The Smell of the Place

Sumantra Ghosha, YouTube | World Economic Forum, Oct 27, 2015
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This is a terrific 8-minute video that applies as much to educational institutions as it does work environments. Basically Ghoshal argues that the environment, far more than the characteristics of employees, is what impacts productivity. He compares the hot close conditions with Calcutta in July, where he always feels tired, with the forest of Fontainebleau in the spring, where "you want to run, you want to jump, or something!" Companies, he says, create the conditions of Calcutta in summer within themselves. They are places of constraint, compliance, control, contract. "The smell of the place is compliance," he said.But in successful companies, he says, the whole role of senior management changes: not control, but to help me win, to be successful. "Stretch, discipline, support trust... try to sense the smell that can be created if those are the norms of behaviour." See also this longer video. See also Jim Collins, Good to Great.

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