all stakeholders within and outside the organization clearly and accurately understand the problem.

Identifying the root cause of a problem from the data identified by the analysis of qualitative and quantitative information is critical to ensuring that the real cause of the problem is understood. When that happens, we are on the right track.

To find the right path, we must look for problems to identify them and find creative solutions. If our attitude is proactive instead of reactive, we will naturally take the initiative to look for, or anticipate problems, changes, trends and opportunities for improvement and / or innovation.

One of the possible ways of approaching the organization is to ask the employees of the dedicated teams, for an undefined problem, to individually note the specific problems they are facing, and which are related to their initial challenge.

On the other hand, it is easy to recognize that in an organization we recognize employees who are constantly seeing problems everywhere and, despite appearing to be pessimistic behavior, this can be translated into an important and beneficial activity in identifying organizational problems of systems, processes, products or services.

What problems are we going to find?

Different people can be different angles of observation. Each angle can be a different perception and turn into different problems.

In a team it is always good to be able to create problems, to have proactive attitudes and to know how to appreciate different cognitive approaches between team employees or the organization.

When an organization manages to create synergies between problem makers and individuals with other acting preferences, every moment of a creative process benefit.

Defining the problem also requires a combined view of the problem resulting from the various perspectives as well as a long succession of questions about “why” the problem. In looking for the answers to our questions we should avoid all kinds of judgments in the definition of the problem.

It is also time to leave those beautiful forms of deductive reasoning based on past experiences and to make a breakthrough by laying the foundations for building a balance between what is achievable, what is desirable, and what is economically feasible.

Will the solutions we present to customers and users / consumers satisfy the need for a specific job well done?

Trying to know if a solution does not bring you another set of problems is a constant challenge. What are the consequences of our proposal?

Let us try to listen to what has not yet been said because it means anticipation and a place of innovation.

Knowing how to observe is as important as being watched! After all we and they are part of the same world!


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The culture of an organization represents a well-articulated set of beliefs, values, practices, attitudes and behaviors shared by all.

The culture of organizations takes time to build and to consolidate, and perhaps for this reason when we want to change it, if the culture is strong, we face a reasonable range of obstacles. A strong culture in an organization dispenses an excessive use of rules and is not based on the search for permission, otherwise it would be enough to change some rules if we wanted a meaningful change.

Because we see change at a really high speed, we easily realize that the culture of a generation, built over a certain period of time, evolves rapidly in its contours, even though the nuclear aspects remain stable.

But it is not only the speed at which the change in the environment takes place, which can jeopardize a strong culture, also, the generational and geographical diversity of the elements of a team, and even more of an organization, being a growing reality, compete for the construction of a new and richer culture.

In a space of a generation of work, it is easy to recognize the effects of social changes on the forms of production and in the needs of an organization’s employees.

So, building our own culture into a team has become a complex task, but, being consciously carried out and with respect for the differences of its elements, we have come to fruition.

There is also a factor of instability in the creation of a strong team culture, which we call the average longevity of the companies, giving rise to many episodes of short duration, for example, the low success rates of startups. Also, here arise natural phenomena of emergence of strong team cultures often nullified by the extinction of the businesses of the newborn organizations.

We also know that one of the major problems that organizations encounter in a change in company culture is the difficulty felt in building teams, that is, when change of culture implies more collaborative teamwork, resistance to change tends to increase.

So how can we facilitate the development of a team culture?

Strengthening positive attitudes. We know that bad attitudes are the fruit of experiences and events in the past, but the memories of these experiences can be reassessed giving rise to predispositions for constructive action.

In a teamwork environment, people understand, believe, and assume that planning, decisions, and actions perform better when done collaboratively.

However, for team members to achieve a true level of collaboration, and because that almost always means change, it is necessary:

– That the members of the team feel themselves respected.

– That the members of the teams have openness to make adjustments in the articulation of different values, beliefs and customs that their members incorporate.

– That people understand why the change, whether strategy or procedures. We have to want to make the change.

