top of page

Building Healthy Organizations

#Dialogue with #RosaArgentinaRivasLacayo by Miguel Gurrola

Historical background:

We live in a world that is very complex and hard to unravel. We are in the middle of the second half of the first XXI century decade. To unravel such complexity, it becomes necessary to construe our historical moment in the best possible way, understanding the big questions that arose during the Postmodernism period after the unaccomplished promise by the Enlightenment (the French Revolution, the Encyclopedists, Voltaire, Diderot, Rousseau, Kant, among others), where such thinkers trusted in the great Rationalism story that was extended to the mid-twentieth century, stating that man would achieve fullness and happiness through reason and that he would live in a better organized society, a society where the goddess of reason would cure those man's ills.

Those great concepts that were part of the Rationalism speech – progress, ideas, art, science, etc. – became part of that disillusionment of a society that never saw the advent of that promised fullness. For postmodern society, great stories as inspirational sources to achieve human fullness died. French philosopher Jean Francois Lyotard mentions four of them: the Christian, the Marxism, the Enlightenment, the capitalist. He decreed them dead because they never led human being into the space of fullness as promised. Then, short stories appeared, representing a breakup of the large ones – Multiculturalism, respect for minorities, among others. Utopian and great ideals thoughts ended.

Consumerism is now part of the social dynamics. Defiance and new proposals are manifested in various aesthetic expressions.

Once located in this historical context called Postmodernity, it is worth asking to ourselves the questions that will help us to find the sense of our professional work in the midst of a global complexity, which is usually interpreted from a relativistic approach where our own opinions are influenced by the time in which we are living. How to find our own North Star having so much information and global interdependence? How to find a sense of transcendence in our job? Where to go professionally?

What is a fact, is that there are also more and more people busy trying to find answers to the professional challenges they are facing. We are talking about people that are looking for a further meaning in their jobs as they want to work in functional environments that allow

them to express their creativity and take the best advantage of their talent to contribute to the results of the organization they work for.

To those people who aspire to become better professionals and are looking for a comprehensive development in their jobs, we dedicate this dialog.


Rosita, you wrote a book called “Knowing How to think”. What made you write it and what elements comprise it?

For over 35 years I had been working with processes for Human Development and I discovered in the methodology outlined in my book, an effective and practical tool to help everyone use their own potential and accomplish their projects. I decided that by providing a written introduction to this practice it would give many people, more than the ones that have attended my courses, the possibility to use their internal resources in an easy and efficient way to achieve results.

What are the benefits of knowing how to think in the historical context we live today?

Thinking is the great regulator of our emotions, the guide of our conduct and our creativity generator. Given the challenges of today, where it seems our emotions have overflowed with its consequences in behavior and creativity turns out to be urgent to help us solve the multiplicity of our problems, knowing how to think becomes an authentic alternative to obtain effective results.

As a consultant and speaker in the business world, which are the biggest challenges you face in your interaction with this group of people?

Unfortunately, in many companies a very limited view regarding the importance of training and welfare of human capital remains. Intra and interpersonal employee needs are too often ignored and if they are not heard or addressed, they may adversely impact the productivity of a company. It is a true challenge to make those who are responsible see the existing evidence that worker happiness and fulfillment at work promoted by an accurate training, may be the biggest advantage for the company in all areas.

When a dysfunctional culture within an organization exists, people working there generally do not do their best as their motivation levels, commitment and results are not optimal. What would you recommend to people who are not enjoying their job?

I would promote resources and motivation to ease them to discover their strengths, their capability to flow and specially the sense of a personal mission within the group and/or community environment.

An organization that loses its vitality is unable to benefit from the potential of its people. We may say it begins to get sick. For you, what is a healthy organization?

A healthy organization is one that recognizes that productivity depends mostly on its employees. For optimal results, motivation and training people-oriented as the center of attention in terms of welfare and development, is essential to achieve an authentic growth at all levels.

What are the risks that organizations face when losing their optimal health condition and how are they manifested, how can we recognize them?

Risks that range from low productivity to economic bankruptcy may be expressed by a lack of motivation of the personnel on making efforts to get things done and can reach an open boycott of the processes.

Every organization needs a vision, a mission, and values, but if the employee-worker is not motivated or shows a lack of solidarity with the objectives, it is likely that the quality of his work affects it all, including his results. Risks are mostly measured by financial statements, but the “human condition” may be the most important indicator.

How does knowing how to think help to build a healthy organization?

Giving all employees effective tools that can help them develop their attention and concentration is a first step in training that a company may provide. Knowing how to think is the key to motivation, it helps the intelligence process to recognize causes and consequences. Additionally, the approach we give to our thinking makes goals and outcomes programming possible.

When we consciously or unconsciously accept to stay in our comfort zone, we lose our itinerant condition (iter-itineris word, from the Greek hodós means: row, trip, march, journey), we stop walking, we fall into routine and our vital impetus, which is our essential internal energy to be clear about the meaning of our profession begins to die. How can we avoid losing our itinerant condition as professionals? How do we keep walking?

We must be aware that life is change. Both individuals and organizations that are not ready to migrate from their comfort zone to discover new horizons will get stuck and will eventually perish due to their low performance and results. I think that the development of creative strategies is necessary to avoid this stagnitation. They should keep updated, especially with a renewed self-motivation that can only come from their attitudes and way of thinking.

A final comment for our readers:

One of the biggest challenges that we face today in the business and labor world is stress and its consequences on absenteeism, low productivity, and interpersonal conflicts. Similarly, the lack of attention, concentration and hopelessness that permeates most of the environments creates a discouragement that also represents a significant challenge for a company growth.

The natural antidote that we should be committed to learn is relaxation, mindfulness, the development of intrapersonal trust for programming personal and group

projects. Moreover, attention span and concentration as well as positive thinking oriented to a vision of a future are essential to achieve better results. I think one of the biggest challenges for companies today is to realize there is a huge amount of evidence showing that happiness at work is the key to growth for personnel-employees to develop their potential and drive the company to a further growth.

Dear Miguel, finally I would like to mention that I think it is a mistake that executives and/or directors do not participate in the training programs and spend time with their staff.

I remember you always did it and that memory remains as a motivator for those who were your business partners until now.

Waiting to hear from you and have the pleasure to see you soon.

A big hug.


“One of the biggest challenges that we face today in the business and labor world is stress and its consequences on absenteeism, low productivity and interpersonal conflicts”
Miguel Gurrola
50 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page