Gilles Lipovetsky – Enterprise cannot accept this dichotomy

In fact this is a paradoxical model. Because the more collaboration and activity from workers is needed, the more, in a certain way, many of them feel deprived of important decisions, because those are made by the Management Board, because they need cutbacks, because decision making is dictated by quarterly performance… So on one side there is more and more intimacy or request for intimacy, and on another side, we may see more and more distance from important decisions, so today even managers, we see that in many surveys, show this detachment from enterprise. So we see both, on one side there is this need, for activity, for participation, for collaboration, and so on, which is necessary to enterprise, but probably to others to, because workers are better trained, they need to be more active, to harness their intelligence, and on the other side they feel that important decisions are eluding them. If you relocate your company, if you decide on laying off, this is not the collaborative model. So you need not to take this model as an absolute, and to see that both coexist, and sometime even coexist in a strong antagonism, and here undoubtedly lies one of the challenges for the XXIst century enterprise.

Because enterprise asks more and more for collaboration, asks more and more for employees’ mobilization, for employees’ empowerment, but at the same time, managers see pretty well. They see. They say: “OK, aren’t we adjustment variables? How will one deal with us if the wind begins to blow?” The model that I think is developing is, on one side workers, managers at least, are more and more wishful of being more committed to work smarter, and at this level there is nothing to be feared of, but at the same time there is a detachment from companies as a collective. So it is the genius of enterprise that has to re-mobilize their managers and employees. Companies cannot content themselves, cannot accept this dichotomy.

Interview conducted by Frédéric Gilbert.

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