Dr. Bruno R. Cignacco (2019, Productivity Press, Routledge -Taylor and Francis).
There are several well-ingrained assumptions regarding the dynamics of work and business activities, which can be refuted. Some examples of these widespread assumptions in the business and work environments are: employees being viewed as commodities, competitors perceived as threats, companies’ resources seen as limited, and customers perceived as scarce and difficult, etc. All which leads to the question, Is there a way to perform business activities more humanely? Dr. Bruno R. Cignacco says that:
"This book challenges the reader to change the way they perform in business situations and become more focused on the human aspects of business activities. The users of this knowledge and those affected by them will undergo a profound transformation in the way they perform business activities. They will benefit from gradually testing and implementing the guidelines conveyed in this book, both in the business environment and the workplace. When readers put these principles into practice, positive ripple effects are bound to affect other stakeholders of the organization they work for or own."
The Art of Compassionate Business also covers aspects related to mission and vision, passion, business mindset, organizational learning, improvement of business conversations, use of constructive criticism and improvement of relationships with the most relevant stakeholders (customers, suppliers, intermediaries, community, and employees, etc.). The book also includes a discussion of creativity and the innovation process, as well as other factors that create a healthy business environment. Extensive appendices include topics such as negotiation, marketing, use of social media and others.
“In the world, the lack of love is observed through countless examples: terrorism, racism, human trafficking, wars, corruption, pollution, and other excruciating problems. In the business environment, companies with an unloving attitude display countless examples of misbehaviour: exploiting employees, ripping customers off, acting without integrity with intermediaries and suppliers, using misleading advertising, polluting the environment, using non-renewable resources, and bribing governments, among others. Within most companies, some employees also adopt an unloving attitude toward others, for instance: backbiting, one-upmanship, power struggles, stealing other people’s credit, and bullying, among others.
Hamilton (2010) observed that people are naturally hardwired to behave in a loving manner with others. Likewise, Griffith (2016) stated that human beings have an instinctive orientation to behave “in an unconditionally selfless, all-loving, cooperative moral way.” Nonetheless, many people tend to frequently act with others in a selfish and uncaring manner. Some negative values (egocentrism, carelessness, manipulation, defensiveness, etc.) resent in most social contexts commonly reinforce people’s selfish attitude.
Montagu (1957) observed that love is intrinsically social and it is a basic emotional need, as relevant as food. This author also stated that love for others implies active interest, caring support and involvement regarding their well-being and their development as human beings. A person with a loving attitude toward others is keen to support them in their innermost needs and interests. Loving people care for others, even when the latter do not request the support from the former. This type of person acknowledges, accepts, and appreciates others as unique human beings. Loving people never judge others but treat them tenderly. These people develop a profound sense of connectedness with others.When a person adopts a loving attitude toward others, there is no reservation toward them. This attitude is non-judgmental, and stems from one’s deliberate choice. A loving person is naturally kind with others and does not expect reciprocal treatment from them. A person with this attitude treats others in a loving manner, just because they are unique and valuable human beings.
Drucker (1999) observed that “Manners are the lubricating oil of an organization.” This scholar concluded that saying “thank you” and “please” to others, calling them by their name, and asking about their families helps people relate to one another in a better way. These are just a few examples related to a loving attitude toward others. Loving people are always easier to deal with, because they tend to shorten the distance with others, and seek mutually beneficial agreements with them.
When there is a widespread loving attitude toward others in an organisation, this company is prone to act as follows:
- The organisation does not attempt to deceive customers or manipulate them. Instead, this company continually cares for its customers and guides them to make their best buying decisions.
- The company does not consider other organisations as enemies to defeat. Instead, these companies are considered as valuable sources of information, and oftentimes potential partners.
- The organisation does not de-skill its employees with monotonous and repetitive work. Instead, the company allocates diversified tasks to its employees and encourages them to learn new valuable skills continuously. The organisation tends to assign its employees tasks aligned with their talents and capabilities.
