For centuries, outside the business context, we have heard about the power and virtue of love. Within most religious and spiritual traditions, there is a cornerstone reference to love. Psychologists extol its importance for human flourishing. Artists and philosophers explore its depths.
Given this, here is my question: If just about every person on the planet has at some point spoken about the centrality of love to well-being, why do we hear so little about it in the context of work? It seems we have collectively agreed that this universal “good” is somehow not appropriate in the place where we spend the bulk of our waking hours.
This seems a thoroughly crazy expectation; thus I have been conducting research with Linda Robson to explore this phenomenon.
The good news is that love isn’t as absent from our organizations as one might think.…Conversely, I would ask whether it is really possible to power an organization without love. It really isn't.
Action is based on motivation and motivation is based on incentive. Negative motivation is based on negative incentive, usually fear in the context of management. Positive motivation is based on positive incentive. The question is then the quality of the incentive. The range is from ego-centered lust, as in lust for power and lust for money, to unconditional all-inclusive love.
Harvard Business Review
Can You Really Power an Organization with Love?
Duncan Coombe | Adjunct Professor of Organizational Behavior and Leadership at IMD Business Schoo, and co-author of Care to Dare