Possibilities have a tendency to harden into positions. Initially minor differences of opinion – more homogenization than differentiation – can polarize into diametrically opposed positions – highly differentiated, little to no homogenization. It is around these polarized directional differentiations that these once promising partnerships collapse because of apparently irreconcilable differences.
2. The consequences of Power-without-Love for the Tops’ systems
To this point we’ve examined the consequences Power without Love has for the relationships among Tops.
The resultant territoriality also has far-reaching system-wide consequences.
Organizationally, each differentiated and individuated entity creates its own differentiated and individuated silo throughout the organization.
The consequences include costly build-up of redundant resources, lack of cooperation across silos, loss of potential synergies, and information that would be important to the system as a whole remaining un-integrated and therefore lost. There is confusion below, conflicting messages coming from above; there is increased competitiveness among the silos within the system and decreased competitiveness externally.
Similarly, in the small business and in the family, the tension among the Tops causes tension below: The Tops (parents) are fighting. There are conflicting messages from above, uncertainty about the future of the business or family and one’s position in it; employees (children) are torn between conflicting loyalties.
How, with the wisdom of system sight, we are able to create strong and effectiveTop Teams: systems of Power and Love.
Power-without-Love results in a painful and costly scenario: personal stress, broken relationships, and whole system dysfunction; and it all happens without awareness or choice. From the organic systems framework, the picture is clear: the Top System adapts to its environment of complexity and uncertainty by differentiating and individuating. These processes deepen and harden into separate territories, with the resulting negative consequences for Tops and their systems.
All of this can be avoided, but for that to happen we need to be able to see, understand, and master organic system processes. In this case, Power – individuation and differentiation – must be infused with Love – integration and homogenization.
The goal is not to decrease differentiation or individuation. These are the high-energy processes that are essential to the ability of the Top System to cope with the changing conditions in its environment. The challenge is to infuse Love into a Power-without-Love system in ways that strengthen Power processes and enhance the capacity of the Top System to interact effectively in its environment.Download Article 1K Club