Home Concepts Managing Stress & Challenges Breaking Free: Bringing the Overview Effect to Work and Life

Breaking Free: Bringing the Overview Effect to Work and Life

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Victor Sanchez(7) suggests that, “.., companies and people with the most available energy will prevail”, and that “.., good ideas, force of will, profit and growth are not enough.”  The pull of the existing culture’s gravity always wins without the Energetic Awareness that enables Escape Velocity and the ability to see, address, and overcome cultural and personality barriers.  This requires personally paying attention and addressing it directly when we see that energy is low or missing.  It means directing energy where we want it to increase (i.e., it is always our job to enliven a boring meeting and move things forward).  This energy expansion is always a momentary event allowing us to Break Free of the current circumstance.  In the next moment another set of gravitational forces will need to be contended with – gravity never goes away.

Energetic Awareness is a bridge to Escape Velocity.  To go into space, we must achieve Mach 25 — 17,500 miles per hour.  That is the propulsion, energy, vitality, and staying power needed to break free of the gravitational pull of the Earth.  In life, enormous gravitational pulls exist in culture, personal identity, dominating relationships, and existing beliefs, which block one’s ability to come to terms with what is possible.  In human affairs, escape velocity can be dramatic or subtle.  It can come from a great increase in propulsion and velocity, a subtle or radical change in circumstance, or from a shift in one’s way of being, often manifested in action.  It can be personal or organizational.  It can be technical or counter-intuitive.  When it happens, people recognize it and report experiencing freedom, a release of constraint, movement, achievement, and a powerful sense of connection with the world around them.

Many of us have experienced moments of Escape Velocity from the gravity of their own lives or circumstances.  One dramatic example from our work occurred at Campbell’s Soup of Canada.  In order to prevent Canadian manufacturing plants from being closed and the business relocated into the United States, the senior management group needed to mobilize the entire workforce to cut costs.  They stood bravely as a group in the face of their own fear that the meeting could go out of control, and spoke with uncommon vulnerability in front of half of the company’s employees about the situation at hand.., knowing that hundreds of people did not trust them.

The moment of vulnerability was magical.  The gap was painfully experienced, between the fear-driven existing situation and people’s shared dream of a company where everyone thrived. They had paradoxically generated a surge of energy that broke everyone free, as they reached escape velocity from a culture of mutual distrust.  The workers involved spontaneously visited other parts of the company to share the opportunity of what had happened.  Most of Canadian manufacturing was saved and the company became a place where many people reported being thrilled to come to work.

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