Thursday, 24 April 2014

From the jungle to Wall Street.

An excerpt from the book Homo Imitans by Leandro Herrero:

Rituals that are effective both on the business AND the organizational level are rare. Most of the time there is a disconnect between the business functionality (poor) and the ritual and tribal functionality (very high). One of the visible effects of a sudden cost-cutting exercise in the firm is the almost automatic suppression of some rituals: no more off-site meetings, no more transcontinental travel for a meeting, no more people sent to business schools...

But rituals can’t be suppressed. We can’t pretend that we can get rid of them, leaving a vacuum behind. The annual sales conference can be cancelled for cost-cutting reasons, but it will probably be substituted by regional/local ones, a digital one, a series of internal meetings with lots of PowerPoints, teambuilding exercises, local dinner meetings or something else.

The platform for belonging and expressing mimicked behaviours must exist one way or another. And if there is a real vacuum or a shortage, a new ‘corporate initiative’ will be launched for the corporate tribes. Tribal behaviour helps us understand a lot of Homo Imitans’ social life. Today’s anthropology should move from the jungle to Wall Street.

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