The only way to make changes is to act as a united team and this is much easier when you have a good leader.

– Team members should be aware that sometimes organizational change requires the transfer of resources from one area to another.

Building a team culture therefore implies an assessment of the potential of all elements of the organization to facilitate the best possible mix of existing and / or integrated resources.

As Susan Peters puts it: “We define employee experience simply as seeing the world through the eyes of our employees, staying connected, and being aware of their major milestones. In the last year we have appointed a Head of Employee Experience and we are developing a strategy to create an employee experience which takes into account the physical environment our employees work in, the tools and technologies that enable their productivity, and learning to achieve their best at work. All of this is part of continuously evolving our HR capabilities.”

An assessment process allows you to understand some behavioral tendencies, needs and motivational factors, as well as skills or competencies. By assessing the strengths and weaknesses of team members, the organization is able to manage their talents and can easily manage energy, to develop team projects, with the speed and effectiveness desired.

The culture of a team grows when employees share common practices, but also when each influence the team through their unique attitudes and perceptions of the environment in which they are involved.

The culture of a team also goes through the widespread knowledge of the energy potential of that team.

The notion of team culture is especially relevant at a time when several generations coexist in teams and organizations.

Among the different and possible elements of a team there are significant differences of values, beliefs and tendencies, but there is a whole universe of common points that serve as glue in the construction of a winning team.


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The teams of an organization move around three distinct environments, that is, people, processes and tools.

Most of the time, people stop looking at themselves and others and care on focusing their activity on processes and their choices on tools.

It is an interesting playful activity that leads people to adopt new trends in methodologies and processes or to find the coolest tool in the digital world, but we rarely see people on social networks or sharing platforms asking how one can we “improve thinking” or how to increase team member satisfaction (in addition to some team building experiences that are not well suited to contexts).

It is true that occasionally we see someone suggest different attitudes or call attention to the need to collaborate (implies dialogue) and to revitalize communication. Revitalize not the process itself, but the attitude towards the interlocutor and other teams that depend on our work or that are part of the same organizational system of our team.

We rarely hear anyone cry out that it is important and a priority to define problems well and frame them or contextualize them before we go on to discover solutions or innovative creation (redundancy).

We rarely hear a voice say to stop choosing in the storefront, which they prepared especially for us, and start building our solutions that give a full response to our problems and needs.

It is not usual to see one or more people in a team using a medium (critical thinking) to assess and improve their ability to judge well the options that are put to them, or built, to deliberate on a particular subject (evaluating alternatives, weighing one against the other, in order to make it possible to choose between them).

It is very rare to see someone express a desire for more diversity in the teams or to wish more interdisciplinary teams to avoid the predominance of the more homogeneous teams in the basic training or in the cultural network, but which, although usually more efficient in the execution, lose quality in creative problem solving and in the development of innovative products and services.

An organization that wants to use creativity as a lever for business success must constantly be looking for people with an open mind to collaborate with representatives of the various disciplines within and outside the organization.

After all it is this ability that distinguishes multidisciplinary teams from interdisciplinary teams. In a multidisciplinary team, everyone seeks to defend their own specialty and their techniques of choice, which leads to long-term approaches and probably weak conclusions.

On the contrary, in an interdisciplinary team, there is a collective appropriation of ideas with the transparent exposition of the positive points of the different ideas and a co-responsibility in the development of actions. In addition, contact with others causes self-reflection and allows confrontation with divergent thoughts that promote the coherence of the concepts.

We all know at what speed information flows and how cunningly it can be built and outdated constantly. This speed and the way we organize the data, when we want to make decisions, naturally implies moments of high tension and, therefore, relaxing is not a solution.

The tension within the teams when different elements need to decide must be managed in a way that benefits the team and the organization as a whole.

Most of the time these decisions are puzzling and challenge the combination of uncertainty, ambiguity, complexity, instability, and risk, and they also appeal to unique aspects of team experience as a cohesive group.

