We are living in a time of personal change. This transition is not only one that requires a response. More importantly, it demands decisions by each of us that lead to personal actions to create change. Simply being a follower is becoming less and less viable. We have to learn to “take personal initiative to create impact that makes a difference that matters.”
The implication of this new level of personal change means that the cultures and institutions that we have grown to depend upon for stability will also go through significant change. Many will fail from their inability to adapt. Others will survive but in a more marginal state. What is before is the creation of a new culture of leadership for organizations, communities and global society. In order for us to do this we must understand the forces of change that are at work.
This is the second of four posts of excerpts from my book, Circle of Impact: Taking Personal Initiative To Ignite Change. These posts are about the transition that I see taking place within organizations in particular, and global society in general. If you or your business is in transition, you may find that many of the ideas and tactics that you used to manage change are no longer effective. You need not only a different perspective, but new tools for living in the midst of a global transition of unprecedented proportions.
We are living in a time of global change. Organizations and institutions that were once bulwarks of society are in a transition.There is a sense of desperation showing. Is this about survival? Or, is this about the capacity of executive leaders to change?
This is the first of four posts of excerpts from my book, Circle of Impact: Taking Personal Initiative To Ignite Change. These posts are about the transition that I see taking place within organizations in particular, and global society in general. If you or your business is in transition, you may find that many of the ideas and tactics that you used to manage change are no longer effective. You need not only a different perspective, but new tools for living in the midst of a global transition of unprecedented proportions.
Power and control are established by how organizations are structured. Instead of borders, there are layers and silos to divide the territory of the organization.
The layers of an organization represent, in a very simple way, the difference between executives, managers and workers. The layer is designated by their titles and roles. It is out of this way of structuring an organization that we define leadership as a role or a title, rather than how people function within their lives and work. In doing so, we are admitting that structure is central to how we see ourselves.
Perpendicular to the layers of an organization are the silos of communication that define the social structure of accountability. Here the invisible boundaries of political power within the corporate structure are played out. The silo is how responsibility and accountability flows. Responsibility flows down and accountability rarely flows up.
An attempt to solve this problem was tried through flat structures. But corporate structures are not flat, cannot be flat and resist ever being flat. Power and authority are hierarchical in modern organizations and societies. Though most problems in corporations are caused by its structural, the solution is not.
Sometimes, we don’t know what we don’t know. We can’t see what has not been shown to us. Our past experience is not sufficient to explain what we are experiencing right at this moment.
Yet, if we listen and pay attention, we’ll see that we are in transition. We may only know it intuitively. We feel it in our gut.
People tell me every day that they are in transition.
Yet, when I ask them what they mean, they often don’t have the right words to describe it.
They feel a conflict between their sense of being in transition and the social pressure to be strong and cool.
We need to manage our transitions without conversation. When we talk, we need to be guided by a framework that helps us understand where our individual transitions are leading.
Squeezed is the appropriate word. It is why people feel vulnerable, rather than them feeling the desire to be vulnerable.
This is vulnerability imposed from the outside, by the structures of the world and their companies.
The kind that Chris Lister writes about in his FastCompany article – I thought I knew what it meant to lead with vulnerability. Then I became CEO – is a choice that we make to be a particular way. Lister is correct. It isn’t as easy as Brene’ Brown suggests. Though I’m not sure Brene’ is saying it is easy but necessary.