Whenever one feels the other person is not listening, the other person is not understanding you,
It is a good time to check our own listening!
The mass hysteria of CAA, Brexit, Trump and a World of Absencing/De-sensing …
Also visible in Organizations, Communities and families.
Everyone speaking – no one really listening. Deep Listening.
Stuck in the absencing shown above and in inverted U below, instead of the bottom U of Presencing
Economies of Destruction: Social Pathology
We are stuck in downloading. Downloading is when instead of seeing what is happening out in the world, really, we are listening to our default world of opinions and judgements. Ofcourse, when we are listening to the our opinions and judgements, we will ongoingly reinforce our opinions and judgement.
That leads to Blinding. Getting stuck in One Truth and One View. And ofcourse, each one of us is 100% clear that our Truth and our View is the only valid Truth/ View.
The next phase is Denial of validity of everyone else which ultimately leads to labelling and De-Sensing. That is the phase of groupism. US vs THEM. And ofcourse the US is always right and the THEM is always wrong.
The continual Blinding, Denial and De-Sensing leads to Getting Stuck in One Will (My/Our Will) and begin to manipulate, abuse and destory every other possibility.
This is the cycle of IGNORANCE –-> HATE –> FEAR.
But there is a way out.
Human Beings have the ability, less used ability, but, there nevertheless of causing a new paradigm, a new reality.
It begins with LISTENING. Deep Listening.
Noticing our Voice of opinions and judgements, suspending them and listening for facts. Seeing the world – what is really happening instead of what we strongly believe is happening.
Instead of de-sensing, we stepping out of our world view for a moment, and seeing the world from other’s perspective. Redirecting our Cynicism and Opening our Heart to seeing the world from other’s eyes.
And most importantly, noticing our Voice of Fear and seeing how it gets us stuck in the past and fixed ways of being. Letting go of the past and allowing new futures to emerge.
This is the new kind of leadership required in the Chaos of the current times. In society and in organizations.
This is the kind of leaderships that we all, not some, all of us, are called upon to provide.
Open Mind (Curiosity) —> Open Heart (Compassion) —> Open Will ( Courage)
The future of humanity depends on it.
3 Critical Components of an Innovation Culture are:
Curiosity is the primary driver for learning, exploring, asking, observing, seeking and experimenting.
Curiosity allows us to suspend our opinions and judgements, and stuckness to the past and opens the possibility of finding out new facts, new paradigms, new data points and through all of them new worlds or parts of the world we didn’t know exist.
Compassion allows the space of empathy, deep connection with people, seeing the world from other’s eyes.
Innovation is difference making, when it is done enriched by the viewing the situation, challenges and opportunities from the view of the users, customers and stakeholders.
Courage facilitates a new relationship with fear and failure, which is critical for the space of innovation. Courage to try out the new,take some risk, experiment, fail, learn and try again many times over.
Curiosity, Compassion and Courage in the teams will allow learning, collaboration and co-creation as the stepping stones for innovation and innovation culture.
“If you want to learn about an organization, try to change it.” ~ Kurt Lewin
Any system or part of the system that you want to change – you can explore the system at 4 levels.
Level 1: Visible Level: Symptoms, Results, Effects
This is the level which is easily visible and many a times our change efforts get focussed on the visible parameters only.
They are important as part of the dashboard, but that is not the source issue and hence all the efforts here are likely to give limited impact or short term impact and the issue showing up again in some other format.
Definitely an opportunity to cause a breakthrough by addressing the underlying issues gets missed out.
Level 2: Partially Visible Level: Behaviours
Behaviours of the various players in the system are directly or indirectly causing the results which one is trying to change.
Understanding the behaviours and bringing the required change in the behaviours would help in producing much better impact.
People can be trained to act differently and that will lead to change in the results.
Level 3: InVisible Level: Thinking Patterns of Individuals and Organizations
Going deeper in the iceberg model, one discovers that the behaviours that one is trying to change are rooted in the thinking patterns and models of the people concerned.
Unearthing the thinking patterns and models, deep rooted assumptions, taken for granted realities, allows one to question the current paradigms and explore other ways to look at the issues.
Thus getting unstuck with the habitual and systemic thinking patterns, allows for new dimensions to open up, leading to a natural shift in the behaviours resulting in the proportional shift in the results and outcomes.
