Is your company within the new paradigm?
The new postmaterialistic paradigm bears its head every so often in the media, almost too timidly for my liking. Postmaterialism is a concept defined by Ronald Inglehart where current societies tend towards a society which is based more on the ideas of self-expression and participation (“postmaterialism”) than on previous values, economic security and citizen security (“materialism”). Postmaterialism is based on values (Spanish) like participating in work decisions and policies, progressing towards more human values, looking after the environment, freedom of expression… If you want to delve further into the idea of postmaterialism topic, Jordi Pigem, author of La Buena crisis, is one of the philosophers working on it.
The vast part of the global economy struggles and tosses about like a fish out of water, taking its last precious breaths while waiting for an economic growth that never seems to come. Maybe because this growth won’t be exactly the same as how experts had anticipated (infinite growth) and maybe it’s not about quantity of life but quality of life. Quality of life is more associated with “Being” rather than “Having”.
Some companies have already started to understand this, although not many. They have started to understand that CSR (corporate social responsibility) is not something just for selling a good reputation (because later, if they’re caught, the consequences are worse), but it needs to be something real. A way to start is by applying those ethical principles and values internally, with the employees themselves. The indexes indicated by Best place to work gives us an idea of how there can be a good working atmosphere in some companies and this obviously is better when people feel well looked after.
The key lies having leaders that are more organizational culture directors than bosses. Employees that become involved feel well looked after, recognized and valued, and align their values with that of the company. Those values need to be real, the company needs to have something valuable and useful, a reason for being beyond just earning money in the short term. A company needs to earn money to survive but that can’t be its only purpose. It is within this context where Philosophy 2.0 takes its true meaning. It’s not about having a Twitter account and a Facebook page, but being really 2.0, collaborating and sharing.
These companies are the ones that start to understand and apply the postmaterialistic era. These are the ones that will continue in the future because they apply leadership by values, companies that are based on ethical principles, that collaborate and share, create value. They invest, seeing themselves to be metaphorically investing in “Gross Domestic Happiness”, like they have done in Bhutan, rather than in “Gross Domestic Product”. They comprehend Plato’s quote that says: May I do unto others as I would that they should do unto me.
Now ask yourself, if you are an employer: Is your company within the new paradigm?
And if you’re an “employee”: What type of company do I want to work for?