Often when we decide individually, we think about what will bring us the greatest benefits and eventually we are not aware of possible undesirable consequences for other people.

Thus, the best option is to work on the problem as a whole, paying attention to the diversity of factors and seeking to understand the complexity of causal relationships in the connections established in the organizational system.


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Innovation is a concept that occupies a unique space in the creation and development of business. Innovation remains, without a doubt, one of the most relevant competitive factors of today.

When companies follow the “copy and paste” trend in a new context to the detriment of their own unique identity, they are following the path of business in the amusement park. We must start thinking differently, that is, we must to think innovatively about products, services and work methodologies.

Innovation in organizations does not have to be just incremental, for example, in a nuclear product or service or only disruptive when a hackathon appears capable of providing a scenario previously unimaginable.

Innovation in organizations does not have to be in products or services and can be in methodologies of work, in business models or experiences of employees.

Innovation in organizations should respond to meeting the needs of all stakeholders (customers, partners, employees and management).

In a tradition (and therefore no innovation) that has lasted for some years, organizations are systemic entities, and to understand them we must go through the distinct levels of analysis that go from the individual to the organization, through the groups. Here there is always an input and an output.

Although these levels can and should be a benchmark, an approach to innovation in organizations should have a greater focus on the interaction and multiple inputs and outputs in information that the organization’s internal and external, formal and informal networks provide.

In the exercise of their activity, organizations should facilitate these interactions to manage the knowledge and behavior of the organization’s elements to innovation, be it incremental, disruptive or both.

The processing of data that may result in information to decide or to plan can no longer be a set of opinions from several different authorities, each in its discipline or silo.

Decision-making should not result from a sum of opinions but from a combination of opinions. Selecting the relevant aspects and making a difference, creating value, leads to innovative thinking.

We must remember that today data science is an interdisciplinary field and data scientists have basic skills in many fields adjacent to their specialty such as engineering, product management, math, business management, etc.

As one example, a fundamental principle of data science is that solutions for extracting useful knowledge from data must carefully consider the problem from the business perspective.  This may sound obvious at first, but the notion underlies many choices that must be made in the process of data analytics, including problem formulation, method choice, solution evaluation, and general strategy formulation.”

This truth may seem useful only to large companies, but it is not!

If it is true that large companies are the big beneficiaries of these data analysis processes, it is also true that the notion (knowledge and meaning) or environmental awareness where they are inserted gives SMEs an added advantage in the refining of products and services to customers and users, adding a non-visible value to larger companies.

This is because of their proximity to consumers, which allows them to transparently absorb the cultural values ​​and needs of the ecosystems in which they are inserted.

“Innovation is only possible when challenging the norm and questioning a brief one has been given, becomes inherent to working when trying to find the best possible answer to a problem.” – Christiane Drews

To find this answer we must recognize the need for a joint effort where there is collaboration and creation of knowledge that can lead us to differentiate between an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary team that, although not consensual, has more visibility, for example in the health area.

What is at issue here are questions of the territory of knowledge and its rationale.

While multidisciplinary “teams” almost always produce sums of knowledge for third parties, interdisciplinary teams have an advantage resulting from the formation of generalist competencies by team members when they have the possibility to discuss third-party interventions in their areas of expertise.

Interdisciplinary teams can be frameworks that provide environments that:

– Allow openness to new challenges.

– Allow us to think about the unthinkable.

– Favor the opposite perspective.

– Favor creative doubt.

– Open the way to boldness.

– Open the way to trust.

– Favor dialogue.

The innovation now has a “wardrobe” available to organizations that only the construction of the future will allow them to know the limits.

From mindset on mindset the interdisciplinary teams are there. From design thinking in problem solving to agile in “job to be done”, from incremental innovation to disruptive innovation, from defining customer needs to continuous improvement, from work methodologies to building collective intelligence or from data science to creativity in marketing.

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We have all experienced feelings of discomfort that result from two contradictory beliefs.

The existence of a dissonance, being psychologically uncomfortable, tends to motivate people to seek consonance, that is, to seek a zone of comfort.

