Sunday, February 17, 2013

Lately, I have been enjoying a resurgence of delight driven by synchronicity. It is amazing that there are so many interrelationships between people and thoughts. I have the distinct impression that the ability to achieve higher levels of connectedness is being fostered by social media and the kind of informal learning that is done naturally in our relationships. No wonder the nuns used to warn us about "the company you choose to keep".

From my early days in business after transitioning from social work, I remember reading Napoleon Hill's Think & Grow Rich. One of his recommendations was the formation of a "Master Mind Alliance" as a vehicle to surround yourself with individuals that can sponsor your deepest passion and dreams. Recently, I have been playing with the relationship between happiness, learning, meaning, innovation, purpose and the underlying cognitive and effective processes that support them.

I'm becoming more convinced that the power of story-telling is perhaps one of the greatest vehicles for connecting one's own learning and reflections with the reflections and life experiences of others. The recent literature on social intelligence and collective intelligence is reinforcing this view for me and when I scan the virtual horizon for evidence of the significance of story-telling, I'm not coming up short. Given my religious and spiritual background, there is little doubt of the power of a story to transform lives. The question is really about whether the stories we tell and the stories we attend to are true. Although I am deeply intuitive by nature, I believe that solid evaluation, big data and the scientific method are useful in measuring the stories being told. Along these lines but at a personal level, I think that the work of Byron Katie really brings this to light in a very easy-to-apply manner. At a much more universal level, the Presencing Institute and the on-going work of SOL and MIT have a lot to contribute to how this can be captured in a group context through Theory U.

As perhaps one of the greatest drivers of the synchronicity of great ideas colliding with one another, I have to give my strongest endorsement to TED and their open sharing of the speakers from their conferences. I am facilitating weekly conversations of a single TED talk at work and each speaker seems to be intimately tuned in to something that we need both individually or personally and collectively. These speakers resonate with one another unlike any other collection of thoughts that I have come across and of course, for me, such resonance creates what I call "a true for me vibration" that allows me to hold so many connections as part of a unified worldview which in the end is being socially constructed after all.

Back to the story-telling, our lexicon is as important as the power of the spoken word. Without being too fanatical about it, the stories we tell ourselves really our shaping our experiences. Our language conveys what we find meaningful in our life experiences. So that Don Ruiz's "Choose your words impeccably" makes perfect sense and is perhaps one of the greatest devices of a story-teller.

In principio erat Verbum...(John 1:1)

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Organizational Health

I have been fascinated lately with the difference between organizational effectiveness and organization health. In my mind this is taking shape as the competing paradigms between management practice and leadership theory and the movement from the industrial/knowledge ages to the human/talent ages.

The funny thing in my interpretation is that proponents of the organizational effectiveness model are not aware of how organizational health has research support to demonstrate that it actually makes organizations more effective as well. They still try to solve the 2 + x = 4 equation to arrive at improvements in organizational effectiveness (tinkering with the x variable). Meanwhile, practitioners who are adopting organizational health know that organization effectiveness + organization health = higher performance and the subsequent increases in a wide number of resulting organizational/business outcomes.

Just curious to see if anyone else is conceptualizing these competing narrative in the same way.