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Whys and Hows

Nietzsche wrote that whoever grasps the whys will find the hows. The suggestion is relevant in a world where so many live focussed on the tools and so few on the essence. Aristotle convincingly explained how the efficient cause is not unifying. Put into in modern language: to engage in work, to focus on one activity, does not give meaning to work. It is essential to delve deeper into the final cause—the ultimate why of our actions—whoever ignores the goal will only get it right by chance.

The person, any person, is an impressionable being. Unfortunately, if you want to destroy someone emotionally, it is enough to rob them of hope or prospects. The present proves to be insufficient; we live in the future and also in the intangible. That is why the manager is doomed to fail if he merely communicates improved company profits as a fruit of their efforts. For this data to muster enthusiasm, it is essential that part of the collective benefit is transferred to each individual and that there be also some associated intangible good. For example, part of the effort—of profits—is set aside for people in need.

Moreover all of this must be real: it must be contemplated as a goal, not as a tool.

Organization members are inspired by behaviour and not by the words of their superiors. Hence the importance of consistency between what is said and what is done. Saying what is thought without double agendas and fulfilling promises declared are unavoidable keys to building solid teams.

The complex balance between organizations and individuals finds the right ways for reaching equilibrium upon fostering collective enthusiasm that makes every team member surrender personal interests in favour of collective goals.

Stirring organizations meaningfully requires thought. It is not easy, as we live in a civilization with a disproportionate sense of urgency and a lack of silence. Moreover, only in an environment that sanctions withdrawal can genuinely valuable options be embraced.

Every manager, particularly CEOs and HR Directors, should possess technical management training and also sufficient anthropological background to create eager organizations (if they do not, they must strive to achieve these). It is always necessary and ever more so during times of uncertainly like what we are currently experiencing.

Upon articulating the whys, the hows—the means—will become manifest in a new light.

Javier Fernández Aguado

Javier Fernández Aguado es pensador y speaker; considerado uno de los mayores expertos contemporáneos en Gobierno de personas y organizaciones, además de ser uno de los conferenciantes más solicitados a nivel internacional. Es es Director de MindValue, firma especializada en servicios profesionales para la Alta Dirección, miembro del Top Ten Management Spain y Premio Peter Druker.

Javier Fernández Aguado is a thinker and speaker, considered one of the leading contemporary experts in managing people and organizations, as well as being one of the most sought after speakers internationally. He is a Director of MindValue—a company specialized in professional services for C-level management, a member of Top Ten Management Spain and the Peter Drucker Award.

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