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  • Writer's pictureJake Breeden

Don't Let the Wheat Win

Updated: Feb 25

This articles summarizes Jake's post on Psychology Today.


Yuval Noah Harari argued in Sapiens that humans didn't domesticate wheat; wheat domesticated us. We gave our land, water, and energy to wheat to do its bidding, going from hunter-gatherers to growers and harvesters. Wheat, it seems, is winning.

The status quo in your company can be like wheat, subtly manipulating you. You might see colleagues saying one thing in meetings and doing another, and you accept it as "the way things are done." This reinforces the status quo the more you adapt to it.

Changing this company culture is tough because the status quo hides in plain sight. It's hard to see the subtle ways it perpetrates itself, like an "old boy's network" or a hierarchical power structure. Like wheat, its very nature is to propagate.

But here's a surprising connection: Harari also argues that our ability to believe in collective fictions helped our species rise to the top. Shared beliefs in things like nations, money, and religion enable large-scale collaboration.

So, how do we overcome the status quo's collective fiction? With a counter-coup!

Gather your fellow "rebels." These are like-minded individuals who see the waste and inefficiency that hinder progress. Unite around a shared purpose: saving the company from itself.

This coup isn't about tearing down your organization; it's about protecting its heart. Remove the "silliness and sabotage" that stifle growth and passion. Protect what truly matters: healthy customers, healthy employees, and healthy overall growth.

Plotting a coup against the status quo isn't disloyalty, it's the ultimate act of allegiance to the promise and potential of your organization. Just like breaking free from the one-sided wheat paradigm, freeing your company from its self-imposed limitations paves the way for a more vibrant and successful future.




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