In a wonderful audio recording called “The Intelligent Organization” poet and author David Whyte says this:
“The very things that organizations are demanding from their people – which have to do with more participation, more adaptability and more vitality – are exactly the things that human beings have wanted for themselves since the beginning of time.”
How is it that an organization (by which, of course I mean the LEADERSHIP of an organization who have a vision to create something worthwhile and meaningful and financially viable and who happen to be PEOPLE, first and foremost) and its employees (by which of course I mean those hired on to make the worthwhile, meaningful and financially viable thing actually happen and who, by way of reminder, also happen to be PEOPLE; and, as such are typically hoping to contribute to something meaningful and worthy of their best efforts) can want the same things – so intensely and for so long – and yet fail so utterly and so often at actually achieving them in a mutually beneficial way?
Could it be that I’m giving leaders too much credit for aspirations of “worthwhile” and “meaningful” visions? That they don’t really want to build something of lasting value?
Could it be that I’m giving followers too much credit for aspirations of “meaning” and “contribution? That they don’t really want to use their strengths in support of a compelling cause?
I really don’t think so.
Yet here we are – leaders and followers alike…HUMAN BEINGS, first and foremost – wanting the same things (more participation, adaptability, vitality, creativity, innovation, engagement, etc.) and struggling like crazy to satisfy the need.
We’re living in a new world and we’re still subservient to the constructs of the old.