First: About 10,000 years ago the behavior control mechanisms of our human ancestors ran into a hitherto unrecognized glitch. Rather than abating over time, this disturbance has grown stronger today than ever. The result is that working people and businesses all over the world are less successful than they could be. Probably more than 80% of them therefore fail to make optimal use of their talents and means.
Second: As different as human professions may be, and as different as various businesses – from mom-and-pop stores to giant conglomerates – may be structured, they all make exactly the same mistakes. And the underlying reason for these mistakes is the same everywhere.
Third: These mistakes are avoidable. Once we realize why this internal conflict arose at that particular junction of human evolution and why it was in fact unavoidable, then these mistakes can be eliminated. This requires a certain measure of discipline. The great personal benefits that stand to be reaped are a strong argument for bowing to such discipline.
Fourth: Successfully taking this route not only improves our chances for greater success and higher profits, but also improves our ability to utilize this success and profit in private life. Ultimately, even the grave differences between states can be ameliorated by such a realignment, as I argue toward the end of the book. The first step, however, is to analyze this internal conflict in our behavior mechanisms, which I term the “psychosplit”, in the business environment, where it has its roots. The goal is to determine its impact on our daily decisions. This is the only approach that can reveal a fitting strategy to reduce or entirely eliminate this inner conflict and that can help employees and businesses to optimally apply their talents and resources – for their own benefit and for that of the environment.
How can we explain the fact that such a crucial phenomenon has remained undetected to this day? One explanation may be that, although our evolutionary roots in the animal kingdom have been known for over 100 years, this knowledge has been more an irritant than an incentive to draw consequences. Moreover, our technical and cultural advances have moved us so far beyond early humans that we have difficulty imagining how ancient processes could continue to exert their influence until today.
Although the issues raised here stray far from the topics normally treated in business circles, my line of argumentation presupposes only a modicum of patience, but no special scientific knowledge, on the reader’s part. Understanding the unusual hurdle that our ancestors had to take 10,000 years ago (i.e. more than 2 million years after human intelligence unfolded and we attained self-awareness) does require stepping outside certain well-trodden paths of thought and taking on a new perspective. To this end, the underlying processes presented in the first half of the book are divided into 9 premises and a conclusions chapter. Each of the premises can therefore be critically examined before proceeding to the next premise and to the conclusions drawn. Much of what is said may initially appear self-evident or somewhat peripheral, but exposing and fully comprehending the canker in our thought process requires pursuing and evaluating this chain of facts.
The second half of the book then deals with the issue of how we can counter the negative impacts of the psychosplit. This yields a logical sequence of 9 guidelines designed to optimize business strategies, both for individuals and companies. Others guidelines no doubt remain to be discovered, but I believe all the key points are made here.
The research that led me to the psychosplit thesis spans a period of 6 years and represents the practical outcome of the Energon theory, which I published in 19701. My earlier research in tropical seas also contributed in many ways to this new field of endeavor. My studies on shark behavior, for example, based on direct observation in the field, revealed more about the mechanics of innate predatory instincts than any laboratory studies ever could. And the incredible diversity of animal life in coral reefs drew my attention to natural laws that turn out to be equally applicable in explaining links and causalities in the business world2.
The discussions in my seminars at medium-sized and large businesses yielded many arguments exposing the narrow-mindedness of many fundamental attitudes, but also pointed to the desire of many to overcome these limitations and to view economic phenomena as part of biological evolution, i.e. as part of the natural process and order of things3. In an age when scientific disciplines are being split into ever narrower fields, my lectures at the University of Vienna’s School of Economics reaffirmed the interest in broader, more encompassing concepts and frameworks.
This book received valuable impulses and comments in the field of psychology from Prof. Dr. Bernd Spiegel in Mannheim; in the field of ethology from Prof. Dr. Bernhard Hassenstein in Freiburg; in the field of business economics from Prof. Dr. Erich Leutelsberger in Vienna; and in the field of human ethology from my long-standing friend and expedition team member Prof. Dr. Irenaeus Eibl-Eibesfeldt in Seewiesen. I thank them all, along with numerous other people who helped in one way or another. I have been exchanging ideas for many years with Wolfgang Mewes, the founder of the Energo-Cybernetic Management Strategy (EKS). The remarkable successes of his teachings and the links between the Energon theory and the practical EKS approach have allowed me to illustrate, with concrete case studies, the guidelines derived by exposing the psychosplit.
As this book addresses all those who seek to gain profit and success in the business, I have used relatively simple language throughout and inserted footnotes to direct the scientifically interested reader to more detailed information and key literature in the Appendix and Reference sections.
Overcoming the psychosplit opens a clear route for further
human evolution. In my opinion, it could help decide whether our growing
power ultimately proves to be a self-destructive force or whether it will
pave the way to a pluralistically oriented, peaceful, higher order.
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