It’s yesterday’s news that you cannot force people to change. Even less so in today’s environment. Because companies are also undergoing dramatic transformation in a very un-technological, but hugely significant way: their people.

A lot of evidence is backing this reality and the slow and quiet demise of the once all-powerful corporate king.

Rivers of ink are being spent writing about the rise of Millennials, Generation Z, and the benefits of empowering the company by embracing diversity and inclusion, gender equality and so forth.

Human resources strategies at leading organizations are being redesigned to attract the best from these demographic groups, leaving old-fashioned companies are at the losing end of the fight for talent in the marketplace. Amongst these groups one can find the very people that will shape the future of a company. And the long-term financial returns for shareholders.

Those in the leadership who understand this, will be able to let go of that mentality from the days of the Big Boss, hierarchical corporation, and accept that people will only follow their lead if the right environment with the right conditions and incentives is in place for people to choose to champion change alongside their leaders. Together.

And perhaps the essential element that pervades across such an environment can be expressed by one word: Self-commitment.

Because commanded engagement, as the antiquated corporate boss will know is not working. Many employees are jumping ships led by old-styled managers still operating under the command-and-control mentality. And all current wisdom tells us today that for companies to be at the winning side of today’s collaborative game, executives need to win the hearts and minds of their people across the organization.

So they need to lead by example by first engaging with their employees emotionally by seeing them as leaders as well. A commanded order to engage simply does not work anymore.

Much of people’s resistance finds its roots in an irrational, and often subconscious fear to an unclear or uncertain outcome from change, which can only be countered through clear and reliable communication and genuine, methodical engagement from the leadership.

To be ahead, you need to be able to awaken in your people what we have identified as the “Five E-Motions” — or emotional feelings that trigger action:

These E-Motions are essential element of us as human that live and take part in an ecosystem:


You will hear us talk more about ecosystems, emotional engagement and what we call the Ecosystem of Co-Creative People.

Co-written with Luis Garcia Bory, Co-Founder of Growthitude