Another institution committed to the dulling of the individual

Humans aren’t resources

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The industrial revolution was a blessing and a curse.

On one hand, it pioneered the idea of free enterprise, skyrocketed productivity, boosted industrial growth, created new job opportunities and made mass transit cheaper, easier and cleaner.

But it also profoundly changed the thinking of the western world.

Because a few centuries later, we now tend to see everything as if it were a machine. Especially in the workplace, where employees are being urged from every side to become efficient, rather than intimate.

Where the dominant ethos is, get shit done, and not, get known deeply.

The irony is, intimacy is the very thing that leads an organization profitability. It can’t be comfortable quantified on the balance sheet. But to modify the old management cliché:

What can’t be measured, matters.

I once met the president of an advertising agency whose mantra is, human are not resources.

And so, his company doesn’t have a human resources department. He thinks that’s an awful phrase. Instead, new hires are interviewed by the people who will actually be working with them. That ensures that they’re hiring for the right team and the right reasons.

Is it any surprise that his company has topped the best place to work survey seven years running? Is it any wonder why his employees and clients are so fiercely loyal to the organization?

That’s the beauty of intimacy. People almost don’t know how to react when they are treated like human beings with ideas, feelings and dreams. They’re so used to being treated as efficient machines.

And so, if you want to deepen the intimacy at your workplace, forget the corporate buzzwords like customization and personalization and building a matrix of preferences to be routinely recorded and preserved in mind numbing detail.

Hell, junk mail is customized and personalized. It even has your name on it. Doesn’t make it intimate. It’s literally garbage delivered to your house.

True intimacy comes from tension.

I’m reminded of something my favorite sex therapist once wrote. Donaghue says that the best way to start an intimate conversation is as follows:

This hard for me to say, and I know it will be hard for you to hear, but I need to share it with you.

Conversations like these are built from a place of anxiety, he says. And that’s a good thing. Anxiety is a cornerstone in building intimacy. If what you are sharing and discussing with someone does not make you anxious, then you are not building intimacy.

Remember, intimacy stands for, into me I see.

Don’t allow your company to become another institution committed to the dulling of the individual.

Do you view humans as resources, or as humans?

For the list called, “99 Ways to Think Like an Entrepreneur, Even If You Aren’t One,” send an email to me, and you win the list for free!

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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