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My Inner Storm

Since 2010, for some reason I have this obsession about finding some practical explanations to why and  how management science of modern day and age has failed us in creating an environment that fosters authenticity in relations among peers within the work environment. Let’s not simplify it by saying this is because of corporate setups, politics in business life and complex stakeholder relationships in matrix organization ecosystems.

I mean, look at this picture of Makati City/Manila/Philippines. Something about it that I can say in confidence feels authentic. Is it the colors, the buildings, the skyline, my digital photography skills or something else? This is not even the real part of this city, it is rather the newer and more polished part of it, yet the city, the streets, the people, the laid back feel, the dirt, the smell, etc. everything about it makes you feel connected to it and its authenticity, which screams ‘this is me Yasar, take it or leave it’. Give it to my heritage from Istanbul the chaotic city of contrasts with soul, I kind of liked the ambience. Well, this is my definition of a good city which includes ‘authenticity’ among several other criteria.

Authenticity and the Authentic People

We landed, checked in and met over a dinner…the team is from different walks of life with different specializations and despite physical exhaustion due to pretty long journeys for most of us, everybody seemed utterly fired up. This is the thing I am trying to decode. Let me explain:

How come you bring people together and create a positive environment for them to gel together instantly? How do you build your micro-culture, how do you build teams that genuinely strive together with passion? I already see this happening here among us. I mean, if you asked this team to start their projects with their clients last night, at midnight, they would have done it? 🙂 Why?

Don’t get me wrong. Corporates have great teams that do wonders together, yet I cannot say they are necessarily all authentic with a soul, but rather imposed in structure and at times forced as we have to work together. Is this the recipe for high-performing teams? I don’t think so. Yes, you may be successful, but I am looking for the next big thing.

What makes people connect in an authentic way in work environment and what makes this sustainable, at times self-governing and self-improving?

Authenticity does…so the question is, how do you build authenticity to win people’s hearts or let people’s hearts speak? This is IQ+EQ with a bit of fearlessness.

Someone has told me that we would not be required to be friends to work well together and I tend to agree. We just need to have our own mini-SLAs, or is that so?

Nope…this concept of authenticity is far more complex and I am willing to explore that.

This is my obsession!

And yes, I feel blessed that SAP gave me this opportunity to venture into this mildly unchartered territory for me in my search via granting me this wonderful sabbatical experience. I am psyched up!

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  1. Alexandra van der Ploeg

    looking forward to reading more about your thoughts on authenticity and what this means in the social sabbatical context. What is the “magic” behind it? I certainly have my thoughts on it too and it is one of the reasons I love my job:). Have fun, Yasar, and keep writing!

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