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What would you think? Tough question. I know. So maybe we should take a look at the bigger picture!

Shoot for the Moon! Alone?

We live in a world in which ambition, great goals, and success-oriented work are our constant companions. It is the right degree, the right internship and finally the perfect job. So-called “go-getters” are regarded as self-confident leaders who consistently pursue their goals and shape things.

We’re ready for the real world, are not we?

In fact, this path to personal success is actually all about us: me , me and again me .
This is undoubtedly true in parts – what have we done? Endless nights in the library, exam stress and then the constant pressure in the company. We only deserve all this. Once we enter the much quoted corporate world through its heavy entrance doors, we tend to adapt to the prevailing way of thinking here. But why do we do this? Quite simply! We were brought up like this in the course of our education: Go get that sale! Go nail that presentation! Or the most recent one: Get shit done! My colleague Florian knows what this actually means .

Are you a Giver, a Taker or a Matcher?

The Organizational Psychologist and Wharton Professor Adam Grant clearly demonstrates in his book “Give and take” that in environments where helping each other satisfaction, employee retention and even lower operating costs.
So he distinguishes between three different groups of people:

In short, Givers help others without expecting anything in return. They share their knowledge and ideas with others.

Matchers strive to maintain the balance between giving and receiving. They work according to the principle of fairness: When they help others, they usually expect something in return.

Takers have the “ability” to put their own interests above the needs of others and in this way to change situations in their favor. They are individualistic and strategic in their cooperation and leave out only a few possibilities to position themselves.

Have you ever wondered who you are?

Takers – We Know Who We Are

If we look deep into our hearts, we know that each of us is a little “taker.”
Imagine a situation when you talk to a new friend: Is not it normal that we try to distinguish ourselves and impress our counterpart in such a conversation?

It’s easy to smell a taker from a distance. Nevertheless, we have difficulty recognizing this in our eyes.

If in the corporate environment, the characteristic values ​​are not focused on “giving” as a core value. The promotion mindset, you want to see how quickly this attitude affects the most people who eventually adapt to the individualistic working culture. In this case, we should not talk about exchanging ideas.
When we are busy managing complex corporate policies and silo structures, there is little time to create real added value with our work, while at the same time bringing logical thinking and innovation into play. The truth is, we can no longer rely on the judgment of a few chosen ones in the upper management levels. Therefore, knowledge must be acquired collectively in the future.

What Would An Organization Based On The Giving Mindset Look Like?

I recently read Frederic Laloux’s book Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness.”

He describes quite vividly a new business paradigm known as ” Teal ,” or ” Evolutionary Teal ” model. The work itself takes place within small, self-managed teams in a natural peer-to-peer network without the usual hierarchy. This, in turn, allows for more efficient problem solving and increased flexibility in response to rapidly changing market conditions. His principle is based on the way we work together in an organization and use our collective intelligence as a powerful resource, especially in an ever-changing digitized world.

I know this sounds utopical. However, please bear with me.

This approach eliminates the multi-layered top-down hierarchies and enables faster decision-making, flexibility, and a more engaged workforce. The self-managing organization also requires that we l eave our ego behind and show courage without hiding behind a professional mask or title. This Allows us to learn more about the meaning and purpose of our working life, take full responsibility for it, and Further more puts the focus on giving , instead of taking.

This applies to internal competition, which is the most significant cause of stress. As Laloux writes, ” When the organization truly has a noble purpose, there is no competition .”
If we create a transparent and empowering working environment, commitment and creativity will increase because the necessary freedom will be created as a result. The learning curve is so much higher when we are not developing our own professional skills. Generosity in today’s world is critical to mutual success.

Would you like to know more about the application of the Giving Mindset in your company?

I am Liisi, Partner at 1789 – Beyond Revolution , a strategic consultancy with a focus on helping organizations create new structures and empowering teams. Do you agree or disagree with my thoughts? Do you want to share your story? Please leave a comment below!

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Also published on Medium.