Human-centered or human-centric, those are terms I hear more and more. Be it in marketing, designing and developing products and services, and when speaking about changes in organizational structures. Design Thinking is one approach with being human-centered as its core focus. I support the development to bring the human more into the center. I also think that we need to add a different kind of human-centeredness to the mix.
More and more companies try to really understand their customers. What is it they really want? How do they use the product or service? What motivates them to do A or B? Of course, it is also about having an edge over the competition and to make money. But it is also about helping us and making our lives easier. Keep in mind, easier doesn’t always means better. We ca get all kind of fast food which is really convenient and helps us to save time, but is it really good for our long-term health? Or we might be able to order something only to receive it the next day, but does this help with our increasing difficulties to be patient? Those are questions we should ask ourselves from time to time.
What I’d like to add to the mix is a different kind of human-centeredness. I want to put the heart and soul into the center. To design products and services that really lead to self-actualization. That brings out our strengths and combines it with our passions and purpose. Something that is in line with our values and which has the potential to feel good about ourselves and connect with others.
The most important resource of a company are its employees. You might say that this is about to change with the advent of AI and automatization. However, I think that our creativity, passion, and drive are things that might be safe for a little while and are the cornerstones for value creation.
The human-centeredness I talk about is a boss who is truly interest in how you feel and what he can do to help you to develop. It is an organization that promotes kindness, courage, transparency, sustainable thinking, and mutual support. It means a culture in which we don’t need to fear retribution for being different. It means living and working in an environment where I am nudged to grow, to understand, and to learn. It means a work force with an open ear and open heart. It means weighting human flourishing at least as high as creating shareholder value. It means allowing us to be human. With all the flaws we have and all the wonderful attributes, too.
Already now I have the chance to work towards this goal. With every interaction and every decision, I make, I can contribute to a different kind of human-centeredness.
What can you do?