Primal Management: Unraveling the Secrets of Human Nature to Drive High Performance

Primal Management: Unraveling the Secrets of Human Nature to Drive High Performance

Primal Management: Unraveling the Secrets of Human Nature to Drive High Performance

Primal Management: Unraveling the Secrets of Human Nature to Drive High Performance


"The biological approach lends a fresh aspect to the subject of employee performance enhancement, and the well-researched, entertaining presentation should make this is an appealing reference for progressive business leaders." - Publishers Weekly

"This is a great book for any leader to read. Should be required reading for all CEOs." - CEO BLOG

"Primal Management is an important book for managers at any level." - Foreword This Week

As human beings, we are fascinated by what makes us tick. We know that nature gave us certain biological appetites to ensure our survival, among those the need for water, food, sex, and love, but meeting these alone is not enough to ensure happiness. Scientists, and now managers, are realizing that people have a biological need to experience social rewards like praise, the thrill of innovation, and the satisfaction of acquiring new skills. To succeed, every manager needs to realize that work must provide more than just a paycheck and that quenching these social appetites is the key to creating passionate emloyees whose productivity blows away the bottom line. Primal Management is the first book to bring together the five impulses at the core of human motivation (innovation, competency, attaining goals, cooperation, and self-protection). It reveals that to drive employees, the workplace has to satisfy these appetites, and offers practical tips on how to do it and metrics for measuring success. Respected consultant Paul Herr explodes the myth that emotions have no place on the job and explores how this belief actually harms employee performance. Using examples of companies that have benefited from the principles of primal management, he shows how businesses can measure their emotional health, address areas where they don't engage employees, and increase productivity by boosting the emotional paycheck. Based on groundbreaking scientific research, this book will change the way we inspire our people and show how fulfilled employees lead to incredibly profitable businesses.


The Rise of the Superorganism

In biology, a superorganism is a group of individual organisms that act as one—like a colony of army ants. Ant colonies, working as coordinated units, can defeat creatures hundreds of times their size. Corporate superorganisms are similar. They are composed of individual human beings who think and act as one, much like a tribe. They are as formidable in the corporate ecosystem as army ants are in their ecosystems.

I don’t mean to imply that human beings should cooperate like mindless insects. Human beings possess a sophisticated form of social bonding that some psychiatrists refer to as cathexis. This social bonding mechanism underlies relationships of all types, and corporations, unfortunately, are not aware of it. Traditional corporate hierarchies rely, instead, on rules, regulations, bureaucratic structures, hard-fisted competition, and fear to coordinate human beings.

A superorganism, on the other hand, is held together organically and naturally by invested relationships and doesn’t need an artificial shell to force cooperation and coordination. If you remove the bureaucratic shell from a traditional hierarchy, the humans inside would mostly scatter like marbles because there is nothing fundamental holding them together. If you remove the shell from a superorganism, it will continue to function because its individual members are interconnected, self-motivated, selforganizing, and self-managing—just as nature intended.

Any company can become a superorganism if it learns how to work harmoniously with human nature rather than against it. Superorganisms . . .

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