The Ritual Animal

The Power of Ceremony and Ritual

ceremony ritualI am writing a book about the intentional creation and application of ceremony in business. I am not alone in finding this focus on human behavior to be especially interesting or important.

Nature published Social evolution: The ritual animal in January of 2013.

Here are just of few of the many insights to be gleaned from this article if you are running a business, organization, or group.


Harvey Whitehouse, Oxford

“Rituals are a human universal — ‘the glue that holds social groups together.’”

“Whitehouse believes, rituals are always about building community — which arguably makes them central to understanding how civilization itself began.”

If we study and learn ceremonial and ritual techniques we can leverage them to build better, more productive, and happier organizations.

Cristine Legare, University of Texas at Austin

“We’re built to learn from others even if we don’t understand how they produce the desired outcomes”.

You can learn how to execute ceremony successfully without understand how or why it works. This is why ceremony helps make new hires immediately productive.

Richard Sosis, University of Connecticut

“Has shown that immersion in collective rituals, such as communal prayer, in Israeli kibbutzim increases cooperative behaviour in economic games7 — but only with other kibbutz members.”

Ceremonial entrainment helps make your teams more collaborative among those who actively participate in the ceremony. To collaborate better across groups, build across group ceremonies.

It is time to take the power of ceremony and ritual seriously. Fortunately, lots of people already are.

Are you?

By Tom (Thomas) Meloche – www.TomMeloche.com

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