The increase motivation and release creativity—but at an organizational price. That price is a much greater sensitivity to people as individuals i.e. their aspirations, needs, feelings and relationships, but always in the work context.can
Managers are now exposed and vulnerable. Why?
In the initial, a person could easily hide. But once responsibility is assigned, once the group sets expectations, once values and objectives are explicit, once all the facts are to hand, then there is nowhere to hide.
Fortunately, this is good, because hiding and thriving are opposites. The Why?cannot be widely introduced until after the other modes have been solidly established.
● concern for people requires accountable line-management
● personal aspirations must be oriented to organizational values and goals
● creativity only contributes properly if the hard realities are appreciated.
However, thehas an important and beneficial influence on earlier modes. It encourages everyone to face certain realities about themselves, about others and about the organization itself; and it vitalizes decisions about values and objectives, which eases adherence.
Introducing the imaginist mode as a learning technology is worth the effort. But Recall That Axiom (Again):
The goal is not to turn managers into psychotherapists or sandal-wearing sensitives. The challenge is rather to convert the organization as a whole into one which uses trusting relationships to release personal potential, creativity and commitment. Specialist counseling, mentoring or sensitivity training may be useful for individuals or even whole departments, but such contributions are ancillary to the challenge of cultural development.
● Recognize that meanings and aspirations are the only basis for deep commitment and readiness to face challenges.
● Encourage individuals to acknowledge their hopes and aspirations about work.
● Ensure people find their work meaningful.
● Jointly explore personal visions and perceptions to clarify possible shared aspirations and visionary values for the organization.
● Devise a future for the organization worthy of personal commitment.
● Make the organization a place where people positively enjoy working.
● Expect managers to make decisions on the basis of their convictions.
● Regard all actions, roles, issues, and values as an opportunity for each person to discover, apply and forward their own and the group's aspirations.
● Recruit managers capable of sharing the emerging vision.
● Realize that much personal potential, the source of power of any organization, is untapped and hidden.
● Give up the belief that creativity and commitment are unpredictable &/or unmanageable qualities that some have and some lack.
● Regard inner potentials, talents and insights as capable of activation, especially when dealing with the future, the unknowable or seemingly impossible challenges.
● Increase group energy by enabling people to spark off each other.
● Enhance attunement to the objective realities by introducing a variety of individual and group creativity techniques: brain-storming, brain-writing, meditation, visualization &c.
● Don't allow mundane pressures to crowd out the time and space needed to incubate ideas, or inspiration will never come.
● Improve the work aspect of personal relationships so as to enhance processes of learning and commitment.
● Regard support and tolerance of colleagues as basic.
● Vigorously but sensitively oppose even subtle forms of domineering, humiliating, harassing or untruthful behaviour.
● Insist on openness and sensitivity so staff can share aspirations.
● Foster a non-threatening non-pressurized atmosphere in teams and discourage defensiveness and distrust.
● Wrestle with counter-intuitive or unorthodox ideas.
● Develop genuine respect for colleagues and appreciate them.
● Use common interests and your understanding of people to join and instigate committed, creative work groups.
● Recognize that work meets a basic human need, and that organizations will only thrive if they adapt to human nature.
● Treat managers and staff in a way that aligns with the handling of clients and customers (i.e. staff who are abused or exploited cannot treat clients well.)
● Strive to provide a humane organizational environment.
● Improve the fit and alignment between each person and the organization.
● Become more aware of the emotional overtones and symbolic implications of rules and objective realities, for individuals and groups.
● Aim consciously for optimal stimulation, physical and emotional security, genuine respect and self-esteem.
● But remember that each person is responsible for ensuring their own needs are met, and that not all needs can be met by the current job or at work.
Unless people engage with work deeply, they cannot be creative or committed, so:
● Treat everyone's worries, feelings and perceptions about work as important.
● Stop the superficial handling that avoids sensitivities and personal views.
● Don't ignore or over-react to negative emotions, or suppress them excessively.
● Proscribe cynicism and ruminative-depressive thinking.
● Be tactful, but don't beat about the bush when explaining a tough or unpopular decision.
● Be honest about what is happening, and then address fears and face hostility.
● Insist on sensitivity and empathy as a minimum, from managers in key positions.
● Recognize the charisma that comes from making genuine contact with staff. It flows from linking to deep feelings, common meanings and intense wishes, which encourages people to identify with the visionary leader as well as the vision.
● Regard personal growth as the hand-maiden of organizational achievement.
● Truly creative solutions require heroic efforts—fortunately, self-actualization, based on inner potential, is a deep human need.
● Apply ruthless compassion, otherwise personal blind-spots and weaknesses will never be addressed.
● Never forget the paramount importance, to everyone, of suitable work.
● Provide challenging responsibilities, opportunities for creative development, a stimulating environment, and recognition of genuine achievements. These are far more motivating than higher pay or symbols of status—and they do far more for the organization.
Discover yourself at work: after all you are a hero.
For too many people, heroism is experienced vicariously in films, novels and sporting contests. But the hero in the mythologies of the great civilizations and religions is your true self, putting your life on the line as you battle with temptations, pressures and unexpected trials of strength. If each of us is not our true self (i.e. a hero), then we are going through the motions: existing perhaps, but not thriving on life. Work is the commonest arena in which we fight to be who we know we are or could be.
● Practice focusing on your inner experiences and make a conscious effort to be more self-aware.
● Refine and master your emotions.
● Resist being swept up by group emotions.
● Confront destructive urges like envy, greed and cynicism.
● Eradicate tendencies to deny, dump or evacuate feelings.
● Take seriously what things mean for you.
Remember: you cannot give of your best or tune in to others and help them do likewise if you are out of touch with yourself. Lying to yourself is so easy: counteract it by cultivating truthfulness and openness with yourself.
● Once in touch, be present and manifest integrity: do what feels right and natural, and avoid artificial or mechanical responses.
● Work is an element of being a whole person. It is a psychological and spiritual necessity, apart from its social and financial functions.
● Work keeps us in contact with reality. Work is the way we can be creative. Work is necessary to know ourselves, to relate to others, and to belong in society. We need to be aware how much we depend upon work done by others.
● Work should be meaningful and everyone has a responsibility to themselves to ensure it is. Organizations aid self-actualization and the spiritualization of society when they enable people to realize their true potential in work.
● Work has a dangerous aspect for personal well-being: it is status-defining and can activate arrogance as a degenerate value.
● The idea of a «shortage of work» is dangerous; and equating work with being «given a job» devalues it. Much work cannot be socially defined: not only work like parenting, but managerial work too.
● Work can be created: indeed all work is created. So you need to go beyond mechanically fulfilling specified duties if you (and your organization) are to thrive.
Read more on the nature of work in organizations.
Continue to the installation of imaginist values.
Originally posted: 17-Jun-2011