The question I raised in my last post is â€˜What is the implication of the individuation concept to corporate learning?â€™ The individuation is the ultimate developmental work (psychologically).Â Â Ideally, a more self-harmonious and self-aware individual would contribute better to the workplace.
My first thought to the question is that most corporates would not really care.Â Â In my experience, corporates expect return on investment in learning (in fact any other areas) in a relatively short period of time, with high certainty of success and value directly applicable to work.Â Â The ideal is like having a Microsoft Excel workshop with what a participant can then use the Project Tracker template on his product development project the day after the workshop.Â Â Â So, the challenges are:
- Time â€“ Work on depth psychology takes time. Psycho-analysis or therapy takes months.
- Certainty â€“ Some argue that the degree of â€˜successâ€™ varies. At least, it seems to be less scientific than traditional developmental interventions e.g. coaching, training, which are already difficult to evaluate
- Value â€“ To individuate, becoming more â€˜wholeâ€™, is not regarded as â€˜valuableâ€™ at work in most corporates. The quote from Henry Ford illustrates the extreme â€˜Why is it every time I ask for a pair of hands, they come with a brain attached?â€™
And 2 more challenges come to my mind:
- Branding – Concepts like â€˜Depth Psychologyâ€™, â€˜Dream Analysisâ€™ are generally associated with mental illness â€“ not exactly an attractive â€˜brandingâ€™ for corporate executives as most are (or would like to be seen as) tough-minded.
- Preparedness â€“ Learning professionals are generally not prepared for and told not to step into the Psycho-analysis or therapy area. Instead, some companies engage external counselling services for those who needs help.Â Â Â (Again, work on depth psychology is associated to be something â€˜negativeâ€™.)
In short, it seems unlikely corporates will one day run interventions dedicated to work on depth psychology e.g. a workshop called â€˜How to individuateâ€™ (!).Â Â Â Yet,
- Teal â€“ There are movements in the world which embraces â€˜wholenessâ€™ as researched and described in the book called â€˜Reinventing Organisationâ€™.Â Â See the summary in this Strategy+Business article.Â Â Â In short, such Teal organizations encourage people bring all of themselves to work â€“ their moods, aspirations, uncertainties.Â Â So, point 3 above is less an issue.
- Different Form â€“ In fact, some Jungian theories have penetrated into corporate learning very successfullyâ€¦.. not in the form of psycho-analysis or therapy.Â Â MBTI is an outstanding example (though under a lot of scrutiny these days).Â Â It is said to be used by about 80% of Fortune 100 companies.Â Â Â See Forbes article here.Â Â We individuate as we attend to our inferior functions in MBTI.
- Design Consideration â€“ I think it will still be beneficial to take into account the individuation process in designing developmental interventions in corporates.Â Â First, it is about how middle-age (35-45) learners develop themselves, say, compared to the late 20s / early 30s.Â Â Â Â With the individuation process, the middle-age learners are likely more receptive to open reflective space rather than content-filled experience.Â Â In fact, they may even need the reflective space.Â Â They would also be more receptive to work on self-awareness and mindset (way of thinking) rather than skill-set (way of doing)
Overall, I sense that there are other things going on between the depth psychology world and corporate learning / development.Â Â I am curious.Â Â What do you see?Â Â Â And what do you think is possible?