The New Psychologies
Episode #5 of the course “Creating creation companies” by Barry Mapp
Today, let’s look in more detail at some of the new psychologies.
In many ways, old psychology is the psychology of the exceptions—the minority studied under unusual or poor conditions. Conversely, new psychology is based upon understanding how the majority will behave when working under optimal work conditions.
So old psychology holds true when people work in stressful or fearful conditions, and new psychology holds true when people are happy and have a sense of control and fulfillment in their work.
New psychology embraces ideas derived from psychologists like Glasser (Choice Theory), Kelly (Constructive Alternativism), and Griffin and Tyrell (Human Givens approach). New psychology is congruent with Kohn’s research on cooperation and motivation, Dweck’s research on “self-theories,” and Deming’s ideas on the transformation of management.
Let’s take a closer look at the principles underpinning the work of just one of these psychologists: William Glasser.
Glasser’s Choice Theory informs us that behavior is central to our existence and is driven by five genetic needs. These are:
1. Survival (food, clothing, shelter, breathing, personal safety, and others)
There are ten axioms to Choice Theory:
1. The only person whose behavior we can control is our own.
2. All we can give another person is information.
3. All long-lasting psychological problems are relationship problems.
4. The problem relationship is always part of our present life.
5. What happened in the past has everything to do with what we are today, but we can only satisfy our basic needs right now and plan to continue satisfying them in the future.
6. We can only satisfy our needs by satisfying the pictures in our quality world.
7. All we do is behave.
8. All behavior is total behavior and is made up of four components: acting, thinking, feeling, and physiology.
9. All total behavior is chosen, but we only have direct control over the acting and thinking components. We can only control our feelings and physiology indirectly through how we choose to act and think.
10. All total behavior is designated by verbs and named by the part that is the most recognizable.
New science challenges much of our current thinking and many sacred beliefs about how best to do good business. Creation companies embrace new psychology and new science ideas. Such thinking is reflected in the views of other iconoclast thinkers such as Russell Ackoff (Systems Thinking), Edward de Bono (Design Thinking), Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi (Flow Thinking), and Eric Jensen (Brain-Based Thinking).
SUMMARY: What We Have Learned so Far
The focus of compliance companies is on conformance. Compliance is maintained through rules and structures. The management mechanism is command and control. There is a blame culture for dealing with mistakes. Conformance is a cultural principle.
The focus of creation companies is different. There are principles rather than rules. There is freedom from command and control. There is a no-blame culture. Rather than conformance to outmoded or outdated standards, the focus of the creation company is on continual improvement.
“Leadership and the New Science: Discovering Order in a Chaotic World” by Margaret J. Wheatley
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