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Harnessing the Superpowers: Behaviors that Drive an Effective Company’s Culture

Employees’ collective behaviours are built on shared and accepted experiences, beliefs, and values. They are generally informal and unstructured, and they usually arise spontaneously. They increase social, emotional, and relational bonds among employees and create a sense of belonging and shared purpose.

Today I want to introduce the concept of emerging properties, which are well-known in science, physics and sociology.

A definition can be founded in emergent properties arise from the interaction of factors in a high-level system which, as a result, has qualities possessed by none of the individual factors.”

What are the links between collective behaviours and emerging properties?

It can be said that culture affects how employees behave collectively, which gives rise to emergent properties in an organisation. Results emerge from the interaction of different elements within. When different elements interact with each other, they synergistically contribute to the development of an innovative and unique culture that can be greater than the sum of its parts.

Let’s reinforce the relevance of emerging elements using the analogies with the elements below borrowed by studies on birds[1]. The biological systems based on coordinated movements can be explained as collective behaviours like predators’ protection and better use of resources.

For example, the collective behaviours of a flock of birds can be seen as an emergent property of individual birds responding to a few shared inputs, such as avoiding collisions and maintaining a particular formation for a far destination ( migration).

The concept of emerging properties as for analogy with birds’ flocks, is intentionally used to understand how shared understanding and consequently patterns of behaviour can emerge.

As time passes, the manifestation of certain properties can shape culture by influencing how collective understandings are formed. Consequently, the way employees interact and give significance to these interactions can have a considerable impact . This is why some properties can either become a source of stability or a factor that causes disruption.

What are emerging properties and where should we focus our attention ?

From effective actions from Leaders, there are three groups of emerging elements which need strategic approaches to avoid that the employees modify the shared meanings thus their behaviours!

You know now why walking-the-talk is critical.

(Click below to download a cheat sheet with a detailed list of tools/techniques for creating and maintaining Emerging elements for each group)

Emerging properties-Strategies Approaches-Tools Techniques
Download PDF • 135KB


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