"Mein Leben nach InterFace ?"

“My life after InterFace?“

On my way to Berlin, I was inspired by the book K-Working by Bernd Fiedler. As Bernd sees it, enterprises, too, are a community. He describes how the “flow”, which is so important for success, can be generated.

Now, on my way back to Munich, I have time to think about the things I read.

Humans need and will create communities. Either willingly or unwillingly. An enterprise, too, is a community (a social system). However, it has an economic purpose, i.e. producing goods or providing service. Part of it is that the employees must be provided for by an income that makes it possible to live on. Another part of it is to work towards a common goal.

Not all communities are the same. A world community differs from a community with shared interests or a common goal. In critical situations, you will get communities of destiny. For instance when it comes to survival.

Just to make you ponder: when is a marriage a community of values, of goals, of interests or destiny?

In his book, Bernd assumes that an enterprise the teams of which form a community of values will need but few rules, a minimum or organizational framework and also no complicated corporate form. And that, in these kinds of enterprises, the desired “flow” will quasi generate itself, getting stronger all the time. And that such an enterprise being a success feels almost like playing a game. This is an idea I wholeheartedly agree with.

With a community of destiny, matters are totally different. After all, in such a community, the individual team members are forced to work towards a shared goal (perhaps even survival). Consequently, they cannot give their own interests priority. You will need a hierarchy, strict rules must be introduce and forced with sanctions. And not much will remain of the game-like “flow”.

In an enterprise, the community of values seems to be the exception. It will only occasionally work during the first few years after foundation, then matters will change for the worse. The reasons might well be growth and size.

More often than not, the reason for this change is also mistrust and negative thinking. Persons in leadership positions, especially, are often infected by it. The “fear-free” room becomes smaller and smaller, trust loses against mistrust. In other words: the harsh reality catches up on everybody. This is how the “flow” is destroyed and – if you are lucky – you will get a community of interests or of destiny.

If negative thinking leads towards negative behaviour, then you often get the final exodus. The community of values will quickly turn into a community of destiny. The “flow” is gone, the enterprise culture and its values dwindle down and the leaders will find it rather problematic to cope with the new problems.

(Translated by EG)

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