From former logistics courses, I remember this sentence:

“Global optimum is not the sum of local optima”

At this time it was for me kind of counter-intuitive.
If each part reaches its maximum, why isn’t the overall result at its peak?

It will seem obvious to team sports’ fans : it is not enough to collect ‘stars’ on a playing field to create a winning team. And some teams without ‘stars’ are top-performing. I’m no expert in rugby or soccer but some of you will certainly make the link.


Collective or individual competences?

It would be then more interesting for an organization to promote group work and collaboration rather than the development of individuals.
And invest on the collective competence rather than individual competence (which additionally can easily leave the system).

Yes, but…
If the group is preferred, how to manage the desire for individual recognition which is one of the main engines of the members’ motivation ? Memories of “good points” at school is not far…

In a capitalist working world obsessed by “leadership”, performance and “lollipops” (monetary or symbolic – Napoleon is supposed to have created the Légion d’Honneur to compensate bad finance), taking account the other or the collective interest quickly becomes a weakness…


So… Individual or collective game?

If you are a leader or an entrepreneur:
-What values do you want to develop in your organization?
-What kind of profiles will you recruit?
-What performance are you going to promote and reward?

If you are employed or self-employed:
-Do you want to be a “star” (often alone) or a team / network partner?
-From whom and for what do you expect recognition?

From my experience in corporations or as a professional coach, those are fundamental questions before any hiring. And from both sides.
If the criteria of success and appraisal of each party are clear, we can hope (following the Process Communication vocabulary) to avoid the drama of “harmonizer” personalities crushed in an ultra-competitive environment or on the other hand the frustration of “promoters” whose exploits are not recognized… and of course for the organization a better use of all forces towards its “optimum”.


Clarify your play style…, it is also a coaching topic.


It will be my pleasure to discuss this with you…


Guillemette Moreau
Founder of Coherence Coaching
“For a happier professional world, more motivated and efficient”

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