“Recent surveys show that more and more organisations are changing focus from leadership to a focus on teams and to the accountability of employees. This is a huge opportunity for both our clients and for us, since all of our work applies to this”, says Ethan Schutz, President & CEO of The Schutz Company.
Ethan Schutz sat down for an interview in a small village outside Bordeaux, France, where he and his colleagues were running The International Human Element Update. Out on the sunny terrace he reflected on the future and power of The Human Element.
In his vision people know about and think of The Human Element as the solution to a variety of different problems in the world. He would like to see The Human Element and its point of view as an increasing part of large-scale solutions offered to companies and organisations, adapted to their real life challenges and opportunities.
Productivity, Self-Esteem and the Bottom Line
“When my father designed The Human Element, his intent was to have an impact on Productivity, Self-Esteem and the Bottom Line, not only on personal development. Results are crucial to all business and the purpose of The Human Element is to help organisations achieve their goals. The Human Element is not just a training program; it is a means and foundation for large-scale consulting and partnership with organisations. Beyond training, we can help people achieve their business goals by sitting in their meeting, observing groups, giving them input on where they are, helping them to apply the principles, and helping the whole system,” says Ethan Schutz.
In his vision he sees cultures where managers and employees, mentored by exceptional Licensed Human Element Practitioners, regularly talking openly and making conscious choices as ways of building both trust and efficiency.
When you want real change to happen
Most managers frequently ask themselves questions like "How do we make change happen?"
"How do we make people stick to that change and change their behaviour in order to build strong cultures, where people are efficient, creative and effective?” and "How do we handle the challenge of different generations in our work places?".
In fact, change is already happening and studies show that since the new generation is not big enough to replace those who retire we will see an increasing number of people with less experience in higher positions. Most managers and leaders facing problems and challenges are looking for employees who have a problem solving, collaborative attitude and skills to match.
This is where our work is a crucial asset.
Shifting attitude and unsupportive behaviour
The Human Element Approach offers a way to support that shift of attitude and behaviour.
“What we've found is that teams, leaders and organisations will be more efficient when we start working with the individuals, with their underlying motivations and feelings. It is counter-intuitive. Most approaches start with the system; we start with the individual because systemic change will only be successful if the individuals create it. When we don’t pay attention to the individuals first, people’s underlying fears tend to block or greatly slow the pace of real change.”
The Human Element goes deeper compared to many other models and theories.
“We work with individuals at depth, with their underlying motivation and attitudes, because these are the aspects that either unlock people’s energy to create and sustain change or to block it.”
Defensiveness can ruin any business
Unproductive behaviour and attitudes are based in unawareness, fear, and defensiveness. Ethan Schutz suggests that more people should ask themselves what the cost of defensiveness is on their business. How efficient are your meetings? How much time do people spend not talking straight with each other? What would it mean to your business if you could reduce that amount of time wasted by 10 per cent? 25 per cent? Defensiveness in the workplace leads to lower efficiency, reduced effectiveness, and lower productivity. That’s why we focus on the people side of business. It creates real change.