The military experience of the Second World War offered companies like Siemens know how. They customised these lessons and techniques for their own gain. Quantification was one of those schools. The US military had discovered through sheer experience that quantitative data mattered. It helped with planning. It supported inventory management. It identified the defection rates. And, simply allowed them to manage their internal resources in efficient ways. Overtime, the decision makers became dependent on quantitative measures. All their processes were designed using only the quantitative needs of the company. For the last 15 years the corporate world has been making an effort to move away from this approach.
Companies like Siemens are now humanising the workplace. This also means they are looking to re configure the way they organise activities in the workplace. For example, Siemens has been rolling out Communities of Practice (CoP) globally since 2003. It highlights how companies are looking to make work human sensitive again. The staff are encouraged to express themselves. They are expected to interact with each other in less linear and rigid ways. For example, at the heart of the CoP approach is the social learning process. A prerequisite for social learning to occur is the need for trust and other human virtues we all grow up with.
The relationship between the firm and its staff changes because of this. From the traditional industrial transaction based one. Where the interest of the worker is to earn a wage and the interest of the manager to minimise costs. To a co creational relationship based approach. Now the staff are seen as innovators within the organization. The management is seen as facilitators of innovation. Here the emphasis is on co generating new knowledge and applying it in the organisation. This also means the kind of support the people need change. The staff are being developed holistically. This means their social intelligence is being nurtured alongside traditional skills. For example, the ability to empathise is nurtured as much as their ability to articulate their thoughts alongside their usual technical skills.
So how do you do this all this during the standard working day ? Standard social engagements rituals like dance are being used. In the same way companies like spotify are organising their staff into tribes. Others are starting to use dance to help lighten the mood. They are using it to generate social cohesion. They are using to it heighten the motivation. They are in other words humanising the workplace a little more.
This is a video of Accenture. Where staff are encouraged to dance for 5 minutes before they start work.
This is evidence that Dance as medium is a viable way to engage and develop staff. An ancient art form that is over 5,000 years. It has been used in most societies globally for generating social cohesion. As a form of a performing art. It nurtures a ‘get things done’ mindset. Its focus on developing the physical use of the body. It helps to to nurture non verbal communications skills. Let's not forget over 85% of the communications in a social environment is non verbal. This means body language, tone of voice, etc. Dance supports both body language and tone of voice. It nurtures creativity. It develops skills to discipline your emotions. All this while supporting them in maintaining their physical fitness. It also nurtures social and psychological well being. Finally, it is a way to ensure social needs of human beings are met at the same time.
As companies migrate onto this trend. Where making the workplace a social space so innovation and humanity go hand in hand. You will find greater use of tools such as dance being used to nurture the staff. An example, is last how we at SprakZ Ignite worked with Incubus Ventures. Our POW WOW dance workshop focused on supporting their startups with their pitches. The workshop was designed for this purpose and delivered the intended results. The workshop generated peer networks among the startups going through the pre accelerator. They had dedicated time for rehearsing their pitches. The members benefited from knowledge sharing with each other. They gained an insight into how others were organising their pitches. They were gaining all this while also working on their physical, psychological and social well being as well. This approach supports the organisation because the context is for the benefit of business. It ensures the individual develops the skills they need. It also ensures the human and physical needs are met as well.