CornerStone Consulting AssociatesThe LO Challenge
Challenges: Organizational Learning and Growth

The Shared Dream

”When we dream alone, it may only be a dream. When we dream together, it's the beginning of reality.”

What can we do to alter the prevailing conditions? How long will it take?

What would it be like to be a member of an organization -- whether it be a business or a family -- where you could truly say you're glad to be there? There would be a level of excitement. No one would be using terms like ”TGIF” or ”Hump day.” Good people would come and go due to the natural ebb and flow of life instead of running away from conditions that drain and empty us.

Let's look at the typical world of work as it could exist:
  • People would realize that a Learning Organization is a process and not an end unto itself.
  • People would respect how long it takes for real change to happen -- sometimes 5-10 years.
  • People would be planting the seeds of change and be tending the growth.
  • The power of learning and of ideas would be cultivated.
  • People would have time to dream.
  • The life process would be invited into the organization. Indeed, it is always there, but it would be encouraged to show itself and to flourish.
  • The dynamic balance between individual and collective growth would be nurtured.
  • The dignity and honor of good hard work would be respected and rewarded.
  • Knowing how not to do something would be as valued as knowing how.
  • Organizations would seek more ways to be inclusive. Diverse contributions -- including new ways to do the same thing -- would be encouraged.
  • People would be co-responsible for change.
  • Parents would be able to have a rich family life as well as a rewarding career.
  • Mentors would be respected and encouraged to step forward.
  • Resources would be made available for generative activities, research, and opportunities.
  • Truth telling would be the norm.
  • The growing wisdom and insight of young people would be sought out.
  • The organization would become a safe-haven -- or sanctuary -- where all are respected, encouraged to grow, and listened to.
  • The feminine wisdom -- whether it be in women or in men -- would manifest and have equal time.
  • The artist in each person would be encouraged to come forward. Artists use their intuition, offer varied perspectives, are reflective and graceful, see simple solutions in the complex, are responsive and adaptable, bring the human spirit into their work, and ore open to choices and opportunities.
With the rate of knowledge expansion and the increasing pace of change, we'll need whole people on the job -- willingly on the job -- using new skills in creative ways. We'll need the systems and structures to support new ideals and norms.

A little bit has been written about stewardship, servant-leadership, ecology, and living organizations. More is needed. It's time we became stewards of the organizations placed in our trust -- tending to their long-term health and growth. Perhaps it's time to be more explicit about Stewardship -- perhaps call it a 6th Discipline -- Conscious Oversight of the organizations in our care.

A few years ago, people were asking how to get started. Now they're asking how to keep going. Anything that grows will run into resistance and problems. It's the nature of growth. Our challenge is to prepare ourselves for the journey -- for the long haul.

What skills do we need to make this journey into the future for our organizations? What do we need to pack in our bags? What do we need to rehearse? What do we need to anticipate.

Anyone going camping or taking a long trip envisions the journey and anticipates the unexpected -- preparing for the contingencies. Why would we embark on the journey to tomorrow's organizations with any less preparation and foresight?

Let the journey continue.

©CCA 1998

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CornerStone Consulting Associates
Bringing Systems to Life
2761 Stiegler Road - Valley City OH 44280 - US

fax: 330-725-2729