Creating Order & Meaning during Organizational Chaos
My new complimentary e-book Creating Order & Meaning during Organizational Chaos has just been released. Be sure to download it.
We’ve only just entered the 21st Century; 84 years remain. Think for a moment of all what has happened since 2000, whether around the world, in your state or province, or in your local community. What about your personal circumstances: new job or job loss; becoming a parent; loss of someone close to you; a move to another country; sickness; or discovering a life-changing opportunity. The world doesn’t stand still, and nor do our lives.
We talk about the need to meet new challenges and to build our leadership skills. However, our organizations, public and private, are still basically rooted to the models that emerged from the Industrial Revolution. As the tiny entities that make up organizations, we still want order, control, structure, roles, responsibilities and job descriptions.
This contrasts sharply with what we hear from the “experts” on the need to become responsible for our own careers and to become more entrepreneurial in how we approach work. In short, the employment contract between workers and employers is over, where people were loyal to organizations for the reciprocal benefit of secure jobs with pensions.
Accepting that the old ways no longer work and that organizations must jettison this outdated Industrial Revolution model would contribute to creating new ways of doing work and achieving results. For one thing, it would improve our collective ability to become more adaptable to change and to anticipate it.
How will this occur and where does leadership fit in?
The foundation to making the shift to more adaptable organizations, composed of people who thrive on and welcome change, is learning and its cousin, thinking. The Learning Organization became a hugely popular expression in the late nineties and 2000s, giving rise to books, speakers, training videos, etc. Lifelong (continuous) learning was HR’s mantra and those in the executive leadership suites. Unfortunately, human beings have a tendency to become distracted easily.
The geo-political events starting with 9/11, and technology’s growing impact on how and where work is done, shoved learning aside. In particular, the business mindset that the bottom line is everything, combined with the devastation caused by the US-inspired 2008 financial meltdown and ensuing Great Recession, further aided kicking the concept of organizational learning out the back door.
The irony is that just when knowledge and learning – and their cousin, innovation – are most needed for competitive advantage, they’re now essentially in the back seat pleading for attention.
The aim of my e-book is to stimulate your reflections on learning in the context of organizational turbulence. It draws on the ideas of a number of respected thinkers. These individuals focus on the deeper issues affecting people and organizations.
My hope is that this e-book helps propel you forward through your reflections on learning experiences in both your personal and professional lives. If you’re in a leadership position, it offers the opportunity to self-examine your role as champion and advocate with your followers. After all, leaders must not only question existing work processes and explore new concepts, they must encourage and expect their team members to do so as well.
Our first task is to see the world differently.
– Margaret Wheatley
Click here to download my complimentary e-book Creating Order & Meaning during Organizational Chaos.