Are you a change practitioner or an activist? Are you a leader or a learner? Interesting enough, these labels are starting to look like synonyms. You are a leader and a learner and a change maker and an activist.
There’s a new spirit wandering the hallways of large office buildings, interfering in online discussion forums, hiding under the desk in prestigious board rooms, inspiring rebels and leaders, coaches and consultants alike. Consultants are spreading tolerance like wise men. Wise men are doing business, enhancing connection and collaboration where they can. The new spirit smiles silently…
Fragmentation and isolation
More and more people, whether they are part of the established elite or survive in the margins, are acknowledging that we can’t infinitely go on like we did before. Our workplaces hardly succeed in engaging people and tapping their potential. Our earth is becoming depleted. Our children don’t look forward to entering our company buildings to become just as hard-working, tired and hurried as their parents. Many of us distrust leadership, multinational corporations, banks and anyone who sells anything. Every email looks like spam. We don’t have time to read anyway – we suffer from “infobesity”.
We’ve become separated and isolated. We’re struggling in our offices, in our homes, by ourselves, within our mindsets. We’re working on a specialized task, a fragmented problem, just a sprocket in the machine. We don’t have much time to keep in touch, to walk in nature, or to see our contribution to the whole. We feel alone and hurried amidst 7 billion others.
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We don’t have time to value laughter, stillness, being, or idleness. We have learned to be useful, to save ourselves and make money to pay the bills in a competitive world of scarcity. Work can be tough and is not supposed to make us happy. The world may be going downhill, but what difference can you make as a tired and too busy individual?
Let’s connect the dots again
Well…. More and more people are getting ready to change this mindset and change our collective story. It’s becoming more “normal” to try alternative ways of being and working – while you would have been labeled a Hippie before. You won’t be laughed at when you emphasize seeing the whole, contributing to the common good, looking for connections, aiming to be happy and believing in abundance and kindness.
The age of separation is reaching its extreme and is preparing to transcend into an age of connection. When everything and everyone is connected, we can also use this to our advantage. We can spread awareness, kindness, resources, energy and support in this connected system – instead of isolation, distrust, and competition. We can restore community, attention, dialog, and respect. We can aim for sustainability and equality. Let’s see how we can engage and develop at work – not simply to achieve peak profits but to satisfy the self-actualization we long for. We’re ready for the next stage in human development as Frederic Laloux indicated in our webinar on new organizations.
Our webinars also addressed creating a better world at work:
Daryl Conner prodded consultants in his webinar with three fundamental questions that can help them increase their impact and work on changes that matter.(Webinar recording accessible for paying members).
Frederic Laloux presented the three fundamental changes of new organizations: self-management, wholeness, and purpose. He explained the new spirit when he said: “When you truly serve a purpose instead of an organization or an individual interest, your competitors in the market are your fellows because you are both serving the same purpose. You can collaborate and support each other – trusting that there will be enough for everyone – because the purpose wants to be realized.”
That is the spirit of the new economics, the new story and mindset that seem to emerge…
(Webinar recording accessible for paying members).
Magazine Issue 16 featured Charles Eisenstein who paints “the more beautiful world our hearts know possible”. That includes businesses, too. We’re living the “Story of Separation”: humanity was destined to create a perfect world through science, reason, and technology; to conquer nature, transcend our animal origins and engineer a rational society. But this story is obsolete. It’s producing results nobody wants – as Otto Scharmer said before.
Eisenstein explores the emerging vision: “The new story sees the whole instead of the separated parts; it urges us to connect again with each other and with nature, to serve the common good – and exclude no one.”
I offer a white paper to explore this topic deeper than an article. (Available for paying members only).
What about you?
- Is the story of separation or connection prevalent in your life and work?
Marcella Bremer co-founded this Leadership & Change Blog and OCAI-online.com. She’s an author and culture & change consultant.