In small and medium-sized companies executives do not deny the need to innovate to be competitive, but the risks that this may entail lead to a zone of discomfort.

To reduce this dissonance, people can look for new information that challenges the connection between innovation and competitiveness. This new information can serve to reduce the discomfort caused by the dissonance that some people experiences.

Phil Rosenzweig said: “It’s possible to believe honestly that you have a market-beating strategy when, in fact, you don’t. Sometimes, that’s because forces beyond your control change. But in other cases, the cause is unintentional fuzzy thinking.

Behavioral economists have identified many characteristics of the brain that are often strengths in our broader, personal environment but that can work against us in the world of business decision making. The worst offenders include overoptimism (our tendency to hope for the best and believe too much in our own forecasts and abilities), anchoring (tying our valuation of something to an arbitrary reference point), loss aversion (putting too much emphasis on avoiding downsides and so eschewing risks worth taking), the confirmation bias (overweighting information that validates our opinions), herding (taking comfort in following the crowd), and the champion bias (assigning to an idea merit that’s based on the person proposing it). “

It is relatively easy to admit that our business approach is made up of illusions, logic errors, and failed judgments that distort our understanding of the real reasons that determine an organization’s performance.

When, for example, a company’s sales and profits are high, people conclude that this organization has an overwhelming strategy, a leader with extraordinary visions, talented employees, and an excellent culture that even drives innovation.

But when the results are not so good, then the leader was not so good after all, the collaborators did not collaborate and the culture was fictitious.

What often happens is that little has changed, but the previously established image creates an aura effect, which is nothing more than an illusion.

In fact, there is a concern with the quality of decision-making, confirmed with research that indicate that cognitive tendencies affect the most important strategic decisions made by the managers of the best companies.

As an example, let us consider two cognitive propensities that are common and relevant in an economic context where innovation is the word of the day:

– Excessive confidence and cognitive dissonance. Both can bring discomfort!

Or maybe not!

If on the one hand, we know that an individual who has overconfidence overestimates the accuracy of their private information.

On the other hand, cognitive dissonance happens when we perceive an incompatibility of information elements that cause us tension, and to get rid of that tension we create the propensity to acquire or perceive information in accordance with a set of desired things.

If a consultant or an analyst issues a privately favorable forecast of high profits his tendency to interpret the subsequent information to support the information previously provided.

There is, however, another side of the coin in the cognitive dissonance that Javier Santiso, a ESADE professor, brings with great grace and pertinence.

“Yet perhaps the key to this successful repositioning lies precisely in the IMF’s ability to regenerate and subvert itself, i.e. to exhibit cognitive dissonance and innovation, not only by tolerating this internal dissonance, but rather by promoting it (Blanchard’s hire alone evidences this audacity).

This is a feat of great merit, since whether public or private, national or international, none of our institutions tend to favor dissonance. Very much on the contrary, they tend to limit disruptive, innovative potential.

Consider, for example, the remuneration of bankers via the (now infamous) bonus system, invented to reward those who have (supposedly) made money. Where are the reward systems for those who have avoided losing money?

Cognitive dissonance is as rare and precious as a white pearl. It is key to promoting innovation and to reinventing oneself.”

Probably we can see the parallel between the processes of Cognitive Dissonance, that is, experiencing incompatible cognitions and the need to reduce unpleasant feelings (act to resolve conflict) and the Creative Tension, that is, experiencing the difference between reality at a given moment and Desired result (acting to create something reduces stress).

We do not like to hear the cognitive dissonance say:

What I want is this…, But I do not have it!

To alleviate this discomfort, we must release energy and resources and put creativity to fill the gaps created by this dissonance.


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This text was inspired by an article of mine already published in this blog  to remember past learning.


The experience accumulated throughout our lives is often a lever for meaningful leaps in problem solving, be it personal and family challenges or professional challenges when we are part of an organization.

In any of these environments there are always moments to learn and moments to unlearn.

