Summary of The Surprising Ingredient That Makes Businesses Work Better

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The Surprising Ingredient That Makes Businesses Work Better summary


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“That’s not fair!” is a common childhood protest because humans have a powerful, innate sense of fairness. Snam CEO and fairness advocate Marco Alverà explains that when people sense unfair treatment, they become hurt and disengage. Some studies estimate that 70% of the US workforce is disengaged, he says, so creating a culture of fairness is essential. getAbstract recommends that leaders and managers hear this argument for prioritizing fairness.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How the perception of unfairness affects productivity,
  • Why fairness is good for business and
  • How to create a fair workplace.

About the Speaker

Fairness advocate Marco Alverà is the CEO of Europe’s biggest gas utility, Snam.



Unfairness weakens relationships and poisons the work environment. When a co-worker treats you unfairly, you become “defensive and disengaged.” Some 70% of the US workforce is disengaged, costing firms $550 billion in lost productivity each year. Thus, ensuring that employees receive fair treatment is a worthy enterprise for any business. Practicing fairness in your company means more than establishing systems and imposing rules. Consider Snam, Italy’s national oil company that outperformed global competitors in discovering oil and gas reserves. Snam’s success didn’t stem from a risk-reward system. Employees had lifetime job security and fixed salaries. Rather, fairness was the “secret sauce.” The exploration team could drill seven dry wells, losing more than a billion dollars, and the firm would allow an eighth try. Snam didn’t punish its people for poor luck or reasonable mistakes. This culture of fairness boosted the right kind of risk taking, as well as team morale and trust.

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    Christian Lubascher 4 weeks ago
    Author says “Neu­ro­science shows that peo­ple in­nately know right from wrong.” But II World War proved the opposite in Germany; otherwise more people and soldiers would have opposed to send millions to concentration camps to get them killed.

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