Every leader will soon find that it will be how well they understand relationships and culture that will determine whether their organization will survive or not.
The new leadership objective is to create the optimal environment for human growth. An entirely new set of leadership skills need to be acquired and mastered that are not taught at Business School or by Trdaitional Consultants.
This section of Trusted Space will offer you an introduction to a set of tools that I have found work very well in this new work. By the end of January, I plan to have all the links for each tools live. For now please see this as a Table of Contents.
I call this Space "Your Garden Shed" to keep the metaphor correct. In this new natural world, your job is to act like a gardener. Your organization and all those that it touches are a space like a garden. Your job, like a gardener, is to work on the whole garden, so that it grows to its full potential. This is not a machine shop!
So get your wellies on and check it out!
The Cultural Tools in Your Garden Shed
Context - How big a change? Here is an annotated interview that I gave for Iowa Public TV on the nature of the change that will confront us. In the interview I make the case that the disruption will be as significant as the shift from an agricultural society to an industrial one. I support the interview with a number of links to material that deepens the points made.
Where are you and where do you have to go? - Mapping the Cultural Landscape - Find out where everything is in your garden and what to do with all its parts.
This is the lifework of Dr Brian Hall. In this part of the Shed. I will provide you with the overview map and Dr Hall’s summary of how to see the world in cultural terms. You will be able to see how Values move dynamically and you will be able to locate where all aspects of your organizations are located on a cultural plane. This overview will help you see the potential of using the full and deep set of tools that are behind this summary.
What do you have to do - Knowing what you have to do to be successful - Trusted Space - The cultural shift is a shift from a mechanical metaphor to a natural one - a shift from where the task is how to make things to where the task is how to influence the key environment in which people grow.
I will provide you with a summary of how this new metaphor works in practice. The summary will include both theory and case studies of major enterprises that act in this new metaphor. This part of the tool kit is the foundation for all future action - it will be the what do you do.
Knowing how to do it - The Art of Hosting - If the map shows you where you are and where you have to go and the Trusted Space shows you what you have to do. Then the Art of Hosting tells you how to do this. I will introduce you to the ideas in summary and to the people involved. A small workshop with your own team or with the senior team may provide you with a significant move forward in understanding the core issues.
Adjunct Tools that fill out your understanding and that can drive small expeditions into the future
The Commons - The Commons is the workplace that fits the new culture. The ideas of the Commons as a workplace/network/club have burst into view and into operation in the last 2 years. The New Commons is a Hosted Social Trusted Space where people of similar values work along side each other but often not with of for each other. They come together for fellowship, support and for value. Here is a summary of the underpinning ideas and case studies and contacts with the leaders of this global movement.
Fellowship and Authenticity - The new ideal for work relationships - In the Traditional workplace we usually bring only the technical part of us to work and we tend to have utilitarian work relationships where our full self is not revealed. In the new culture the whole person comes to work. I will show you early work, developed by the leaders in the Hosting community, that reveals the full gradient of shifts in working relationships based on culture.
Magic Numbers or the Natural Organizational gradient that supports healthy communities - We are hardwired to feel our best when located in coherent communities that scale along predictable social lines. They are 8, 15, 35 and 150. I will introduce you to the work of Dr Robin Dunbar and to supporting research that is now emerging from the web where these ideas are now becoming manifest. Understanding them and applying them to how work and residences are organized will be highly leveraged strategies.
Managerial Relationships (or Culture) are the most significant influencer of health in the work place - To offer the right experience to your customers, you have to have the right experience inside your own organization. You have to be what you offer. It will be vital to understand in this context what it is about the traditional model that drives stress and poor health inside traditional organizations and how culture is at the heart of this.
In this article, I will introduce you to the seminal work of Dr Sir Michael Marmot who has exposed the influence of managerial culture on health in the groundbreaking Whitehall Study and to Drs. Andrew Clarke and David Brown who have operationalized these ideas in the workplace. I will connect these ideas to the work of Dr Doug Wilms on parenting that shows that the same cultural dynamics drive children’s development as do the cultural forces at work.
Physical Space - The Impact of the right kind of physical space on people's growth and well being - Architecture has also become very utilitarian and is often based on the ego of the architect or of the sponsor. Dr Christopher Alexander is the world leading advocate of creating spaces that resonate with the needs of the human spirit. I will introduce you to his body of work. The design of physical space so that it enhances the social and the spiritual experience will become a critical aspect of delivering the optimal student experience.
The Impact of the right kind of physical activity located in a social context that offers sustained improvement in all aspects of health - Physical activity is also caught up in this change in culture. Traditional culture favours elite sport where few participate for extrinsic reasons and where most people are tribal spectators. In the new culture, intrinsic motivation, participation and the social aspect of activity will be the most prominent aspects. I will introduce you to the work of UFIT, a health organization based on PEI, that is an exemplar of how to capture this new sensibility.
Key Software that Embodies the New - Just as machine technology became the metaphor of reality in the 19th and 20th centuries, so the new interactive and social software and the web itself will mould us culturally. Here is Jevon MacDonald's snappy 3 page review of the nature of this shift and some highlights of the best in class. Here is Dave Pollard's quick overview
Hope is not a Method! - The Nature of Change Itself - Real and deep change always demands that we give up habits that are deeply ingrained. A strong will and determination, even the threat of death, is usually not enough. All who smoke or eat unhealthy food know this truth. Here is a review of the work of Alan Deutschman whose seminal book, Change or Die, is the best source I know about how to overcome the real barriers to deep cultural change.