The Business Book

(Joyce) #1


See also: Creativity and invention 72–73 ■ Organizing teams and talent 80–85 ■ Make the most of your talent 86–87 ■
Organizational culture 104–09 ■ Avoid groupthink 114 ■ The value of diversity 115


of belonging. Maslow believed
that there is a hierarchy of human
needs; once we have met the most
basic of needs—the physiological
ones, such as hunger and thirst—
we progress to the next: security.
When these needs are satisfied,
we move to the third basic need:
a sense of belonging. Once this
is met, we will proceed toward
increasing self-esteem through
achievement, and ultimately
toward self-actualization, by using
our inner talents with creativity.
When Maslow’s theory is
applied to the workplace, working
in groups and gaining a sense of
belonging make employees more
effective. With the need to belong
already addressed, individuals are
able to focus on other things, such
as a desire for achievement and the
practicing of inner talents. In this
way, the movement through the
stages of satisfying needs can
benefit a company. Free from
anomie, groups are places where
human beings, and therefore ideas,
can flourish. Teams that are
carefully chosen and supervised

will increase an individual’s security
and encourage collaborative,
creative, work—as US management
expert Ken Blanchard said, “none of
us is as smart as all of us.” In turn,
commitment toward a project
creates ties that strengthen the bond
between individuals and, ultimately,
the company’s communal purpose.

Places to belong
Great organizations recognize the
value of teams and the importance
of the working environment. Cisco
Systems, the Internet infrastructure
company, has created what it calls

the “Connected Workplace”, which
offers employees great flexibility in
working practice and environment,
while ensuring that they always
feel part of the Cisco community.
Business success is rarely
achieved through individual genius,
and the greatest leaders are those
who recognize the value of
maximizing talent through teams. ■

Abraham Maslow The American psychologist
Abraham Maslow was born in

  1. He grew up in Brooklyn,
    New York, and earned a degree,
    masters, and PhD in psychology
    from the University of Wisconsin.
    Maslow started his career as a
    teacher, working at Brooklyn
    College from 1937 to 1951, after
    which he became chair of the
    psychology department at
    Brandeis University, US. Here he
    met Kurt Goldstein, the originator
    of the idea of self-actualization,
    and Maslow became fascinated
    with the path of human
    development toward “being all

you can be.” Contrary to many
of his peers, Maslow focused on
the positive side of mental health.
The hierarchy of human needs,
which Maslow outlined in “A
Theory of Human Motivation”,
remains influential even today
in fields as diverse as social
work and management theory.

Key works

1943 “A Theory of Human
1954 Motivation and Personality
1962  Toward a Psychology
of Being

Cisco Systems uses workspaces that
can be transformed from small groups
of work pods to large open spaces for
conferences. Cisco aims to be flexible for
connectivity and a sense of community.
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