From Think Tanks to Big Thanks

Think Tanks have been used to analyze human behaviour and inform social and economic policy. Loads of psychological studies demonstrated to what extend human beings can be bad (Milgram, Zimbardo, etc.) This confirms a narrow view of history we have; a view which is always concentrating on miserable deeds (e.g. world wars, holocaust, etc.) and the need to coerce. So many think tanks have been working with this diminished view of human capacity, spending millions confirming their bias.

This bias has also influenced the world of Business, relentlessly focusing on competition rather than collaboration (e.g. “sink or swim” philosophy). Rather than liberating the triggers which promote and spread good, we paid attention to avoiding the darker side of human beings. It’s much easier to find a book with examples about what to avoid (toxicity, psychopathology, etc.) rather than examples of amazing people transforming business through the power of good.

When we talk of best practices we still tend to think in terms of better techniques rather than practices which ask and achieve the best of us.

However, times are changing whether we like it or not and new generations, together with available technology, are moving towards radically new collaborative practices with sharing at their very heart. Shared networks are becoming far more powerful than traditional top down information gathering and distribution.

So more than ever in today’s business world, it is essential to harness the ever renewable and incredible power of Thanks. One of the most subtle but impactful ways to be influenced is via the utterance or act of thanks; through the force of gratitude, through the power of recognition.

Every day with initiatives like crowdfunding, Wikipedia, Facebook, etc. people are showing the inexhaustible power of sharing. People want to please other people and people who are pleased have the psychological need to return the favour: that’s the basis of the favour chain. Instead of the tired and old carrot and stick mentality, we need to leverage the use of gratitude and sharing as a key to boosting the healthy relationships which lead to healthy Business We need to bring that power to the core of our Business practices. We need to change from Think Tanks to Big Thanks; as it is no longer all about the brain, it is more than ever about the heart. 

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