- This company does not have high profits as its sole objective, but also sets relevant social goals, such as: supporting communities, caring for the environment, and contributing to a better world, among others. These companies are less calculating and more generous than others. Kay (2011) observed these purpose-driven organisations tend to be more successful than other organisations
- This company looks for more natural, hearty, and personal ways to communicate with its main stakeholders. Therefore, this organisation avoids the exclusive use of technology (emailing, phone, etc.) to get in contact with its stakeholders. Formal ways of communication (meetings, protocols, appointments, etc.) are used alongside informal channels (for instance, casual chats, social events) in order to develop deeper bonds with stakeholders.”
WE GRABBED THE OPPORTUNITY TO HAVE A SHORT INTERVIEW WITH DR. CIGNACCO TO EXPAND ON HIS IDEAS. READ THE INTERVIEW BELOW>
What is your background?
Over 20 years, I have trained and advised countless organisations on international marketing activities. In the last few years, I also trained and advised organisations on topics related to social entrepreneurship and compassionate business. I have also delivered numerous business talks in different countries. Besides, I have been teaching business modules at undergraduate and postgraduate level, at several universities in the UK and abroad. One of my passions is to write personal development and business books.
Why have you written this book?
As a consequence of having advised a myriad of companies, I observed that many organisations approach their business activities in an unloving manner. For example, many companies exploit employees and consider them as “replaceareplaceable clogs” in the organisational machinery.
These companies are also prone to manipulating customers using deceptive selling techniques. These companies tend to focus only on obtaining more profits, without caring for other relevant aspects, such as developing mutually beneficial relationships with their stakeholders (customers, employees, business partners, etc.) Companies such as these also tend to adopt a careless attitude to the environment, for example, using pollutants, or avoiding recycling.
In your book you used the word “love” which seems very alien to business activities. Could you please explain your views on this concept?
As mentioned, previously, most businesses clearly believe that the most relevant objective for their companies is to increase their profits over time. In other words, these organisations do not consider love among their business objectives. In my book I mentioned that love is related to some relevant qualities, for example: closeness, affinity, gratitude sympathy, care, support, generosity, and others. These qualities can be applied to any type of relationships, even business ones. Many business people do not understand that a loving attitude is the basis of all fruitful relationships, business and non-business ones.
Why is love so important for business activities?
Let’s consider the average company in any sector. This organisation will tend to focus exclusively on improving its main Key Performance Indicators (productivity, profitability, efficiency, etc.) However, it is also interesting to notice that no organisation can perform their business activities on their own. Organisations always have to rely on their external stakeholders (such as, suppliers, customers, business partners, community, etc.) and internal ones (management and other employees.) Therefore, when a company adopts a loving attitude toward its stakeholders, they tend to act in a more co-operative and supportive manner with this organisation. Besides, these Key Performance Indicators, which are always the result of the interactions of an organisation and its internal and external stakeholders, tend to naturally improve. Therefore, it is important that an organisation adopts a loving attitude toward its stakeholders, because by doing so, it will
strengthen its relationships with them, and it will also be more prone to thrive in the business environment.
Dr. Bruno Roque Cignacco has a PhD in management with a focus on international marketing from the National University of Rosario. He is an international business consultant, international speaker and business coach. For over 20 years, he has advised and trained hundreds of companies on international trade activities and international marketing. He is also a Principal Lecturer in Marketing at GSM London. He teaches international marketing, marketing management, research methods, product innovation, and public relationships. He has also taught business modules at other universities such as Birkbeck University, Lancaster University, University of Wales, University of Central Lancanshire and several international universities. He is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA) UK. He is a Master Life Coach and Master NLP Practitioner. He is also the author of business books such as Fundamentals of International Marketing SMEs, which has been published in several languages, including English, Spanish and Portuguese. He’s also the author of Techniques of International Negotiation, and personal development books published in different languages.
THE ART OF COMPASSIONATE BUSINESS - MAIN PRINCIPLES FOR THE HUMAN-ORIENTED ENTERPRISE by Dr. Bruno R. Cignacco (2019, Productivity Press, Routledge -Taylor and Francis) is available for purchase now on Amazon.
For more information about Dr. Cignacco please visit: www.humanorientedenterprise.com
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