Many organisations recognise that they have gone too far with process-driven operations at the expense of allowing their employees to use their initiative to get work done. This coincides with a generally low level of employee engagement reported by many large enterprises.
We use ‘Humanising the enterprise’ as an umbrella term to describe the various management techniques that companies can use to include associates in decision-making, behaviour and culture – for example integrative decision-making, open space and appreciative enquiry are examples of decision-making processes that allow multiple individuals’ opinions to be incorporated in a decision.
Another aspect of making the workplace more human is to make it more open, perhaps by working out loud or launching an internal groundswell. These and other techniques can help promote ways of working that emphasise reflection and connection. Whilst working out loud and internal groundswell focus on new behaviours supported by social technology, theory U is a process that individuals can use to push the limits of their thinking and engage with new ideas.
A third trend we are seeing is about infusing new values into company culture, using a technique such as circle of safety – a cultural principle that embodies trust and makes people feel included – or by communicating the core tenets of company culture through a culture deck that can also help with brand development and attracting new talent.