Future managers discuss human values

5 february 2011, Namur Belgium.

A workshop animated by Michel de Kemmeter and Bernard Kraft of UHDR UniverseCity for the bonding event of the new CEMS student arrived in Louvain-la-Neuve LSM business school. A “best of” students in master degree, coming from 16 different countries.

The starting question was: how to bring ethical values in the corporation, and their impact on stress levels. Ambiguous question for young adults who will dive into a world in urgency of survival, and most probably will have to do things which will cost them to tresspass their ethical tresholds and create personal health hazards. Enough examples around us of this…

They have been trained to manage money-making businesses, and when we ask questions of meaning, sense, trust, empathy, openmindedness, … unanimously they answer: of course these values are central and empowering us and the company. The reality is often more cynical. But the message is recieved loud and clear: this generation will not be played with, they will cruise our societies into the 21st century and they are going to pay for our pensions. We have to listen to them. With all the scientific evidence on stress management, neurosciences, behaviour sciences, applied psychology, mindfulness, and others, they will behave in a much more responsible way, for themselves and for their teams and families. But the challenge is that all these values are at the opposite of the spectrum of most of business behaviours. How will they manage these contradictions ? Well, (what they tell me) with hard evidence. With facts and figures. Role models, quantified case studies. They will open our minds and hearts upon new paradigms already alive around us. They will decode with us the biggest success stories of the 2000-2010′s and prove that they are based on sustainable human values of collaboration, humility, co-creation, empathy, interconnexion, meaning, trust, mastership, personal power, non judgement,…

A strong message was also: we are going to be ourselves, to stay ourselves, even though probably we will be under great pressure to behave in incoherent ways. We also are not going to destroy our health because of short term money-making. We have to be able to sustainably contribute to something good for everybody, and it’s not by being treated like vulgar throw-away resources. They will also be more attentive on what their body is giving them as signals (stress, fatigue etc), and deal with it in a more direct way.

Here are a few exerpts:

From recongition to self-recognition: this will lead to more intrinsic motivation, self-esteem, happiness, well-being and health, better performance (virtuous circle).

More self-reflexion on what we truly want to achieve with our life – aling these values with the ones of the corporation. And if the corporation doesn’t have sustainable human values, we’ll inspire them. It’s our job and responsibility.

They want a flexible culture of job rotation to open their minds, stay in tune with evolution and change, integrate affected people, enhance innovation capacity through out-of-the-box approaches – reassuring the teams doing so.

Work-life balance will be non negociable. Smile, love and laugh, sharing good moments, as a source of sustainable motivation.

Long life learning as a source of feeding passion and innovation.

Diversity with no judgement as an open door to learning, innovative solutions, discover new opportunities and complementarities.

Self-development enhancing meaning, vision, coherence/consistency, credibility, welfare…

Trust to be reciprocated, security bringing freedom to act, respect, compromise, patience, tolerance, sensitivity as cornerstones to be ourselves, share experiences on the workfloor as in private life.

They got, during the workshop, the basics of stress management, just in case….

Also useful before public speaking, important and difficult meetings, conflict management.

In conclusion, these young professionals have of course been trained to manage, but they will do it in an enlighted way so what we do can make sense, create wealth on different dimensions, where everyone will be able to connect to their best potential. It’s not going to be a cake-walk, but we will be there to help, to reassure, to open minds and hearts when we can.

And we’re not alone: most of the population want this too !

They will go back to their countries (Canada, China, Italy, Turkey, Norway, Poland, Ukraine, Austria, Denmark, Tchechia, Romania, Portugal, Germany, Finland, Hungary) with a little bit of Belgium and a lot of new dimensions to share with local businesses.

We wish them all the best !

We also analysed the video of the work of Mitra Sugata on learning (see video hereunder).

Here are the “best of” learning following his research:

  • ask questions (there where we don’t ask enough questiones, but impose our views…)
  • leave them alone to their responsibility and creativity (there where we tend to control all the time…)
  • put interest and passion (there where we tend to bore them…)
  • trust them (there where we tend to… no comment)
  • let go (there where we tend to want to do 1 to 1 teaching)
  • encouraging, empowering, give recognition (there where we tend to focus on ailments and negative points…)
  • make them curious (there where we tend to, again, bore them)
  • give goals, challenge them (there where we tend to “pull them out of their ignorance”)
  • put an outside element in the middle… (there where we tend to stay inside the box… safely)
  • in between pairs (there where we tend to keep ex cathaedra models to reassure our teachers, not “put them in danger”)
  • new funky technology (there where we tend to leave that to their private lives)



This is what I wanted to check: are they totally brainwashed or do they have “IT”.

Well, good news, they have this “IT” we all so much need !

Michel de Kemmeter