This accumulation of experiences is a wealth that cannot be ignored or underestimated without first consciously realizing its greater or lesser importance in solving problems.

For years, in a cyclical way, we learn and reserve our wisdom, but there are two types of experiences that we should reconcile and use in our day-to-day lives:

– One, experience based on experimentation that provides fun and learning,

– and another, the experience accumulated and translated into tacit knowledge that we must share, interacting with other sources of knowledge.

According to Heidegger, “to set up an experiment means that something happens to us … to set up an experiment means, therefore, to allow ourselves to be addressed by what is in our hands, by entering and submitting to it.

We can thus be transformed by such experiences, from one day to the next or in the course of time.”

Today, when we think about the performance of organizations, we find that even after some rapid, processes of restructuring to cut costs, it is in the success of innovation that organizations put their hopes to recover acceptable levels of profitability.

But then what are the conditions or adequate environment to make emerge the success?

Some authors emphasize the role of tacit knowledge as the key to achieving innovation success.

Tacit knowledge is that which the individual has acquired throughout life, through experience, as opposed to explicit knowledge, that is, knowledge that has already been or may be articulated, encoded and stored in some way.

If on the one hand we can learn quickly in a changing world and share knowledge to create new knowledge and new things or to experience new emotions, on the other hand sharing the accumulated knowledge when we are part of a team, may not be an easy task.

Teamwork based on a Design Thinking approach is a creative and innovative process that combines a wide variety of interdisciplinary contributions from its members and fuels the emergence of emotional memories.

It is easy to see that much of these contributions come from tacit knowledge.

It is a personal knowledge that is applied in thought and action, through a design thinking / design doing, without definitions and no elaborate recitals, but which clearly promotes a collaborative interaction.

Not all portions of tacit knowledge are emotional memories, but much implicit information is stored in us playing a key role in our decision-making and in the way, we link points of view and diverse knowledge about the context, dimension or subject.

Tacit knowledge is not easily recognized or acknowledged, but it can be a key factor in enhancing the quality of strategic decisions made by the top management team.”

Deciding when working as a team is a time of surgical precision and it is a time when having creativity as an ally is helpful. It is an action that must be developed with the participation of the specialized knowledge in the matter in question, but which also calls for the collaboration of other people.

Thus, the way we deal with this information, over many clashes with a vast amount of data, can facilitate the creation of new knowledge.

Moreover, if we are skilled in managing how people share and apply that information, we can provide interesting creative leaps. This is because the tacit knowledge that every individual possesses and that is unique, once unlocked, can be a great creative contribution in an organization.

“We know more than what we are able to say” (Michael Polanyi), and so we are able to pick up on that more specialized knowledge that is often tacit and through sharing draw our way towards creativity. This implies an understanding of the antecedents of the participants in these exchanges, something that we can only acquire through empathy.

Combining experiences and sharing interdisciplinary knowledge leads to the best of strategic decision making in organizational innovation.


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People want to feel as if their work matters, and that their contributions help to achieve something really important. And except for those at the tippy top, shareholder value isn’t a meaningful goal that excites and engages them. They want to know that they — and their organizations — are doing something big that matters to other people.”

This is a warning to all those involved with Human Resources, who for a long time have filled their professional life, and not only, with the images of discouragement produced by a culture that always privileged the reward for those who do well what is requested and never rewarded creativity, that is, what could be done.

Human Resources as an integral part of organizations have been looked (and has allowed) as weak elements in the organizational value chain despite the good work of some HR Business Partners.

Many of the people involved in traditional HR departments feel lonely when they are confronted with more agile business environments and with various future alternatives in management and HR development strategies.

This loneliness is occasionally interrupted by initiatives of great boldness and courage as happened recently in Coworklisboa with Employee’s Experience Design Workshop: Innovating in Human Resources – by Busigners.

This workshop underscored the need to create a sustained approach to problem solving rather than adaptations of best practices or models linked to organizational management trends.

Those challenges arise from the search for the satisfaction of hidden needs, not articulated needs or only known but not satisfied needs.