Level 4: InVisible Level: Internal State of the Leaders and People Concerned
At the deepest level, one discovers the fundamental blindspot.
The success of an intervention depends on the interior condition of the intervenor... Bill O’Brien
Beyond the behaviours and the thinking process, is the internal state of the people that is at the source of the outcomes. This internal state is function of the Quality of Intention and Quality of Attention.
Intention is not the most powerful force, it is the only force.” (W. Brian Arthur)
Is the intention an Ego intention or an Eco intention? Is it for the benefit of one or small group of people OR is it for the greater good.
When you have an ECO Intention, universe supports you.
When you put your Attention on this Eco Intention, then your thoughts, actions and behaviours start aligning to the intention. You start getting like minded people into the game. And the change management process starts moving with a life and power of its own spirit.
What are the systems or part of the systems that you are trying to change?
Is your focus on the Results and Outcomes level, or are you digging deeper at the behavioural dimension? You can also go towards the source by looking at the thinking patterns and models of people concerned. And you may hit the jackpot by connecting to the bigger intention and supporting everyone to have their attention on their bigger intention.
The above writeup is based on our understanding and experience while bringing the principles of Theory U by Dr. Otto Scharmer to the various challenges that we see with our client organizations.
For more information and guidance, you may reach out to email@example.com
There are 2 key elements in a Visioning Process.
The first point is Whose Vision is it?
Is it a Vision or a flaky statement of desire? If it is a Vision, is it an EGO Vision or an ECO Vision? i.e. is it about some small group of people or is it about all the stakeholders including the marginal ones. Is it connected to people’s logic OR is it also connecting to their heart? How many people in the organization are inspired and given by the Vision? How many people have co-created that Vision and have a sense of authorship and ownership of that Vision?
The second point is Is that Vision in alignment with the Future that wants to emerge?
Mostly Vision’s are about What a group of people want to will into existence. If it is not in sync with the Future that wants to emerge, the universe is not going to support the fulfillment of such a Vision.
How do you address the 2 challenges in the Visioning Process?
- When the leadership team listens deeply to all the stakeholders and sees the world from their eyes, then they can develop the ability to sense what is needed and wanted.
- When the organization as a collective is listening deeply to all the stakeholders, then they can develop the capability to sense the future that wants to emerge
- When the culture of the organization is of authentic collaboration and co-creation within and outside the organization then one can sense the future that wants to emerge and also the appropriate pathway for the same.
Blindspots and Barriers to being aware of and transform are:
- Listening: Everyone thinks that we are great listeners, but most people don’t experience that they have been listened to and their world is gotten by others.
- Open Mind: Most of us have an open mind, open enough to fit things that we understand and agree upon.
- Open Heart: Most of us have an open heart, for people who think like us OR think in the way we want them to think.
- Open Will: Yes, we are open for new possibilities, new ideas, new actions till the time we are comfortable with them.
Hope you got the joke…
What can we do?
- It might be helpful if we can train ourselves to be authentically curious, curious enough to be able to suspend our opinions and judgements.
- May be develop some compassion, for people who don’t see the world the way we do.
- May be, also, let go of the past, stop holding the past, such that there is space for some new futures to emerge.
Thanks for reading. Feel free to contact: Manoj Onkar firstname.lastname@example.org for any clarification on the above OR any Organizational Development and Leadership Transformation Challenge.
Innovation in an organization or society or family is a function of the culture that is available to foster it.
In organizations, if the culture is of “Yes Sir” there is not much scope of promoting innovation.
If the culture is of “I am right or I am better than you”, then also scope of collaboration is limited and hence innovation is limited.
When the culture shifts to “I respect my point of view” and “I also respect your point of view” – that is where the inter-personal relationships and team environment become conducive for innovation.
When the culture graduates to “Building on each others ideas” with no focus on “My Idea” or “Your Idea” but an authentic co-creation, that is where the magic of innovation culture can become visible.
What is the culture in your organization?
Manoj Onkar, MANAGEMENT INNOVATIONS, email@example.com
Do you. know what is going to disrupt your industry tomorrow? Not day after tomorrow – but tomorrow.
How can you find out what is going to disrupt your industry?
How come you don’t know?
