Our Mission

Organisational Misbehaviour is a $3 trillion problem in the US alone. 

Although there is little non-US data to draw on, the metrics around toxicity and disengagement are similar to or worse than the US in most nations, so we consider the problem to be prevalent and high cost everywhere. 

We define misbehaviour as any behaviour that differs from behaviours prescribed by the company culture, values and principles. As you can imagine, that is a big range. A few might be:

Bullying

Disengagement

Presenteeism

Cynicism

There are broad and narrow interpretations. 

The narrow one is pretty simple and straightforward. Every misbehaviour costs the company in productivity and revenue. That's our starting point and underpins the $3 trillion claim. Fix some or all of these and you can quickly add value to the company. Get rid of bullying, add x percent. Improve engagement, add y percent. Reasonably standard stuff, even if approached from a different angle than the norm.

The broad interpretation is where things get interesting. 

There are three factors. 

1: Firstly, that many of these misbehaviours are more accurately hiding value than hurting productivity. For example, the cynic is a frustrated enthusiast who has fallen into cynicism because his critical voice and creative ideas have not been heard. If you can deliver an environment that reactivates this voice, then he will immediately be adding value.There are many misbehaviours that fall into this category.

2: Secondly, some misbehaviours that harm productivity are directly caused by companies. For example, assertiveness and self-confidence are seen as evidence of good leadership. As a result, we often promote people above their level of competence just because of how they present these qualities. They then struggle to cope with the workload, get frustrated, and start to produce toxic or psychologically distressed behaviours that impact productivity across their team. You can see the same thing in mainstream approaches to change, complex project work, and scale-ups. Behaviours that are assumed to be helpful are often very harmful.

3: Thirdly, some companies actively reward misbehaviours, promoting aggressive, self-interested people just because they hit numbers. There is a lot of evidence that hitting numbers with such aggressive intent also requires the sabotaging of workmates efforts, bullying them into submission, stealing their clients, etc. While their numbers go up, the wider numbers get harmed. 

Helping leaders and managers comprehend and cope with these more complex misbehavioural problems are where we position ourselves. 

In one respect, what we do is deliver an attack on today's mainstream North American organisational psychology. This discipline has increasingly dominated the behavioural discourse over the last few decades and stretched across national cultures through US-influenced business school educational practices. The results are increasingly clear. Record levels of disengagement, a loss of trust epidemic, countless tales of bullying, toxicity, sexual harassment etc. It's just not working. Why is that?

While much of the discourse has merit, it is narrow and doesn't address a good 80% of organisational behaviour. We reinject the missing 80% - via hard behavioural and complexity science, and critical management theory. We take ideas and data from anthropology, sociology, social psychology, economics, politics, philosophy, literature, history, and complexity theory, plus a decent chunk of evidence-based psychology, and reframe what is going on in organisations through these rich and varied lenses. 

Doing that reveals a myriad of possibilities for action that are currently hidden from leadership's eyes. It distinguishes between misbehaviours that harm productivity and need to be eliminated, and those that are merely misperceived as bad behaviours and need to be tapped into to increase productivity.

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