The simplest solution is often the best, was the first that struck me when I started to sum up this three-hour speech in which Tannæs poured out her wisdom. These days in Norway,
it is an expression associated mostly with the advertising campaign ofa well-known
grocery retail chain, but since Maslow's hierarchy of needs was a central aspect of the
speech, I feel the headline can be defended. Food is, after all, one of the first needs to
Anne Marie Tannæs started her speech with the industrial revolution and drew lines from there until the present day. In this way, she managed to emphasize that what many of us take as a matter of course today, has not come without a struggle. It was only in 1954 that protection schemes for workers in Norway was expanded to include more than industrial workers. And in 1956 the Trade Unions and the employer organization NAF (now NHO) embarked
on research to investigate the importance of interpersonal relationships in the workplace.
In 1966, Tannæs was head-hunted into this group. Ten years later, she helped to launch the concept of a psychosocial work environment. She has, through these efforts contributed
greatly to the Working Environment Act, we have today.
Tannæs has worked a great deal as company advisor and in this context often been brought
in to solve conflicts, including complicated conflicts that often proved virtually
impossible to resolve. But then she would pick up the note she always kept in her pocket,
that reminded her of Maslow's hierarchy of needs.
For almost always, it emerged that the conflict stemmed from fundamental needs yet to be met.
Frustration is a word that is often used, but which few can define. Tannæs associates frustration with a
hierarchy of needs, referring be to it as blocking of needs. When you find out the needs that are uncovered,
it is often easy to find a solution for and meet that need, and everyone is happy.