In 1943 Abraham Maslow published “A Theory of Human Motivation“, proposing what he thought to be the most necessary elements humans needed in order to lead successful, healthy, happy lives.
A lot has changed in the world since 1943. So Charlie Kim, Founder and CEO at Next Jump, took it upon himself to modernize Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Here is Charlie’s version:
We use business as a platform to build people of higher character. Maslow created a framework for what human beings needed to succeed and feel fulfilled in life. That was in the 1900s, in the manufacturing age when 80% of the country earned their living working at a factory. Fast forward to today, the information age. The greatest asset of every company is its people. So what is the updated framework for fulfilled happy human beings?
Read the rest @ Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: UPDATED | NextJump.com
How about you? What do you think matters most for a fulfilled and happy life?
I applaud Mr. Kim’s effort to force relevance onto Maslow’s hierarchy, but I think, really, all he did was rebrand what was already a timeless theory.
With regard to the quote you supplied above, isn’t the notion that success in business is required for self-actualization a little chauvinistic? Some would say that corporatism is having, and has had, a wholly detrimental impact on our collective progress, or as Kim put it, our purpose. To suggest that one needs to conform to a standardized model of identity that is based on the principles of consumerism and corporatism, is to say that all other methods for deriving purpose in life are inferior or just plain wrong. This, I think, is why Maslow remained somewhat generic in his description of the levels of his hierarchy.
Again, I think Kim meant well, but I also think he missed the mark.
I agree, it’s rebranding. Maslow is still respected today for his contribution to psychology. It seems Mr Kim is neither a psychologist nor does he understand that his newly stated needs are part of Maslow’s original concept of self-actualization.
Mr. Kim is interested in promoting his enterprise as he has something to sell - but it’s nothing new. The idea of a needing purpose in life can be attributed to Victor Frankl. Again, these ideas were stated long before Mr. Kim was born, and they are neither novel, nor do they originate with Mr. Kim.
I agree that it isn’t appropriate to apply Maslow to the narrow field of business. There is a danger that discussion gets bogged down in pedantic debate. For me the important idea is the general one that humans will find it difficult to reach their full potential unless more basic needs are substantially met. This is a useful way of considering social justice.
I appreciate that “purpose” was included in the new hierarchy. In the past, life appeared to be about meeting your obligations and what the world expected of you. But today, especially among younger generations, we need to feel purpose in our lives and in our work. This need to find our purpose is already causing shifts in the workplace compared to traditional corporate culture. It is also fueling more innovation and entrepreneurship. Nice article.
Wouldn’t we need to define “need”? That without which we get sick and die?
Needs are different from desires and wants. Desires-wants change capriciously and usually lead us astray depriving us of our needs.
Innate needs: Food, clean water, clothing, shelter, tools.
Intrinsic needs: practice, experience, craft or skill.
Abstract needs: Cause, Closure, liberty, language.
Hierarchically, Innate -> Intrinsic -> Abstract
In the end, it’s all about survival and replication.
“In the end” of what? Survival of species? To what “end” or purpose is human life?
The human species will survive whether or not you reproduce. In fact the human species will continue to exist even if you had never been born, and it will continue long after you die. Our purpose in life is not merely one of reproduction. Humans are on a higher level than that of animals and have a different capability and potential for fulfillment. That’s what makes us human.
Will you strive for or achieve self-actualization during your life? That is the concern expressed by Maslow. Granted it’s not everyone’s concern. But it is one of a higher order of thinking; all humans have the capacity for it, whether they realize it, or admit it - or not.
Getting a master’s degree, maintaining contacts, networking, going to the gym etc is all a form of survival. Everything we do can be placed in either one of the two categories; survival or replication. Sometimes both, for example going to the gym.
Apparently you are using these terms in a very broad way, apart from their accepted meaning in biology or psychology. Unfortunately the redefining of terms assigning different meanings than their accepted ones results in obfuscation. None of the things you cited are essential for life and they have nothing to do with survival.
If we are discussing Maslow, we must accept his terms and understand them. The following quote is from the Wiki page about Maslow, and it describes what is meant by survival:
“Physiological needs are the physical requirements for human survival. If these requirements are not met, the human body cannot function properly, and will ultimately fail. Physiological needs are thought to be the most important; they should be met first.”
I believe you need to find happiness within. Maybe from your higher power. I usually see people with a firm relationship with their high power walk a continued happy, healthy path in life. I believe there is so much that flows from that relationship, a good work ethic, bravery to step into unknown, mysterious creative realms, ability to love relentlessly…
I agree with some of the comments which state that Kim has re-branded Maslow’s original hierarchy of needs. But, in some ways I think, why not? When a piece of literature, legislature, or anything for that matter is over fifty years old, isn’t it natural to take another look at it and update it? Do we not do the same thing with, for example, Shakespeare? We read it. We enjoy a story. We figure out what the words meant (and still mean in some cases). And then, we might also figure out what still applies to today’s society.
Unlike some others, however, I think Maslow’s original Hierarchy of Needs is still accurate and applicable for today’s society. Mr. Kim has simplified the terms and made them specific to his needs and purpose — and really isn’t that ok? Isn’t that what creative people do all the time? So…in sum I think Maslow is still relevant, but re-branding an idea to fit a current specific situation is useful too…I hazard to say Maslow himself would encourage that kind of behaviour….or am I wrong?
On a different note, one of the questions I had about ‘the theory’ was answered in Susan Cain’s link to the original theory. I have to admit I hadn’t read Maslow’s work in many years (since graduating) so I wondered how some people could create poetry and works of art during horrendous living conditions (during wars and during the Holocaust). But, apparently the hierarchy isn’t always rigid and for some individuals some needs over-ride the others so to speak.
Thanks for the post… and the previous comments …which are very thought provoking…in fact I’m still thinking….certainly don’t have it all figured out, yet.