by Soren Eilertsen, Ph.D. April, 2018.

Evolutionarily speaking, humans are conditioned to seek affiliation through families and tribes. These groups band together and establish rules to create a sense of safety and belonging, fight a common enemy or accomplish something meaningful.

In business, tribes are often social groups linked by a leader, shared purpose or goal, common culture or organizational boundary.

Belonging to a tribe in business can infuse hope among team members and awaken collaborative instincts. Tribe members frequently identify key competitors and work collectively to defeat them. However, affiliation with a tribe can be strong enough to result in protectiveness of the tribe, which, coupled with competitiveness, can override individual moral integrity. The tribal force can backfire, causing silos to form and halting collaboration.

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