Now HR must assume its true role, which is to lead resources, human resources that feel, have will, are capable, are creative and want to grow. These people are potential internal entrepreneurs and are also a new challenge and a new perspective of management and leadership.

Therefore, Human Resources (HR people) should innovate in the communication processes, in the ways of promoting well-being, in the perspectives and personal growth models of each employee and in different contexts.

In this sense, they should for example:

– Watch, listen and ask questions. Yes! Ask questions!

– Avoid distractions and be completely present when they are with other people.

– Avoid thinking that multitasking is good and that your problem is bigger than others. Empathy with all employees of the organization is crucial as it is the only way to understand the true needs of all employees including leadership and management.

– They should attach meaning to collaboration and connectivity, managing combinations of talents and innovating in recognition and reward plans.

-They must learn to work with constraints. Constraints can be a good source of creativity in solving problems.

– They should be part of the right and left brains of organizations because they are heralds of norms and freedoms, discipline and creativity, success and recovery.

Today’s Human Resources can be the leadership of a process of cultural transformation, which involves reducing the excessive weight of analytical thinking in organizations and balancing it with intuitive and creative thinking.

This is achieved (my interpretation) per Roger Martin in Design of Business:

1 – Selecting, more creative people over analytical.

2 – Not rewarding traditionally and exuberantly those who promote what is trustworthy, but rewarding also those who promote what is valid.

3 – Including in the processes of evaluation criteria that aim at creativity, work with restrictions, empathy, holistic thinking, collaboration and experimentation.

Human Resources should no longer have as fundamental concern to maximize the profitability of what they have today and begin to explore new paths, analyzing the experience of employees to predict the future and to create solutions for tomorrow!

Innovation for HR managers is to create a new dimension of purpose, more inclusive and open to the whole, respecting the magic inherent to each employee.


“Meaning, Autonomy, Growth, Impact and Connection – (MAGIC)”

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The concern of an organization’s management is to treat business results and processes in ways that create sustainability and achieve a long and healthy life for the organization.

We can call this “doing things right”!

In fact the process may seem sustainable, but when we speak of innovation, any new idea that moves through a process has little chance of success. On the one hand, we know that executives are comfortable with process management and are not very involved with creative projects and initiatives within those processes.

On the other hand it is good not to forget that leadership is about people, about purposes and expectations, that is, about the “right things”.

Leaders of a company must use the same practices and tools to define what is right for each business process as they do for each function. We’re comfortable with leaders organizing the business around functions (i.e., IT, Finance, HR, Manufacturing, etc.)and paying functional managers  for compliance with agreed to criteria for success – usually defined by  a combination of behaviors within  their job description and organizational  policies with metrics/expectations around  resources, finances,  capital, sales, revenues, market share, new products development and/or operations, etc. …  This takes great vision, persistence, motivation, synthesis, and analysis – which is clearly the work of the leaders, not managers.”

The key to good leadership is the passion, the urgency to tackle and solve the complex problems that all organizations face, such as:

The culture of indifference – The most talented and innovative, those whose abilities are too necessary to help set the business on course, are no longer present or have become so disenchanted that they have nothing to give.

Exile or isolation – New ideas are almost always rude and poorly formed when they are first presented. This may lead people to isolation in organizational silos, which is one of the biggest obstacles to innovation.

The emergence of hostility – Others show their initial reaction to any new idea in a negative, if not completely hostile, way. This is particularly true if the idea or project comes from someone outside our own organization.

A possible analogy to reflect:

By observing herd behavior and the dominance games that go on you’ll probably be shocked at how rough horses can be. They chase after each other, tear off pieces of skin and then they settle down and graze and scratch each other’s backs. The key is that they have a strong relationship to begin with because they are members of the same herd, they play together and they spend a lot of time together — undemanding time.

