Does your organisation have ‘thriveability’?
Thriving is such a rich sounding word wouldn’t you agree. The idea that something is not only alive but it is intensely healthy and has inbuilt sustainability. The notion of thriving conjures pictures of the most beautiful landscapes full of diverse life and overflowing with abundance, or healthy bouncing babies with rosy cheeks, full of joy and laughter.
How many of us would describe our organisations in similar terms? How many would describe themselves as thriving? Striving perhaps, struggling quite often, but thriving – I suspect not many.
As we consider the culture of organisations, thriving is a very desirable objective. Desirable because it indicates health and vitality on all levels – human, spiritual, financial, emotional, practical and so much more. Desirable also because organisations have so much power to contribute to the greater good of our world and a thriving organisation is much more likely to be able to do that.
To thrive however takes some work – work that requires us to consider our attitudes, values, belief systems, mental models and so much more. To eradicate the negative or limiting thoughts, to respect ourselves and love ourselves and others. To value the abundance of the planet we inhabit and to treat it and everyone else with respect. These are just some of the factors that drive our ability to thrive.
To thrive as a group, as a collective, a whole organisation, means that we have to include everyone in that goal, the goal to find ways to be successful together. To challenge the underpinning culture and our ways of working when we experience them limiting our ability to be the best we can be, or in any way. To use a gardening analogy, we need to tend the soil in which we seek to grow our ideas.
As leaders we have a duty to pay attention to the culture and climate we are helping to create. If we set ourselves the goal of creating a culture where everyone can thrive we will put ourselves and our people on the path to tackling some of the inherent issues around power, control, freedom and fear that condition so much of organisational life.
For sure not easy and many layers of bindweed will need to be unearthed and destroyed. But just surviving isn’t enough…is it?