The courage to create the ‘New Story’ for Business
I spend quite a bit of time imagining what the future world of work and future organisations can and hopefully will look like. I feel passionate about the contribution that (business) leaders can make to the betterment of our world. As a consultant, I also spend time working alongside many organisations today helping them to navigate what can at times seem like a snake pit of daily life and a long way removed from a possible new future.
The greater pressure on costs, profit, tasks and transactions that drives many organisations (public and private) makes me wonder sometimes whether we are capable of moving into the new space.
Alongside that, I also see a huge number of people, like myself, investing time and energy in exploring, examining and articulating that new world of work. Consultants, entrepreneurs, organisational leaders, academics, students and many more having discussions, imagining, experimenting, having a go at building a different culture and ways of working. There are conferences everywhere on meaning, trust, conscious business, the ‘we’ space, teal organisations and more. So I take heart and allow my hope to be fuelled.
So what is this new story?
- Purpose – building organisations where there’s commitment to a purpose which is delivering something meaningful and valuable to the greater good of humanity and the planet. A purpose that is derived from a desire to create a positive impact not just make money or satisfy the ego
- Trust – the fundamentals of relationship – mutual respect, open and transparent communication, trust cultivated continuously, genuine care and love openly expressed
- Connection – seeing the organisation as part of a bigger whole, a larger community, an interconnected system where cause (our actions) and effect (the results) are understood and mastered for the greater good
Clearly our current world context is increasingly complex on many levels, resulting in extremes. In a heathy world, polarities are the means by which we grow – the tension between opposites eventually requires us to seek a better, third way that, usually, is a higher expression of the two opposing forces. The new point of integration marks a point of advancement.
In the world of work we see many of these polarities or points of tension. For example, between the obsession with tasks and a desire for people to feel engaged and empowered. Or short term survival battling with the need for a longer term perspective to truly solve intractable problems. My concern is that today we are tending to favour one end of the spectrum at the expense of the other and missing the opportunity and indeed the need to step forward.
The pace and nature of the changes and opportunities we face offers the chance to create the new story more quickly if we choose to. Are we courageous enough to make that choice?