Now think about how humans usually interact with horses. We decide today is when we’re going to ride, we only have a certain amount of time so things get pretty direct line. Catch the horse, saddle up, head to the arena to practice something… with a pretty unwilling horse. It’s interesting how quickly horses forget who feeds them; they start to feel like we only want one thing. So where you have to start is with the thought process. Think about what might be important to your horse.”

What might be importante to teams?

In organizations, a collaborative approach to innovation helps provide the emotional energy and support that new ideas need in the early stages. For such a state of mind to manifest itself, it must become an integral part of the company’s culture.

Each organization has a unique culture that directs the form, degree and speed of its responsiveness, adaptability and innovation.

The culture of an organization, which consists of deeply rooted values, beliefs, philosophies, attitudes, and operational norms, condenses the way “how things are done”.

And in this sense we should think of:

Create a healthy environment where innovation can flourish.

Observe obstruction behaviours and clarify objectives.

Promote the recognition of positive attitudes.

Break the silos and encourage communication and collaboration in and out of the organization.

Encourage the dialogue shuttle that is fundamental to help shape the idea into something more concrete, understandable and achievable.

“It is a mistake always to contemplate the good and ignore the evil, because by making people neglectful it lets in disaster. There is a dangerous optimism of ignorance and indifference.” – Helen Keller


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Note: This text has been adapted from my text published in  Cavalinova and aims to recall and correct points of view.



Some of the big companies that operate in the global market consider that the most important skills to be developed in their employees to promote their growth in the next five years (according to Flux Report by Right Management) are Leadership, Management, Interpersonal, Innovation and Creativity, Resilience, Techniques, IT, Sales / Marketing and Customer Management.

When we verify that the HR of these organizations establishes as desirable to ensure results at these levels, we cannot stop thinking about how this path will be done from the hiring or through the inventory of the existing skills in their employees at a given moment, and their consequent development.

Reconciling organizational desires with employee needs may not be an easy marriage, but there are promising engagements!

Developing skills implies somehow inspiring the commitment. This means that HR must seek to improve people’s lives and remove obstacles by building environments and tools to facilitate and improve the performance of their work.

Providing magical experiences to the organization’s employees means getting them to find meaning in what they do and to have the autonomy to do the best. It also means making them feel that they can grow, show that their actions impact the organization and that they are in connection with the world around them.

This is MAGIC “Meaning, Autonomy, Growth, Impact and Connection”

Looking beyond efficiency and focusing on the employee involves understanding their needs, whatever their physical, cognitive or emotional nature. In this way it is possible to develop “personas” that guide the delivery of services and / or products successfully.

Organizations use the “persona” of their employees to discover their unique needs. This can mean defining the employee’s functional identities (for example, a manager, a senior specialist, or a T, etc.) by identifying the most important moments for these employees and creating journey maps of their work experience.

The experience of the collaborator is not a single thing; it is actually a set of experiences gathered in a continuous movement that arises in three distinct environments, namely: Physical, Technological and Cultural.

Employees respond to the stimuli of these environments and their responses must be analyzed by the organization.

How is seen publicly the organization or the team?

Do employees feel comfortable to talk and share their experiences? If they talk, the employees feel that something will be done?

How is the employee’s commitment inspired?

Do employees want more autonomy and responsibility? How to turn this will into reality?

Do employees feel that hierarchy is jamming decision making? How do you solve this problem?

What does the organization give the employee in return for his or her work?

What has the organization learned from these responses?

Now is the time to act and make changes based on the ideas the organization has captured.

Using transparency, the organization has to define what to do and also what should not be done in order to move to its implementation of change. It is crucial not to forget that it is a process of change and in this sense everything must be taken care of from clear and universal communication to the achievement of a healthy commitment. For example:

“In order to drive employee self-service and enhance the employee experience, the Telstra HR innovation team has introduced multiple new digital channels and apps over a short period of time. Over a year or so they’ve launched or updated an HR knowledge portal, a digital ticketing system, an on boarding app, an employee benefits site, and a general HR app.

An existing personalized dashboard has also been enhanced. The net result is an engaging user experience for HR services.”

