I often wonder where some the champions of my youth might have gone to. Frequently, when I analyse many of the companies where I consult, I cannot help but think of the figure of Dany le Rouge, who, in the France ofMay ’68 proclaimed the famous phrase which I have included in the title of the present article.
My overriding concern with a large number of business projects is that creativity, spontaneity and vitality are being lost; all essential elements in the development of any organisation. Let’s take a look in-house and think about how we deal with creativity and spontaneity. Unsurprisingly, we find that in most companies rigid processes are in place, which are less than conducive to fostering individual creativity. We also find that control prevails over creativity, repetitiveness over exploration and being busy doing takes precedence over being curious
Now, I am not at all implying that mechanisms promoting operational efficiencies in organisations are unnecessary. I do, however, consider that true value-added is created – via the development of a foundation of efficiency – in exploration, curiosity, excitement and bringing unstifled creative intelligence to business processes.
A company is a living organism that is fuelled by its own capacities, emotions and human relationships. How are we to be competitive if we box in creativity and spontaneity, which is constrained even in the best of cases, and joie de vivre is strait-jacketed into methods and procedures?
In this new era we find ourselves in, with our doors wide open to the international business scene, where we are permanently interacting with divergent paradigms, we must include the three abovementioned elements in the genetic makeup of our organisations. By freeing up creativity and encouraging spontaneity, people would contribute more to society. Above all, though, we would feel alive. My voice joins the chorus of May ‘68 clamouring for the seemingly impossible as an ideal of pragmatism. It is unfathomable, thus, that organisations with free, creative and committed individuals would be doomed to failure.