Work and Love

31 min read

To change a Systemic Imperative you first have to identify the core underlying commitment of the business unit (which is usually unconsciously held in the organizational culture), have the courage to acknowledge it out loud and then choose a new commitment, which you and your colleagues agree is more fitting to who you are or intend to be. In short, tell the truth of who you have been and who you are committed to being.  These kinds of truths don’t come cheaply.  They cost an honest recognition that what’s gotten you to your current failure is a product of what you’ve been committed to or, that what’s gotten you to your current success won’t necessarily get you any further.

As for the guiding questions, here are some that we have found provocative enough to get people’s attention, after which real conversations for creating an attractive future are more likely:

• What are we not talking about that everyone knows we’re not talking about, but is what everyone knows we should be talking about?

• What seems impossible for us to accomplish, but if were possible would make a huge, positive difference for us and/or our customers?

• What are we certain of regarding our business that we are nevertheless willing to call into question and examine for what’s missing?

• “Will I embrace and practice ‘getting in touch with the paradox, contradiction, and confusion that surrounds us in every day of our existence’?”  (Deepak Chopra)

• What are the structural tensions inherent in our business that are not going to disappear and what’s needed for us to become big enough to hold them gracefully?   (Take marketing vs manufacturing for example – “Why don’t you build what we can sell?” vs “Why don’t you sell what we can build?”)

• How do we make major organizational decisions?  Are they based on power and authority or on genuine inquiry and the distributed intelligence located throughout the organization?

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