The Elements of Being Organizationally Human – Tom Miller

mickyates Business, ideas, leadership, Organization, Psychology, Society Leave a Comment


Tom Miller is the President of Symbolist, and a colleague from the Change Leaders Community

Here’s a recent post that caught my imagination.

“Humanize” is becoming a popular term to use these days when talking about corporate cultures.  I think it will be sticky.  It’s like the term “employee engagement” – who wouldn’t want more engaged employees, right?

More human?  Sure – I’ll take all I can get.

So how do you get a more “human” organization?

First of all we have to define what that means.


At first blush we may think that being “human” is about the physical – the DNA.  You’re human and I’m human because we share the same number of chromosomes and we look relatively the same.  But we know that being “human” isn’t just physical.  There have been plenty of “humans” who have walked this earth that were less than human – that were monsters.  They weren’t human because although they looked and seemed human – they lacked the things you can’t see that make us truly human.

And I believe those things can be present in an organization as well.

When I look at my own company and our client’s organizations I’m looking for three things that make an organization human.


A company is human when it loves…

love(Don’t get creeped out – hang on – I promise we’ll get through this.)

We all like to think of the emotional part of love and the warm feeling we get when we think about another person or thing we love.  We recognize the emotion of love based on a basket full of experiences accumulated over a period of time.

When I consider my basket I find it contains the outcomes from consistent actions that demonstrate care and concern.  I find reciprocal relationships where each person wants the best for the other.  I find experiences that major in laughter and minor in sadness.  I find it contains things that have changed me.

If you think of love in that context is it a stretch for a company to offer an environment where care and concern are foremost?  Can a company create a basket of experiences that mirror the personal one?  Can a company want the best for the people that work there? Can an organization be a place where laughter and learning happen at the same time? I think the answer to all these questions is a loud, “YES!”

A company is human when it trusts…

TrustTrust works a lot like love – it’s shaped and developed over time by a consistent set of experiences.  It is also proactive.  I think this is where many businesses get in their own way.  They want employees to trust them – but aren’t necessarily ready to trust the employee.

I think trust has to start with the company first.

Read the rest of Tom’s post