We are at the end of hierarchies and control, though many organisations have not understood that yet. It was fine, good even, in the age of scientific management and organisation-as-machine and male, military models of leadership. Order and Action were the order of the day. Change as something to be subdued and managed.
No longer. Creativity and Relationships are what matters in this next phase. Order and action will return much later – likely after all of us working for a living are long gone.
Change will take care of itself. It’s way beyond something that can be managed. It always was really – which is why so many “change management” programmes fail (except for the consultants). If we want to influence (not control) the change we’re in what matters now is our relationships.
Not just with each other, inside the neat boundaries of an organisation.
Firstly, it’s about our relationship with ourselves. We all have unique capabilities and understanding, and something to contribute in the short time we’re here. the relationship between what that is, and what we spend our time doing, is important. It’s at the heart of what we loosely term “wellness”. If you don’t have a healthy relationship with yourself, everything that follows here is academic.
Next, it’s about our relationship with those around us. Our family and friends, those we live with, and only then those we work with. We often get this order wrong, losing ourselves and those nagging feelings of doubt in a deep immersion in work. Your employer loves a dependent relationship. It enables control of you, and your costs to them.
Then, our relationship with the planet that hosts us. We have just spent ten generations regarding it as a limitless resource we could use at will (It may have made just about everybody on the planet better off, but in doing so has made the gap between the unimaginably wealthy and the crushingly poor far, far larger. Being slightly less crushingly poor is not something to shout about) The planet is now letting us know, in no uncertain terms that our time is up. We need to get our act together, or we face eviction. Understanding that everything we do has a consequence somewhere, from every mile we drive or fly, to every piece of convenience from fast food to mobile phones extracts a cost we have to recognise and repay is important. Abusive relationships will not last.
Artisans understand this. They do the work they are called to do, for contribution way, way more than money. It reflects in what they create, who they create it for, and what they use to create it. Some of them may well just have saved your life, or the life of someone you love during this pandemic. They dance with those around them, both organic and inorganic rather than take them for granted.
In “Sand Talk” Tyson Yunkaporta talks about four tenets of Aboriginal wisdom. Connection, Interaction, Diversity and Adaption.
It is I think that simple. we just have to do it will everything around us. Dance.