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- Responsible Natives
- Should business schools teach solidarity and humanitarian values?
16 June 2021
As the crisis accentuates the need for meaning, what are the key skills that we will be able to teach and promote? Can an economy that we know is vulnerable be managed differently? Is the quest for meaning - like solidarity - demanded by the coming generations compatible with the way the economy has to function?
MOTIVATION, THE #1 DRIVING FORCE FOR LEARNING
The main ingredient of success in any learning process is engagement - the deep motivation pushing each individual to learn. We often forget this in the rush of "normal" life. The digitalization of learning imposed by the crisis has made this clearer than ever. Moreover, agile management in companies is partly based on this idea. Are we all self-driven? How can we help everyone find the tools to get organized? Keeping motivated is not something you learn in a classroom, it's a lifelong learning process.
RESILIENCE: A PATH TO SUCCESS
In this unprecedented context, students, like teachers, have had to adapt, innovate, and manage the unexpected and the inevitable limitations. Network breakdowns, technical problems... the hazards of digital technology have forced students to adapt to uncertainty and accept imperfection. This experience of resilience is also a key skill in a world that is more uncertain, more fluid, more unstable. Learning to do the best you can when you can't do what you’d planned will undoubtedly be one of the strengths of tomorrow's responsible managers, capable of bouncing back and continuing to advance projects regardless of conditions.
HUMANITARIAN VALUES BECOME A KEY ASSET
Self-sufficiency, combined with acceptance of the unexpected, generates a third asset that could become the glue of this new world we are building: humanitarian values. Doing good, for oneself and for others - combining the demands of the goal with an understanding of the means at our disposal. Developing these values also means relying on self-confidence and trust in others and their self-reliance.
Self-sufficiency, adaptability and the ability to treat others with humanitarian values are therefore the three skills that the students (and no doubt the teachers) have developed the most throughout this health crisis. Are they the values of a vulnerable economy or the foundation of a new, more agile social organization?
SOLIDARITY IMPARTS A SENSE OF MEANING
The surge of solidarity brought about by the health crisis has made the values of mutual aid and compassion emerge as socially recognized values. Historically associated with the weak and the kind, it seems that a more hostile environment might be restoring to these values their full societal influence. More than 300,000 people have joined the "jeveuxaider.gouv" civic engagement platform. This is a historic craze for solidarity in France, which can probably be explained by the fact that we feel less vulnerable when we stick together.
AGILE MANAGEMENT IS THE ONLY ANSWER IN A VULNERABLE ECONOMY
Tomorrow's economy - the one that will be able to recover from the health crisis, the economic crisis and the climate threat - will undoubtedly be agile. That is to say, it will be based on a capacity to react quickly and firmly. This capacity is made possible by the strong and total commitment of teams (motivation), reinforced by their considerable self-sufficiency, which also favors innovation, the ability to think "out of the box" and to find solutions.
Yes, an economy that we now know is vulnerable, capable of faltering in a few weeks, must be managed differently. Companies will have to make their agility a powerful value and commit their management to this new path, the foundation of which is trust. The quest for meaning is therefore becoming the lever of sustainable performance for companies.
ESDES students, recruited for their engagement and their curiosity and trained in the demands of agile and collective management, will be excellent drivers of business transformation to make vulnerability a force for development.
The 6 assets of the quest for meaning in management :
- Humanitarian values
“Learning to do the best you can when you can't do what you’d planned will undoubtedly be one of the strengths of tomorrow's responsible managers, capable of bouncing back and continuing to advance projects regardless of conditions.”
“Companies will have to make their agility a powerful value and commit their management to this new path, the foundation of which is trust. The quest for meaning is therefore becoming the lever of sustainable performance for companies.”
Article published on Le Monde des Grandes Écoles
Featured in Monde des grandes écoles et universités LE MAGAZINE • N°94 • 2020-2021