I feared the corporate world, but I was wrong

I was afraid to start in the corporate world. I thought that everything and everyone was focused on profit only, on making shitloads of money, even if this would mean the company had to give up on humanistic values.

So, I feared that I wouldn’t find my place in the business world. I feared that I would have to put my values – which are based on helping others, empathy and happiness – aside to fit in this corporate world. But I was wrong…

 

The new adventure

Until last year, I combined working in the academic world (Vrije Universiteit Brussel) with volunteering for my own non-profit organisation (Edukado). Both of those worlds aren’t focused on profit:

  • At the Vrije Universiteit Brussel knowledge is being shared with the world for free, as a way to help science.
  • At Edukado we are helping locals of developing countries and Belgian students to build their own educational project and have a blast.

So, when I started with Transformactive, my biggest fear was that I wouldn’t be able to do what motivates me: inspiring and helping others.

 

The corporate world is changing

I realised, however, that the corporate world is changing, that it doesn’t only focus on profit anymore.

Whereas in the beginning, our ancestors’ main job was to hunt to survive, many of us now have the luxury to work without constantly feeling the survival pressure.

Like always, evolution is playing a role. The management model of most of the big corporates comes from a model derived from the industrial revolution. And after the different world wars, our countries had suffered a lot and a very stiff and hierarchical corporate management model was necessary to build wealth as fast as possible.

But this model is collapsing. With the fourth industrial revolution going on, we now have the luxury to think about wellbeing, happiness, fulfilment, grow, etc. The companies that don’t take that into account, suffer from a high turnover. And that changes everything.

 

A positive change

More and more companies are focussing on their employees’ well-being in order to decrease the high level of turnover that many of them are facing. Google is a perfect example, with a different corporate culture where they have staff working on keeping all employees happy to maintain productivity.

New companies are even rising without vertical management anymore. A lot of small companies or start-ups, but also a specific department of 400 staff members at Engie-Electrabel to name one, are opting for the “TEAL-model”.

This TEAL-model was introduced by Frederic Laloux in his book Reinventing Organizations. His model focuses on self-management and on bringing “all of who we are” at work, instead of just our “professional” self.

In my future articles, I will go more deeply into the TEAL-model and on the powerful idea of “giving to others” as one of the best way to have a healthy company.

 

The idea that I had about the corporate world is therefore old-fashioned. With the new types of companies that are rising everywhere, I’m very optimistic about the changes that will take place in our world, switching from the old stiff corporate culture to a much more agile structure, with the employees’ wellbeing as one of the main goals. Off course, it’ll be challenging to apply these changes to big companies with lot of employees, but I’m very curious as I’m convinced that this is the future. To be followed…

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