FORWARD21 is a weekly newsletter with top hand-picked forward thinking human and workplace advice and resources for 21st-century executives, leaders, and change agents.
How to Uncover Your Own Better Answers
Insights and wisdom are something I strive to uncover and curate in my work at Exploring Forward Thinking Workplaces.
But what’s at the heart of this search for insights and wisdom?
For me, my focus on insights and wisdom came about somewhat accidentally. I discovered that when I started asking more open ended questions and gathering many perspectives, then intriguing ideas and answers resulted. But there are many more dimensions and aspects to this too.
In this article, I’d like to present a perspective from transformational leader and coach Gwen Kinsey, who brings a natural systems perspective to the conversation.
Gwen begins by asking us to consider: How do living systems in nature function?
She says that when we look more closely, we discover there’s an ongoing natural balancing of tensions that exists between an individual and the community in nature. Nature is continuously and naturally balancing the needs of the individual in light of what’s best for everyone.
But what about us? How does this occur in the context of a workplace system?
Unfortunately, for most of us, this conversation and balancing of interests doesn’t occur—or is incomplete.
And it’s been going on for a long time.
Throughout most of the industrial revolution, there’s been an “unnatural” focus on command and control, pieces and parts, and on the interests of some over the interests of others. Would you agree?
The result is that we fall short of achieving what’s best for everyone.
This disconnect or “schism” as Gwen refers to it, is at the heart of many of the challenges we face today.
Gwen offers this insightful perspective:
In our workplaces, we spent the last seven decades getting smart about what processes we could create to help individuals reach discreet, replicable goals. We used mechanization and efficiency frames. We designed systems to refine individual control—control for efficient replication becomes our primary focus.
I encourage you to read the full interview for more fascinating insights. Below are a few of my favorite takeaways from the interview:
- Management systems don’t help us control much at all.
- Heal the schism between individual purpose and community value.
- Control doesn’t allow for what else is possible here.
- Accountability is an outcome that comes from people being authentically involved.
- Ask questions that close the in-between space gap.
- Questions set the trajectory for answers.
There’s a lot more in the full interview, so I hope you will pick up a copy of The Future of the Workplace and discover more from Gwen on How Do We Create That Environment That Uses Natural System Wisdom?
What people are saying about The Future of the Workplace –
Read this work. It certainly shook up my understanding of what can be.
Tony HeathLean Leader
FORWARD21: top articles that got my attention
What Does Wisdom Move Me to Do Right Now? ⎜Ken Manning
The Future of the Workplace Book⎜Michael Neill in It’s Not About Working Harder, or Even Smarter
High-Performance Learning Framework ⎜Robert Fuchs
Invisible Power ⎜Manning, Charbit, and Krot
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To your great work life & success!
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