The amygdala of

Business philosophy

Nausica Manzi

Boss, manager, CEO, simple worker, are empty labels that make them only masters of nothing, everything is instead in recognizing and giving to each other.

Max works in a company at an intense rhythm, he is a man of habits and he pays attention to details. He was gifted with an exceptional IQ and a unique prosodic ability, he always appears in a different dimension with a backpack filled with unconventional thoughts and actions. His team at work looks at him suspiciously and, at the same time, with admiration: in every situation or relationship, he seems to “feel otherwise” and to react uncommonly, delicately but wild.

Max appears gifted with a particular ‘limbic almond’, a rebel amygdala that seems to exclusively work beyond the ‘usual’ commands.

In such a technologically advanced and humanly fragile society, made of business contexts in which values of identity, community and the existence of multiple and richly different intellects are lost, philosophy turns into ‘Max’s rebel amygdala’, the only tool capable of vehiculating and orientating actions and emotions differently, putting everybody back in their ‘place’, which is dignity: « He worried about putting me in place and showing me to myself, with no mercy nor by discouraging me» [1].

When we talk about work and economics, the words profit and success usually come to mind. Indeed, any company competes in an obstacle race for fortune and fame, to be the first against wild and greedy rivals. The victory, however, always lasts shortly because, between investments and profits, among calculators and computers, just like in a vicious circle, the challenge is launched from many different directions and the charts change over and over again, so no position remains stable. Hence, in this open competition, every business must chase after something that is always elusive, an ancient spell for long-lasting success. This incapacity to dominate it, this devastating absence burdens the entire company, every department, every team, every member: those human beings that, with their interior peculiarities, differentiating in ‘ways of working’ and emotional nuances, will build relationships and action systems out of them, and will show their true strength.

Inside this impossible pursuit, even surrounding themselves with objectives concentrated on human rights, accountability, and the common good never fully reached, companies lose the path towards humanity and, most of the time, find themselves trapped in the quicksands of existences incapable of reacting, and in the mangroves of needs of different souls that, suffocated by codes and money, give birth to crisis or conflictual relationships within the team. In doing so, single companies find themselves with no meaning. What could save them is precisely Max’s rebel amygdala. Therefore, we need to find it once again, incarnate it to become like that strange worker: feel and react differently, to return to existence and build new working contexts of personal and collective growth.

So, specifically, what is this rebel amygdala and where can we find it in order to provide every working place with some sense, and thus every single individual who composes it, the ‘first classified’, meaning the ‘only one’ as recognized for their value? Who is that Max, that person who teaches connection and ‘enlightens’ community and singularity, thought and action, emotion and reason? It is noticeable how this is present in Max as a form of lifestyle, as an existential practice to put into action: so the rebel amygdala is not to be found outside, between what is transient, but within the team, between human eyes constantly engulfed by numbers.

Philosophy is this ‘existential almond’. Max represents every human being who, in working contexts, finding it practical and learning something new about themselves thanks to it, incarnates it and becomes affected thanks to a radically new ‘feeling’ connected to a countercurrent behavior. In these dynamic contexts where concepts of sense from which humanity’s entire existential destiny are at stake, philosophy like business philosophy is the amygdala of businesses: an intimate and, at the same time, a community dimension, a transformational practice that reconnects thought and action, different intellects and different unique ways of being. Is it not a company composed of people owho come from different experiences, personal lives, and unique ways of thinking and actions that, in the working place, end up clashing beautifully? People make companies and these, in turn, form single individuals.

Business Philosophy is useful in the «change of attitude towards things through clarification» [2], to understand their own ‘place’ and the human relationships in which they are immersed and, so, to create new ways of approaching the working place under the person’s point of view: to work founding every choice on human value. As that peculiar structure of the brain that vehiculates emotions and actions, philosophy is receptive to everyone in understanding themselves within the other, in other words, to bring sense to light thanks to proximity. Business Philosophy, the philosopher’s rebel amygdala, is needed to reactivate the “sentiment of otherwise”: philosophy as a business practice «is to understand what it uncovers, but doesn’t expose, it is a perception that looks into things […]» [3], stands between many individuals to widen their horizons and leads them to new ways of seeing their working reality, as well as, to other ways of looking at it; but they sometimes forget that souls work differently even though eythey are moved by the same emotions.

Inside companies’ contexts, philosophy conducts everyone to ‘find’ themselves in ‘other-minds’, they reflect themselves in the eyes of those many others, a gathering of minds and souls that, crossing paths, give life to every working team and invites everyone (from the manager, the secretary to the simple worker) to wake up in the accountability of their actions and, most importantly, of what they are. Only through the ‘sentiment of otherwise’ can the business amygdala awaken, and can we rethink the goals and strategies as well as learn to understand and intertwine faces before we do so with papers and act or, better, react. Reacting means to renovate our actions guided by the ‘sentiment of otherwise’: Business Philosophy gives new life to the interior dimension in the form of a regenerative practice that recalls the single person to recognize themselves as precious within a community of equally unique individuals, where their true richness is only in the light they forget to have and that they can donate. How does it succeed in doing this? By paying attention and caring about every individual inside the community no matter what their categories, roles, experiences, and a multifocal approach is; deviating their glance from inessential and using team games to empower the human factor. The companies’ amygdala, business philosophy, reminds every one of their roots of inexhaustible beauty, an indispensable element of a working reality in which they spend themselves for what they are. Philosophy in working contexts is useful to discover that a team doesn’t work properly, doesn’t conduct to real success if it doesn’t recognize the essential value of each person. Boss, the manager, CEO, simple worker, are empty labels that make them masters of nothing, everything consists instead in the reciprocity in recognizing and donating themselves: each person is bonded to the other in terms of care and responsibility. Business Philosophy is the businesses’ amygdala, a revolution in interior and exterior mentality, it is what pushes souls and bodies in feeling other-wise and re-act as transformed.

[1]  Translated from J.-J.Rousseau, Le confessioni, di V. Sottile Scaduto, in J.-J. Rousseau, Opere, a cura di P.Rossi, Sansoni, Milano 1993, p.795 sgg.

[2]  Translated from G. B. Achenbach, La consulenza filosofica. La consulenza come opportunità di vita, a cura di R.Soldani, Feltrinelli, Milano 2009, p. 167.

[3]  Ivi, pp. 79-80.

Ti è piaciuto l’articolo? Lascia qui la tua opinione su La Livella.

Did you enjoy the article? Leave here your feedback on La Livella.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email