Oxytocin is a powerful brain chemical that is an important part of many dimensions of our lives. And, surprisingly, it plays a very large role at work, since most work depends on relationships.
With my practice in San Francisco, I have many clients who work in the tech industry, so I hear from the front lines of the drive to re-invent the workplace, on top of everything else.
Some experiments turn out well, others not so much. For example, the flattened hierarchies that startups are famous for can be very invigorating work environments, with a lot fluidity and opportunities to try new things. On the other hand, a lack of clarity about goals and reporting structure can create a very frustrating work environment where everyone is going a hundred miles an hour but somehow going nowhere.
Dr. Paul Zak, who did the research this graphic is based on, uses the Morning Star Company as an example of a company that creates an oxytocin-positive work environment. They are set up so that team members self-organize into groups and coordinate their own communications and activities with fellow colleagues, customers, and suppliers. And they don’t even have job titles. This is discussed in some detail in his recent book: Trust Factor: The Science of Creating High-Performance Companies.
You can find out more about the research by Dr. Zak at the Center for Neuroeconomics Studies by visiting http://www.neuroeconomicstudies.org.
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