We all need our interactions with technologies and other more complex systems to be simple, intuitive and enjoyable.

Design thinking, because it is empathic, is an approach that allows us to understand the needs of an organization’s employees. This understanding arises when we analyze the sum of the various perceptions that these collaborators have about interactions with the organization, that is, their experience as collaborators.

In this way, it is possible to think of reconciling the desired competencies of the organizations with the potential of their employees and to develop a magical organizational environment and mutual growth.

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Power can disrupt our ability to understand others and this can be terrible for an organization.

The rational / legal power according to Max Weber is what is based on the rules and legal order recognized as valid by a determined community and is also what is observed most in organizations or companies.

Empathy, the ability to perceive and share another person’s emotional state, has been described by philosophers and psychologists for centuries… This most recent study, however, firmly establishes that the anterior insular cortex is where the feeling of empathy originates.”

Some experiments seem to show that people in positions of power exhibit patterns of behavior usually associated with failures in the zones of the cerebral cortex that control empathy, that is,  the ability to imagine the world from the point of view of others. Is it true?

Power destroys the ability to understand that there are other perspectives beyond the hierarchy in organizations and we know that the hierarchy functions as a cascade.

It is an evil for which there is no easy cure or treatment!

The most common leadership failures don’t involve fraud, the embezzlement of funds, or even sex scandals.  It’s more common to see leaders fail in the area of every day self-management — and the use power in a way that is motivated by ego and self-interest… They reach a choke point, where they cross over from being generous with their power to using their power for their own benefit.”

It seems to be true that the best treatment for abuse of power is transparency, and it also seems that the worst abuses of power can be prevented when people know they are being watched.

There is, however, another side of the coin that assumes that power can be refined by other means and become a lever for success.

So how can integrative thinking help managers or leaders in organizations looking at people as an important part of their decisions?

When we are in the presence of two opposing models that create tension, if we choose a creative resolution (new model) that contains elements of both models, but it is superior to each of them we are using integrative thinking in a constructive way.

What usually happens in organizations with traditional hierarchical models when it comes to using the power to make decisions is the elimination of some factors that should be appreciated and thus relieve the tension that decision-making carries.

The relevance of factors

On the contrary, if who uses decision-making power to consider all relevant factors, then embraces complexity and needs to feel what is relevant. However, these factors have relative importance, that is, through their ability to perceive (this includes putting on the shoes of others – empathy) and comparing and analyzing contrasts, the decision maker can recognize the truly critical factors.

It is good to remember that all this is only possible if people are not subject to the limitations of a hierarchy that uses prejudice as a factor picker to practice the confirmation bias.

This relevance of factors is the first task of a set of four which form integrative thinking.

An integrative thinker after determining the relevance of factors has now to understand the relationships that link these factors or variables and to do so he will deal with ambiguity and create causal maps while developing alternative theories.

The causal interrelationships

Traditionally a decision maker abuses power by taking refuge in its status and by ignoring alternatives. On the contrary, says Roger Martin, the integrative thinker will embrace mysterious elements instead of excluding them because he has the ability to maintain a clear purpose in this case, through the difficult step of drawing the complex causal interrelationships, while maintaining the flexibility to review judgments about patterns of causality, even on the map causal relevance that develops.

The sequence

Creating a sequence of variables is a complex problem and the tendency is to eliminate variables to make the path more accessible.

In essence, the integrative thinker creates a causality map that groups the variables considered most important in the first step, but retains thought in the global image of the causal map, while exploring the various options to focus on where and how to address the problem.


The ability to select the point of incision in the problem is crucial for the integrative thinker who along with his ability to utilize his experiences allows him to reach the fourth point of the cascade, the resolution.

In order for decision-makers to find the right path, the attitude when facing obstacles or adversities is fundamental. Not an attitude of power without dialogue, but an attitude that sees the challenges as something transposable and friendly management.

Instead of deciding for A or B the integrative thinker chooses the continuous improvement path to find the creative solution that the organization and its clients need.

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This article was inspired by Integrative Thinking