Although I sometimes know that I need to change my behaviour, actually doing it proves to be quite difficult. Especially when there is no crisis that triggers and sustains the desired transformation process. I tend to delay until a crisis leaves no other option. And that is a pity as the cost of a crisis is usually extremely high, not only for myself but also for my environment.
How it nice would it be if I could transform myself (or my organisation) without having to go through a such a crisis. It took me a while but I have finally discovered a much more attractive and less costly alternative: creating a safe environment.
Looking back at my time with the NL Healthcare initiative I believed then that I had gradually managed to create an environment in which the people I worked with could feel free to express alternative, far-out or contradicting views. Although this was probably relatively true when compared to most other institutions, it doesn’t mean it was also true in absolute terms…
Leaving your comfort zone…?
Although creating a safe environment is very important to me, my focus was mainly on aspects that confirmed this belief and not enough on to the signals that there was still much room for improvement! In doing so I based myself on false assumptions: main one being that if people (based on their experience, knowledge or intuition) knew of a better way they would speak up. As a consequence (even as early practitioners of distributed leadership principles) we did not live to the potential of the organisation.
I start to realise that my underlying intentions are becoming more supportive of live (and less about control of life). Whilst reading a lovely book about dream work by Jill Mellick, The Art of Dreaming, I discovered a nice overview of different intentions behind everything to you do. From a ‘traditional’ approaches on the left side to a more ‘innovative’ approach on the right side.
This overview has helped me to put words to my intentions and as a consequence to become more conscious about my intentions from moment to moment. Over time I feel I am (no wonder) migrating to the right side. In orange a few my personal favourites:
Evolving intentions from ‘doing’ to ‘being’
Analyse / Nourish Interpret / Explore Identify / Imagine Hypothesize / Guess Work on / Be with, Play with Get a handle on / Fly with Apply to life / Give life to Theorize / Inquire Break down / Connect Defuse / Infuse Think about / Create around Figure out / Sustain the mystery of Assimilate / Accomodate Categorize / Allow to evolve Understand / Appreciate Study / Learn Observe / Participate Research / Experience Translate / Learn the language Decode / Delight in Tell, write down / Paint, dance, sing.. Denote, connote / Imagine, amplify Simplify / Enrich
Back from first NL Healthcare Wild Hart trip in the Apennines close to Pescaserolli. About 35% of the province of Abruzzo is left to rewild itself. Result is a magnificent area where you can feel that is the nature is gaining strength on many dimensions.
Core of the NLHC program was build on this to rewild our own senses including our harts (as part of a broader culture transformation program) by spending slow time in this area. Even spotted this wild bear on my first morning walk ;o) Also spotted quite a few fresh wolf tracks.
From time to time I experience moments of clarity in which I feel connected to something bigger. We all know these rare and mostly brief moments in which we instinctively do the right thing, not only for ourselves and but also for our environment. Imagine the impact if and when these moments would turn into a more permanent flow?
When my natural purpose in live became clear I started thinking about ways to integrate that into my work. This was however accompanied, as it quite often is, with a strong desire to have material ‘impact’. Meaning being involved in ‘big’ or ‘important’ projects in line with my calling.
This thinking however meant that all kind of beautiful but ‘smaller’ projects seemed to disqualify and little happened as ‘larger’ projects are usually quite difficult to launch succesfully. At the same time this search for ‘size’ did not match my desire for simplicity and human scale. At this point was helpful for me to visualize the beauty of small steps. It shows how quickly small actions nearby can radiate into something much larger.
Now close to establishing if there is sufficient critical mass for ‘self management 2.0’ within a lead group of about 20 people of NL Healthcare (a healthcare company employing over 2.000 people) before moving to the actual implementation fase. If this flies it would be a live changing experience for all involved and hopefully an inspiration for others to move in this direction. If so this will also be one of the largest implementations of this ‘self management 2.0’ model in NL.
Strict but effective method for testing validity of objections ;o)
As you probably know by now my search for a company culture that addresses the specific challenges we face today has brought me to a model that helps people within the organisation to reach their full personal potential whilst giving all the space and trust needed for them to determine by themselves how to best anticipate or react to the ever changing environment within the overall vision and parameters of the company.
Whilst doing so it is helpfull that more and more litterature around the theoretical aspects of this organizational model is published. That makes it easier to transmit the basic idea to various stakeholders. Therefore also many thanks to:
1. ING as one of the larger organizations in NL that start embracing self management 2.0. For full article see Financieel Dagblad.