Back to «New Normal»: Facing the Intrinsic Roots of Learning

«Song for Abdullah» (Kenny Barron), originally released in 1985 on the Album «Scratch».

Now that the light at the end of the COVID 19 tunnel is beginning to shine, the question remains as to how companies will adapt to the «New Normal». It has been shown that remote or flex work turns out to rule particularly well when all employees are aware of the purpose of the company and actively implement it in their daily work. Nevertheless, «Purpose» should not be confused with individual willingness to actively engage. As Friedrich Nietzsche already knew, the individual is highly dependent on his personal intrinic motivation:

«He who has a why to live can bear almost any how.» (Friedrich Nietzsche)

However, the implementation of the «New Normal» will be the litmus test of every orginization which declares itself as «agile» or «purpose driven». Platforms and ecosystems turn out to be the key drivers of business strategies in this decade. And one thing is already certain: There is no way back to hierarchical inflexibility!

For this reason, I am also involved as an expert with Intrinsic Campus, which is a prototype that contributes to the debate on the education of the future and calls for a radical paradigm shift in educational culture. After all, the core of a society’s innovative power lies in its education system. If we manage to maintain the child’s original curiosity throughout the school and work bioprahie, we create the crucial prerequisite for setting sustainable value creation processes in motion.

In my case, music is the source of inspiration and true intrinsic motivation. As Duke Ellington already knew: «It Don’t Mean a Thing (if it ain’t got that Swing)!»

For further reading and information: www.intrinsic.ch

DisruptHR Talk: «Designing the Organizational Groove»

Designing the Organizational Groove – a DisruptHR talk by Daniel C. Schmid – March 4, 2021 in Zurich, CH #DisruptHRZRH

Interview by Lena Schwerzmann, SPOT ON, with Daniel C. Schmid:

QUESTION: You’re talkin about the «Groove» of an organization or company. How can I check/measure whether or how well my company is in the groove?

ANSWER: On the one hand, the “Groove” of a company can be perceived subjectively, e.g. quite specifically in the application process by the candidates:

  • How long does it take to get qualified feedback on my application?
  • Do I have to constantly ask various people?
  • Is there a recognizable rhythmic structure to the entire process or is everything improvised and “ad hoc”? 

On the other hand, “Groove” can also be objectively measured by quantitative methods, e.g. by means of KPIs on fluctuation or absenteeism parameters. New digital and swarm-intelligent methods aim to determine real-time data on employee satisfaction, for example the “Happimeter” technology by Dr. Peter Gloor, Research Scientist at MIT Center for Collective Intelligence, and Founder of Galaxyadvisors.

QUESTION: What are the most common reasons when a company is “off-beat”?

ANSWER: My observations from more than 15 years of training consulting essentially show the same picture: poor leadership role models, poorly designed digital business processes, and uncertain market prospects form a dangerous mix of uncontrollable “syncopes” that can throw a company completely out of rhythm. Analog, appreciative (management) communication beats unsystematic, digital actionism by far. My motto is: “Trust cannot be digitized!”

QUESTION: What do you think is the most important change in the near future with regard to HR that companies better not miss?

ANSWER: In view of the current hype surrounding “purpose,” “agility,” “VUCA,” and the like, companies should return to their original DNA in order to position themselves successfully on the scarce market for skilled workers: Attractive employer branding must actively incorporate the company’s entrepreneurial and idealistic roots; role models here are especially family businesses that cultivate traditional analog values and elegantly lead the way into the post-digital future.

QUESTION: As a musician, what other parallels can you draw to corporate culture and management?

ANSWER: Here I quote Duke Ellington, the “Godfather of Jazz”, that says it all: “It don’t mean a thing, if it ain’t got that swing!”

He measures the «Groove» of a Company

Daniel C. Schmid_Boeblingen
Boeblingen Business Weeks, Copyright: Markus Schwarz, http://www.1oo1gesicht.de

This article is the English translation of an Interview with Guy Studer, editor-in-chief, INLINE, FH SCHWEIZ 02/2020

When things do not go as well as desired in companies, Daniel C. Schmid’s services are often called upon. He feels the pulse of an organization, measures its groove. He is particularly fond of the references to jazz. Even the agreement to talk to Daniel C. Schmid is untypical. After the mail inquiry to him, the phone rings minutes later. He spontaneously agrees to a meeting, uncomplicated and soon. With a lecturer and sought-after speakers, one would hardly expect such prompt feedback. A few days later, during the conversation in the café, Schmid will explain in another context:

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«What is Groove, Yaron Gershovsky?» Lessons in Organizational Development from Jazz

This post is an adapted an extended version of the paper “Twelve-Tone Music Reloaded”: 12 Lessons in Rotating Leadership and Organizational Development from Jazz by Daniel C. Schmid and Peter A. Gloor, MIT, and founder of galaxyadvisors.com.

Recently, Jazz improvisation has become a part of the “Holy grail” in Organizational Development, above all under so-called VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) conditions. Effective leadership of the future will be based on relationship building, understanding complex group work, and diverse workforces. For future leaders, it will be key to gain a deeper understanding of the constantly evolving complexities of interpersonal, group and even intergroup relationships.

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Paolo Conte: The Stars of Jazz in the Night of Fascism

Paolo Conte, Festival da Jazz, Pontresina, 28 July 2017

Paolo Conte was affected by jazz when this style of music was banned by the fascist regime. This experience has shaped the Cantautore, who will perform at the Festival da Jazz on 28 July 2017 (original article in German, published in NZZ, 27 July 2017. Copyright photo: Matthias Heyde, www.festivaldajazz.ch).

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