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Interview in Décideurs Magazine: " It's urgent to develop hybridisation within companies "

The philosopher Gabrielle Halpern answered questions from Elsa Guérin, for Décideurs Magazine, to explain what she means by " hybridisation " and how hybridisation could provide solutions to the major challenges facing companies and administrations.

1/ In the context of the end of linear careers, is it urgent to develop hybridisation within companies?

Yes, hybridisation is the great trend of the coming world, it's affecting more and more fields and the world of work is no exception[1]. Indeed, we're witnessing a hybridisation of professional lives, with more and more employees developing parallel entrepreneurial activities, moving from one job to another, from one professional universe to another. In so doing, skills are transposed from one profession to another, from one sector to another, from one activity to another, and in the long term, a form of hybridisation of skills is occurring. This completely brings job descriptions into question, and tomorrow we will no longer speak of a "job", but of a skills base that is constantly being combined and recombined. This hybridisation of professional lives is leading to a gradual hybridisation of professions.

There is an urgent need to develop hybridisation within companies, because the division of labour - the dogma on which the world of work has been based for decades - has shown its limits and its dangers, by causing an impoverishment, a shrinking and an absurdity of professions. Adam Smith promised us that this would increase productivity - incidentally, he didn't invent anything, because Plato, centuries before him, said that "a thing is best done when each person does only one thing". That's all very well except that the younger generations understand that what we gain in productivity, we lose in meaning and time - with tremendous difficulty in coordinating and sharing information. The younger generations will invent the hybridisation of work[2]. They have no problem being 'centaurs',[3] i.e. having one foot in several worlds.

Not only will the hybridisation of careers, skills, professions, career paths, activities and job descriptions enable employees to be more fulfilled and to rediscover the meaning of their work - and this will be a factor in the attractiveness of companies in their recruitment - but this hybridisation will also enable new skills, new profiles and new ways of working to be brought into companies. Instead of being confined to its trade, its sector, its culture, the company will finally open up to other sectors, other horizons, methods and systems from other professional worlds than its own, and this open-mindedness will enable it to be more creative and innovative, more welcoming towards potential allies to imagine new products, services, methods, organisational models and new partnerships. This will make it stronger when the next covid-19 virus or computer virus arrives...

Hybridisation is a state of mind, a way of approaching the world. In my opinion, tomorrow's company can only be one of continuous hybridisation; it's the only way to avoid crystallisation, confinement and sterility. We must constantly build bridges between different worlds, different professions, different activities, different individuals... Hybridisation is life! If I, as an individual, stop hybridising, if a company, a profession or a sector stops hybridising, it dies!

[1] Gabrielle Halpern, "Let's all be centaurs! A Celebration of Hybridisation", Le Pommier, 2020.

[2] Gabrielle Halpern, " The Fable of the Centaur ", Humensciences, 2022 (Comic book illustrated by Didier Petetin).

[3] Gabrielle Halpern, "Let's all be centaurs! A Celebration of Hybridisation", Le Pommier, 2020.


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