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After the Final Merger

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Every organization believes in the righteousness of its existing measures. “Of course, without profit, we could not stay in business.” “Of course, relationships are the most important.” “Of course, values and shared meaning are most important.” “Of course, thinking is most vital.” While all of these measures are valid, there are times when one in particular will need to be made a priority or the whole enterprise will falter or fail. For years, I told people that their singular focus on performance, or relationship, or research, was insufficient to their needs, and that they were paying a very high price for this. While many admitted this was so, no one changed their behavior or point of view. While they gained insight, their moment-to-moment ways of measuring success were not altered. Many non-profit organizations selected the most value-oriented person as their leader when what they needed most was a strong business person. Many corporations chose the most financially hard-driving person when what they need ed most was someone who could turn the company into a genuine team. It became clear that unless a way could be found to change people’s perspective–and the measures that they use to determine success–there would be little conscious change in the world.

Human nature, the way people think, and the overpowering presence of existing institutions make some things hard to imagine. For example, it’s hard to imagine an organization or community where people rise above their own point of view; where genuine and caring relationships are common; where intellectuals feel their ideas and compassionate people honor ideas; where spiritual people appreciate money and rigor; and where spirituality and profound meaning walk hand in hand with business as usual. Einstein said, in a personal letter to a friend, that there was no necessary relationship between sense experience and thinking. In other words, all thinking is arbitrary, and not logically related to the experience from which it is derived. Everyone, he said, literally makes their own mind up and while their choice makes perfect sense to them, it makes no necessary sense in any absolute way. This insight, Einstein said, was the code breaker in any field from physics to social relations to business.

Once we can see that our thinking need not be tied to our sense experience, our imaginations are free and our futures limitless. As long as we are locked into the personal certainty that what we think is true and based on absolute necessity, we will continue to be caught in a hopeless trap of self righteousness, avoiding any points of view other than our own. To begin to create new measures, we need to continue developing new ways of seeing, new ways of examining our own assumptions, and new ways of talking to one another. We need to teach ourselves to measure and discuss what is missing, as well as what is there. We need to learn to appreciate where integrity and energy are out of balance, to self-assess and re-adjust, to re-balance at critical junctures, and to break out of automatic and ineffective thinking. This is now my project.

Source Citation

Smith, Charles E.  2001. After the Final Merger. Tikkun 16(2): 61.

 

 

Charles E Smith P.H.D
Navigating from the Future
2058 Roberts Point Drive
Windermere, FL. 34786

 

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