The key role of socioperceptive people in transforming organisations and society


Alain de Vulpian and Tonnie van der Zouwen

Key words: Socioperception, empathy, anticipation, social fabric, economy of meaning, self-organisation, emotions, self-awareness, stakeholders


How do empathy and socioperception affect organisations in the Western world? Action research involving in depth interviews with 50 change agents operating in a dozen European companies showed that these men and women have highly developed socioperception skills. They pick up and interpret the weak signals that foretell of changes to come, perceive dangerous or beneficial latencies, sense various possible future scenarios, and act in a correspondingly informed manner. For these reasons, they are efficient and effective agents of change, knowing when and how to involve specific stakeholders. We explain the generation process of socioperception from developments in human psychology and sociology, drawing on longitudinal field studies from Cofremco. They show a resurgence of empathy and socioperception in the Western world. This article describes how the renewal of socioperception creates a new social fabric and how companies this may influence the transformation from an economy of added value towards an economy of added meaning.  For organisations in transformation we provide directions for action to make better use of their socioperceptive capital and how this may influence companies.