Creating Personal and Business Vitality part 2
In Part 1, https://www.bebee.com/producer/@deb-lange/creating-the-conditions-for-business-and-personal-vitality-part-1 I shared how some of the most successful organisations today, and in the 1940's, are characterised by high trust and high autonomy.
Our current state of disruption is a great opportunity to pioneer and experiment with the conditions that foster vitality. This is consistent with the Peckham experiment, whose results said initially they were in a state of chaos as they worked out the best conditions to thrive.
I am going further back in time in this post. There is research spanning 7000 years that the societies and organisations that have the most vitality for all are based on egalitarian principles and high trust and autonomy for all people to play significant roles in all sectors of society. The recent research conducted by Dr Amanda Foreman, historian, and presented in the BBC series, called, The Ascent of Woman" records which societies had vitality for all, and which societies oppressed and exploited women, nature and sub-groups of people with different beliefs than the prevailing status quo.
So, today what is stopping us from co-creating egalitarian organisations where vitality emerges for both people and business to thrive?
Whilst many people have come a long way in transcending patriarchial, hierarchial, beliefs about power and nature, others still live the legacy of the many people such as Aristotle, who believed men had power over women and nature, and rationality, logic & measurement were supreme.
Rationality and logic have permeated the way we think, more than we realise. It is often said we can not solve the problems we have today with the beliefs that created them, yet they are so ingrained, they stop us from seeing how much these beliefs permeate our thinking, and our choices for actions, experimentation and creating the new.
From reductionism and "power over others", to the whole and "power with others"
From the earliest civilisations on record, 'Catalhoyuk", we find men and women living together in a harmonious, egalitarian society connected with nature.
In Catalhoyuk, men and women lived in beehive-like structures, in harmony with nature and one another.
From 7000 BC to the present, there are examples of whole societies and workplaces based on egalitarian principles of respect for men, women, nature, and diversity existing in harmony. We have had many periods in between these societies where greed and beliefs of the supremacy of man over woman and nature, resulted in the domination, suppression and exploitation of nature and women.
We are once again in the middle of a Renaissance where we are sowing new seeds of respect for all, and co-creating ways to work and live together in harmony and respect. This is the rise of honouring both feminine and masculine qualities in both men and women, and the rise in remembering we are human nature as we regain our connection with nature.
Interdependent Holistic Beliefs
BeBee is a modern day example of the manifestation of an inter-dependent structure, that represents beliefs of the wholeness of people and the ability of people to use the beBee honeycomb structure in creative ways. The autonomy within the hive enables beBee to grow in unexpected ways due to the trust, freedom and respect of the whole person, inclusiveness of all, and shared responsibility for generating vitality in the hives.
Using nature as the metaphor for beBee, using the structure of hives for the technology, is creating an enabling culture. The bees, you and me, create our honey, pollinate and support one another across the world, no matter what gender, status, age, political or spiritual affiliation. It seems, a culture of vitality is being created within this structure unlike other social media structures that cut people into 2, either personal or work.
For example, Facebook was originally intended for personal connections. I remember joining to connect with my sons who lived in other parts of the world. When people first posted business posts they were howled down. People shared messages saying, "Use LinkedIn for business, not Facebook." LinkedIn was originally for business, and if anyone posted anything social, they were told, "Post your message on FaceBook."
Both of these social media sites have blurred the boundaries of their original purpose. Many people use FaceBook for business and many more people are posting messages from the heart on LinkedIn. The original parameters of both sites has not been contained as people are using their free will to use the structure for their purposes. However, as both sites still have an existing structure based on separation and control, there can only be so much adaptation. Will the initial beliefs and structure become redundant if it does not suit the purposes of the people who wish to interact in different ways? Time will tell.
beBee on the other hand, designed the original structure with the whole person in mind, and people connecting with others based on affinity networking of both personal and professional interests. It will be interesting to see how beBee grows in the future and what happens to sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn.
From Social Media to Organisations
The organisations today that are most prosperous in all terms; $profit, engagement scores, productivity, creativity, and lack of bullying, conflict and turnover, are more like communities than how we came to know a business as a hard working machine, in the last century. Concho Resources is just one of the 15 great places to work that honor inclusiveness, the whole person, and people have high trust and autonomy to create.
A Meeting Space at Concho Resources
Closer to my home, and in a government organisation, I recently heard Adam Fennessy, Secretary Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning, speak at a conference. He shared how he specifically chose to make flexible work available to all people in all roles, honouring people who are whole, and who have work and family commitments. Adam himself spoke of his time sharing his parenting responsibilities with his wife. The Department has an equal number of women and men in senior positions and has consciously chosen to become aware of the unconscious bias that prevails in making choices about how we create our workplaces. This government department is a model of the vitality that emerges when leaders choose to honour the whole person and nature.
One principal capability we need to design and create vitality in our organisations is to notice.
Chris Argyris and Donald Schon called this noticing ‘Values in Action", or another word to denote this capability is the ability for triple loop learning.
1: We can learn about things
2: We can learn why we do things
3: We can notice and become conscious of the beliefs and values that underlie the actions we take and the consequences of those beliefs and actions.
If our minds and thoughts are disconnected from our bodies and emotions and we believe reductionism, measurement and logic are supreme, the strategies that emerge from this mindset will also mirror separation, measurement and logic.
When our minds and thoughts are connected to our bodies and emotions, what we think is connected to our emotions, our physicality and our connection with others, including our natural world. Therefore, what we manifest, are images, creations, strategies and actions that represent this point of view.
When you take the time to notice the values, beliefs and consequences of the strategies you create what values and beliefs reside in those strategies?
- Is there an alignment between what you think, believe, say and do? or,
- Is there an incongruence? For example, You say you want engagement and then you implement strategies in unilateral ways that alienate the people who you want to be engaged?
Noticing is one of the capabilities needed to co-create vitality in society and our organisations. What other capabilities do you imagine are critical?
I will continue with additional capabilities in part 3 of this series, however, if this inquiry resonates or creates an itch, I welcome your respectful additions to continue to generate a lively conversation on beBee.
Deb Lange collaborates with individuals and companies to create the conditions for vitality. She helps create safety through the stages of chaos, to being enabled to adapt and co-create with mutual respect and freedom. She Mentors individuals and designs experiential workshops that create a visceral experience of what it is like to be in a state of high trust, freedom and spontaneity. Once we have the experience of something different we reawaken to endless possibilities.
Her book, "Trust Your Senses - Embodied Wisdom for the Modern Age," will be on Amazon
in December 2016.
You can contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org