Power, Ranking and decision-making

Lessons from anthropology

Jitske Kramer


There is a pecking order in every group, every team, every department, organization, and society. People can’t live without one. We are hierarchical, tribal beings who often, more often than we realize, are involved in organizational politics, power, ranking, getting what we want, position, charisma, authority, being liked… As cultures are shaped in interaction and decision-making, the question is always “who can decide what? Who holds the definition power?”. In this keynote stories, images and movie clips will provide you with a clear picture of the impact of silo thinking, sub-cultures, privileges, subtle and less subtle forms of inclusion and exclusion, and the role of leaders in this power play.

A keynote with important lessons from anthropology for every leader and every team member. Especially for teams that have a lot of internal cultural difference, work cross border, are undergoing a merger, or face a lot of complaints about pigeonholing and finger pointing. Gaining greater insight into the influence of power and ranking on the process of decision-making gives you greater control of shaping your organizational culture.

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After the introduction we get down to work with a probing simulation. An apparently happy mess where people get to work with paper and scissors. In the meantime there are lessons learned regarding group dynamics, power, ranking and privileges. We then discuss and reflect together what this means for everyone’s professional role and the organization.

A confrontational session. An everlasting impression.

About us

HumanDimensions looks at companies and organizations through the eyes of an anthropologist. How do people shape cultures and cultures shape people? We travel around the world looking for ways of building strong tribes, safe for diversity and ready for change. And we bring our findings to the world of organizing and cooperating through our excellent keynote speeches, master classes and training courses. Deep Democracy. Inclusion. Diversity. Organizational culture. Leadership.

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