CornerStone Consulting AssociatesCurrent Reality
Current Realities: Organizational Learning and Growth

The Treadmill

Over the years you have seen organizational development programs come and go. Each program brings new hope. But each time, the momentum eventually fades and the organization returns to its previous condition.

To make matters worse, the passing of time brings additional pressures for change, and the consequences of inaction become more severe. Returning to the ”way things were” actually causes the organization to fall further behind.

We need to break the endless, often vicious cycle of programs designed to ”force” employees to act and operate as a team. We must instead address the fundamental influences within an organization that cause fragmentation and the tendency to operate alone without apparent regard for the whole system.

Quite often the whole organization ”colludes” to discourage teamwork without even realizing it is doing so. This only serves to raise the level of frustration and disappointment. A ”flavor of the month” syndrome surfaces as the prevailing forces below the surface instinctively act to destroy the new found ability and desire to operate as an integrated team.

Once these countervailing forces are surfaced and understood, an environment supportive of teamwork can be created and maintained, allowing the inherent strengths of the people to combine. This is far better than continuing to press for teamwork under conditions not conducive to working together, causing growing cynicism and resentment.

Beginning with the premise of individual competency, we can cause a new cycle to take shape and grow stronger -- a cycle fostering interdependency. New behaviors that encourage collaboration are practiced and embodied. People work with one another to bring out each other's strengths. Trust builds through the development of ”coordinated action-at-a-distance” -- the group's ability to act as an integrated part of the whole even while working alone or in smaller groups.

©CCA 1998

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CornerStone Consulting Associates
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