When is the sticky plaster not enough?
Over the last couple of weeks a number of things have come to my attention that have finally urged me to put digital pen to digital paper... although in truth, these thoughts have been gestating for a while.
Mervyn King, former Governor of the Bank of England warns in his new book "The End of Alchemy" , that bankers have still to learn the lessons from the last crash. I am not an economist and do not pretend to be an expert on what happened. In his book Mervyn King makes some proposals aimed at making the banking system more secure for all of us whose money is used to finance the system, and yet do they go far enough? Has anyone really gone far enough in finding a new way forward?
The second thing that happened was that I, like many others in the UK, sat and watched the wonderful Sport Relief programmes over the weekend. I entered the swimathon and will be swimming my 2.5kms for which I am being sponsored, to play my part and help raise funds for the wonderful projects that this charity supports. And yet I could not help but wonder if what we are doing is really enough? Is what we are doing going to solve the political, social and economic crisis that lead to such horrific events and situations in our world?
There were great stories of children who had been living on dump sites now living in clean homes, going to school and planning on being doctors and lawyers. And yet there were still more children being born and raised on these dump sites...
Now please do not misunderstand me. I really believe that what charities such as Sport Relief, Comic Relief, Children in Need, etc do, is amazing. I have nothing but admiration for the people who have come up with the idea and even more so for their strength and determination to see it through and help save so many lives. This must continue and I will continue to do what I can to support it.... AND, what thinking is required to end the need for these charities and projects?
The more I look around me the more I see that the systems that we as humans have built to manage our society, our countries, to manage our organisations are increasingly no longer fit for purpose, hence the financial crisis, the education crisis, the healthcare crisis, the refugee crisis....
The world I know best is the business world and here I see first hand how the structures that we put in place to manage many of our businesses are failing us, both the business and the people within it. The sticky plaster or bandaid approach is also being used here - reorganisation, restructure, engagement programmes, etc. What is required is new thinking, a holistic approach with a view to the future rather than to trying to correct the past - a new start.
And thankfully there is an appetite it seems for this. A book by Frederic Laloux called Reinventing Organisations is setting the organisational development world alight as people are finding that a new way of thinking, where one size does not fit all is exactly what is required...
The book is a great read and can be found here. For those who would prefer to begin with a summary, there is a great one to be found here.
I do not have the answer to any of the organisational dilemmas we are facing as a human race, nor do I have the answer to the individual organisational dilemmas you may be facing in your company. What I do know is that the answer will come from a collective effort if we ask the brave questions, if we try new things, if we trust that with good intention will come good solutions and if we are not afraid to try, to take action and do things new.
If any of my ramblings have struck a chord with you, please join me in the conversation either on here or by emailing me at email@example.com.