Why we turn into robots at work?


Gary Hamel is one of the world’s most influential business thinkers in the world. It was a real pleasure to listen to his presentation whilst attending a WorkHuman Conference in the USA.



In his truly passionate and energetic style Gary Hamel has outlined the Concept of Humanity at Work. He reassured those business and HR leaders who understand the importance of creating a human-centred organisation with meaning and purpose that the shift towards this new paradigm is inevitable.


YOU can have an impact in your organisation.


Gary Hamel stated that a Lack of Humanity is a Core incompetence of corporate organisations.


Organisations suffer from three disabilities:


1. Humans are adaptable. Organisations are mostly not.

CEO’s complain that people in their organisations are against the change.
Gary states that it is total rubbish. People love change unless it is imposed. Our brain naturally craves novelty.

Check out if you experienced any of these changes in your personal life recently:



Humans do change.

Our external world is always changing at a rapid pace. Gary Hamel has mentioned three recent big shifts in the environment:
– mobile
– cloud computing

Crisis in response to external factors prompts change in organisations but it is usually late, infrequent and compulsive.

How can you start fostering revolutionary change that will match the pace of the external world?


2.  Humans are creative. Organisations are not.

  • 2 million blog posts are written every day;
  • 864,000 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube;
  • 40 million photos are posted daily on Instagram.


We are creators.


94% of CEO’s are dissatisfied with the innovation in their companies.


We leave our creativity and imagination behind the door when we come to work.

We are not encouraged to innovate at work and most of us don’t think of ourselves as creators, even though we all are.

What are the ways of bringing creativity to the workplace in different shapes and forms?


3. Humans are very passionate. Organisations are not.
Humans don’t get passionate at work. The engagement data has not changed for years.




How could this be?

Organisations are often a passion-free zone. We struggle to talk about love and happiness at work.
Remember Maslow’s hierarchy of needs?

Gary Hamel created a Work Hierarchy of Needs:

  • Passion means – “I care, I want to make a difference, I understand my Purpose”
  • Imagination means “I am free to create and innovate”;
  • Initiative is entrepreneurship.

Job of a leader is not to make serve people the goals of organisation but to create a sense of purpose so people bring their passion, creativity and initiative to work. That what is called Authentic or Servant Leadership style.

Any change begins with yourself and your leadership team.


7 Things according to Gary Hamel you can do to change:


1. Get Angry

Get Angry because people leave their humanity at work and turn into robots. They forget their play, passion and imagination. In the past people thought that slavery was inevitable. People thought equality was not available. Today we think play, laughter and happiness at work are not appropriate.
Human being are not instruments. They inspire to join communities for the sense of purpose. Human beings want a chance to deliver their unique gifts to the humanity and fulfil their purpose in life.


2. Load up on Data.
Data is important. Data serves our Left logical brain and encourages it to make changes. For a company that focused on Happiness at work this initiative brought £2,000 increase in productivity per employee per year and £1,000 per employee reduction in sickness absence.
Teaching people mindfulness practice created organic renewable source of mental energy at work that increased performance by 35%.


3. Find role models. Yes some companies doing this already. Check them out.
For example Gore. Since Bill Gore founded the company in 1958, Gore has been a team-based, flat lattice organisation that fosters personal initiative. There are no traditional organisational charts, no chains of command, nor predetermined channels of communication.



4. Embrace new principles:
You have to start with a set of new values and start with yourself and your leadership team. You can’t solve a new problem with old principles.


5. Reinvent the How – paradox between freedom and control. Embrace the duality of everything. Enlarge the scope of human decision making.



6. Create organisation that fits for the future

Start with yourself first.

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