Emotional GapEmotional capital development


Organizational design and management have had, from the beginning, a principle based on the efficiency of the processes, but isolated from the dynamic context. This self-referential design that generated the great development of industrialization, in this century, is collapsing due to three factors: a) the conflicts in its functioning, b) the difficulties in responsiveness, and c) the impossibility of sustainable management models. In the first case, the mechanical design is a rigid structure that conflicts with the nature of human systems: open, dynamic, and paradoxical. The dynamics of machines do not correspond to the dynamics of human processes and generate deep conflicts in a team’s performance. Second, in the current context of increasing volatility, this rigid design has no appropriate responses to changing environments. Inflexibility does not guarantee adequate responses, which intensifies the difficulties in operation and performance. Finally, mechanistic management models are designed to "win", they are not intended for system development in all its dimensions. This principle defines the decisions and movements that focus on the exclusion of actors (market or community) and resources exploitation.

Today, these factors create a wide gap between the volatility of the world, with its unprecedented and unforeseen changes, and the structural capacity of organizations to respond and act in this context of transformation. When it is difficult to respond to the dynamics of the context, organizations force their structure to sustain results, pressing on the human system. The cost of this pressure is the collapse of the emotional quality of its people, which also involves low performance and productivity. The result is a vicious cycle of despair, pressure, and deterioration in working conditions that enlarges the emotional gap.

People, individually and as a group, build their reality as a puzzle of concepts and experiences. These subjective structures define the ways in which each person shapes and interprets everyday phenomena. Personal experience is supported by networks of neurons that are connected chemically. There are no possibilities to construct meaning and personal experiences without biological support. At the same time, the growth of neural networks is not possible without meanings and experiences that generate new connections. These neural patterns are connected by chemical keys that generate emotional reactions. The landscape we face when making decisions is a picture mediated by symbols, language, and experiences that are supported by neural networks which are connected by chemical components that define the "color" of the interpretations and the “horizon” of possibilities for action. When facing new events, first reactions arise from established patterns. We face the "new" from past experiences. Therefore, our contact with reality is always a landscape painted with our own style and colors that take a particular shape according the chemistry underpinning neural connections. Hence, nobody reacts to the "reality" of events, but from a landscape designed with perceptions, language, and experiences "colored" with emotions.

The cost of living "under threat" implies a neurobiological state that reduces by half the capacity of cognitive performance (decisions, design, and creativity) of people. In these cases, the performance problem is not in people skills, but their living labor. Although profitability is 100%, people are working at 50% of their personal development. Paradoxically, the point of vulnerability where the implementation fails is emotional. Even with this diagnosis, there is an asymmetry in investments. All investments are concentrated in the physical structure. There are no emotional investments. Thus, the emotional costs become a greater impact variable for organizations. Investing in emotions means to generate conditions in the emotional climate that sustains and expands the capacity to an unpredictable and unstable context.