- Leandro Herrero - https://leandroherrero.com -

4 types of generosity in the workplace. 2 with epidemic potential.

Four types:

  1. The generosity of the traffic light. Every fixed interval, it lets you get through. It even changes colour for you. This is the generosity of the organization that generously rewards people for what they do. No more. It’s a clear transaction, no fuss. As predictable as the green light.
  1. The 1/365 policy generosity. One day you agree a generous policy for employees (extra holiday, extended leave, subsidised meals…). You expect 365 days of gratitude. You don’t have to think about generosity for 364 days.
  1. The I am making myself available generosity. It may be a pain, an inconvenience at the very least, but you make yourself available to others, all the time. (My experience? People don’t abuse this).
  1. The I give more than I am asked generosity. You don’t have to. You do it intuitively. There is something inside you that tells you that this is right, that keeping more for yourself is wrong. (But you may not be sure if it’s sensible, after all).

How generous is the organization you work for, or that you lead? Traffic light generosity? Giving more than asked? People make themselves available (and this is not in the job description)? One off generosity policy? Other?

How do you spread generosity? In behavioural terms, I can tell you: 3 is first, 4 is second, 1 is effective in fooling everybody, 2 looks good in the annual report but, once in place, people will take for granted and will ask for more.

There are choices. A generous workplace is not a question of employee-employer dynamics, it’s a ‘culture of’, or it isn’t . It’s a Viral ChangeTM epidemic of generosity type 3 and type 2 combined.

Studies in altruism has shown (I hate this kind of sentence) that altruism spreads via social copying (homo imitans). In a neighbourhood some people start doing ‘altruistic things’ and soon the neighbourhood does. No training, no Declaration of Altruism is Good for You.

Generosity in the organization follows the same (scale up, Viral ChangeTM) rules. Master a critical mass, going that way you can start a little revolution.


Extract taken from my book The Flipping Point. [1] A flipping point in the trend for adopting absurd management ideas needs to be reached. The Flipping Point [1] contains 200 short vignettes exploring what ’deprogramming management’ may look like.


Behaviours create culture, not the other way around.

Behaviours create culture, not the other way around. Change behaviours get culture. Behaviours are copied (homo imitans) and scaled up peer-to-peer. Culture is not trainable in classrooms. Everybody copies everybody but some people are more copy-able than others. It turns out that 5 – 10% have very high (non-hierarchical) influence. Find them, ask for help and give them support. Tell stories of success all the time. Make sure leaders do support the peer-to-peer work, but don’t interfere. This is the ‘what’ of Viral Change™ in a box. The ‘how’ is what I do for a living.


This book asks you to use more rigour and critical thinking in how you use assumptions and management practices that were created many years ago. Our real and present danger is not a future of robots and AI, but of current established BS. In this book, you are invited to the Mother of All Call Outs!
Available from major online bookstores [2].