By: Mary Beth McEuen
The Maritz Institute is part of a bigger Maritz organization. This means we are connected to a bigger aspiration or purpose. I see that bigger purpose captured in the Maritz tagline:
In essence, we believe that people are the heart of business and that business practices, designed right, are vehicles for human potential to be realized. The design of these business practices must be informed by both science and art.
Business practices as a “vehicle for human potential” — this is a very big idea. We certainly cannot claim this idea as our own. It came from Abraham Maslow who made the decision to work with organizations rather than just individuals. Why? He believed that organizations offered a much bigger platform for human potential to be realized.
The next several posts will be in the territory of “the pursuit of human potential.” In each post, I’d like to offer something for all of us to think about and consider relative to the design of business practices that are vehicles for human potential.
The firstpoint of rumination is …. you cannot go it alone! Human potential cannot be realized without other people. Let me back this up with some”science and art:”
- Matthew Lieberman, in a speech given at the NeuroLeadership Summit in November, 2011, put it this way, “Humans are born to be wed into a network of other people.” While primates have the ability to cooperate with one another, humans have something more. We have the ability to construct a “self.” And, we have both the motivation and ability tomentalize and understand the “selves” that others have constructed.We are driven tomake sense ofmore than the”what” and “how” of behavior.We tap our mentalizing system in the brain to understand “why.” Here is what is really interesting. The mentalizing system not only allows us to “peer into the minds of others” so-to-speak. It is also the system where we form the identities and values of our own “self.”
- Pamela Rutledge, writes in a recent blog post in Psychology Today,thatnone of Maslow’s needs can be met without social connection. Humans are social animals for good reason. Without collaboration, there is no survival. She displays Maslow’s pyramid as a circle where the center of the circle is human connection.
- Eric Whitacre provides a beautiful artistic example of the power of human connection saying that, “human beings will go to any length necessary to find and connect witheach other!” Enjoy his entire TED talk! It is inspiring, to say the least.
So, what do you think? Is human potential inextricably bound with who we are with one another? How can organizations create better business practices that unleash both individual and collective potential?