This blog is about the relationship between organizations and the people who work for them. And, it’s dedicated to the millions of people around the world who go to work every day wanting to do a great job.
The single most challenging thing facing my clients is staying in touch with reality.
And, the pace of change just makes it harder.
It’s easier to assume we know what we don’t, or can’t, know. After all we have to get onto the next pressing issue.
In a way, it may be as¬†Marshall McLuhan described it:¬†‚ÄúIn our time we are reliving at high speed the whole of the human past.¬† As in a speeded-up film, we are traversing all ages, all experience, including the experience of prehistoric man.‚ÄĚ And, he added: “You can turn it off.”
And, maybe that’s what we’re doing. ¬†Maybe, in order to survive we’re just turning it off.
What’s great about McLuhan, though, is that if you didn’t like that idea¬†he has another one: ¬†‚ÄúWith the acceleration of change, management now takes on entirely new functions.¬† While navigating admidst the unknown is becoming the normal role of the executive, the new need is not merely to navigate but to anticipate effects with their causes.‚ÄĚ
But in turning it off we’re missing that this¬†time of change is also a time of incredible opportunity. Those who’ll succeed and thrive, it won’t be because of random luck. ¬†It won’t be because they’re comfortable with, and embrace, ambiguity. It will be because they’ve¬†stayed in touch with the¬†reality¬†of what is changing and what is staying the same and what the implications of those changes are in relationship to their values and highest aspirations.
In your organization, do your leaders know what they don’t know?