The problem might be that you are successful and are busy with your Vision and Goals and Ambitions.
Or the problem is that you are struggling to survive and make both ends meet and you don’t have much time to reflect on the long term trends.
In either case, what’s missing is LISTENING.
Is your organization listening to the future that wants to emerge or is too preoccupied ?
Are your leaders trained to LISTEN? or are they champions of speaking and selective listening?
Are your front line staff and the all the employees and associates trained to LISTEN ? or are they surviving the hierarchy and carrying on carrying on; going through the motions, making the right noises not really up for some creative destruction?
What is the LISTENING we are talking about?
Level 1 Listening: Default Listening: Habitual Listening: Listening through Opinions and Judgements.
Output of Level 1 Listening: Reinforcing Opinion and Judgement
Enemy that keeps you stuck in level listening: Illusion called ‘I am Listening’.
Level 2 Listening: Factual Listening: Open Mind: Discovering new data (disconfirming data)
Output of Level 2 Listening: New information, which forces one to question the current assumptions.
Enemy of Level 2 Listening: Voice of Judgment
Access to develop Level 2 Listening: Develop Curiosity
Level 3 Listening: Empathic Listening: Open Heart: Seeing from Other’s eyes
Output of Level 3 Listening: Strong emotional connect with other person.
Enemy of Level 3 Listening: Voice of Cynicism
Access to develop Level 3 Listening: Operate with Compassion
Level 4 Listening: Generative Listening: Open will: Listening to the future that wants to emerge
Output of Level 4 Listening: New Possibilities and New Realms
Enemy of Level 4 Listening: Voice of Fear
Access to develop Level 4 Listening: Operating with Courage
This is the foundational competency for leaders and everyone in the organization to make your organization future ready, being able to hear, sense and connect with the future that wants to emerge and create your business in sync with that future. Otherwise the future will still come and you get DISRUPTED.
If you organization masters deep listening at all levels with internal and external stakeholders including employees,associates, customers, users, industry professionals, cross industry etc., – you could create a core competency of sensing the emerging future and capture the opportunity and ride the wave to new level of success.
Ofcourse, it is not a one time phenomenon – but an ongoing game like the waves in the ocean. You sense the wave and you sense the sea… moment by moment – forever.
Happy Listening. Happy Sensing. Ride the wave of the future emerging instead of getting DISRUPTED!
Manoj Onkar, MANAGEMENT INNOVATIONS, firstname.lastname@example.org
In our consulting conversations, we find this situation many times.
Recently we were working with a CEO and his team. One day over dinner, we asked him about the various problems his company is dealing with. He said that his Head of Customer Service had a problem in delivering on time and while he and others are trying to help her, it is not working out.
Another business owner was sharing that her Sales Head was not able to meet the targets for the last 2 months and that has affected the whole years performance.
Another one complained that their process is complex and that they are late in giving their quotations to potential clients at least 40% of the time.
The real question is “Whose problem is it?”
Unfortunately, many more companies, than one would expect, operate from it is that concerned departments problem.
When we work with the top management to explore the source of the problems, the impact on the problems and how the problem shows up inside of their Vision and Intention – all of a sudden their relationship with the problem changes.
So, Are you dealing with a department level problem or is it something else?
Manoj Onkar, MANAGEMENT INNOVATIONS, email@example.com
“Culture eats Employee Intelligence for breakfast.”
This can be new twist to the old quote “Culture eats Strategy for breakfast.”
The culture of an organization can be identified through the conversational field present in the organization.
Unfortunately a good chunk of organizations have a TALK NICE field of conversation, where in people tend to speak what others want to hear, specially what the seniors/powerful people want to hear; not rocking the boat, not addressing the difficult conversations powerfully enough.
This is the cancer of an organization. It causes the following:
- People progressively stop sharing their thoughts which are different than or at a tangent with the thought process of the senior.
- People reduce addressing of issues and problems
- People tend to reduce their engagement and ownership
- And there is no real motivation to do some rigorous thinking – given that ultimately I have just agree with the senior manager.
Overall people reduce sharing their real thoughts, they reduce their listening and drastically reduce the conscious mindful thinking.
Do you see this pattern in organizations and teams around you?
Manoj Onkar, MANAGEMENT INNOVATIONS, firstname.lastname@example.org, 91-9106456275