Thursday 28 October 2010

Creating an uplifting, energizing culture for business success is child's play

It's all about fields which organise the way we work and the principle of self organising systems. Let's start with fields.
Although we know a great deal about the way fields affect the world as we perceive it, the truth is no one really knows what a field is. The closest we can come to describing what they are is to say that they are spatial structures in the fabric of space itself. (Talbot cited Wheatley 1994, p. 46)

Newton’s world of cause and effect required great effort (forces) to make things happen. Since the emergence of the quantum world, we see that it is possible to accomplish this through manipulating non-material structures – i.e. fields – which are the basic substance of the universe. (Wheatley 1994, p. 48)

One explanation of the way fields work is to consider fish in an ocean. As the water moves in synchronism with the swell, the fish all appear to move together from side to side or up and down as though connected by some invisible connector. We know that it is the water of the ocean, however, fields in space behave the same way, we cannot see them and they (unlike the water of the ocean) have no material substance, however, they link all material objects in space. “Physical reality is not only material. Fields are considered real, but they are not material” (Wheatley 1994 p. 50).

The laws of motion, in field language, are rules for flows in the ‘cosmic ocean’. The rules for transformation are telling us what reactions occur among the components in this ocean (Wilczek & Devine cited Wheatley 1994, p.51).
The Newtonian Science Organisation
The Quantum Science Organisation
“An organisation is a collection of choices looking for problems, issues and feelings looking for decision situations in which they might be aired, solutions looking for issues to which there might be an answer, and decision makers looking for work.“ (Cohen March & Olsen cited Wheatley 1994, p. 54)
Organisational order is generated through fields. These fields are conceptual controls – it is the ideas of a business that are controlling, not some manager with authority. One of the most powerful fields is shared meaning or the unconscious common ground within an organisation.
In the field view of organisations, clarity about values or vision is important, but it’s only half the task. Creating the field through the dissemination of those ideas is essential. The field must reach all corners of the organisation, involve everyone, and be available everywhere…we need to imagine ourselves as broadcasters, tall radio beacons of information, pulsating out messages everywhere…we must fill all the spaces with the messages we care about. If we do that, fields develop – and with them, their wondrous capacity to bring energy into form. (Wheatley 1994, pp. 55-56)

The Steps

Q. So how do you go about creating an uplifting, energizing culture for business success? A. Through a values-based process of conscientization:
  1. Have all in your organisation take an inventory of their values. Use the cultural field map referenced below to get a picture of the fields currently creating your organisation's culture.  
  2. Build a common language of values within your organisation.
  3. The magic of self-organising systems will do the rest. (Use the cultural field map after some 18 months to see the change from a fields' perspective).
Well, perhaps it's not child's play, but watching children at play helps with understanding how the principle of self-organising systems creates a great culture once you've put a common language of values in place within your organisation...

More... contact your nearest Values Consultant at:

Reference List

For details on Cultural Field Mapping, and other values technologies see: 
Wheatley, M 1994, Leadership and the New Science: Learning about organization from an orderly universe, Berrett-Koehler, San Francisco.
Tosey, P. & Smith, P. 1999, ‘Assessing the learning organization: part 2 – exploring practical assessment processes’, The Learning Organization: An International Journal, Vol 6, No 3, pp.107-115.

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