The 21st century is challenging our belief about linearity. Social media allows customers to talk to each other and access a new virtual library of information, and influence corporate and public sector policy, opinions, beliefs, values and points of view. The customer is no longer a passive player.
For the most part organizations are built on the assumption of a linear world. We have organizational charts that display linear looking black boxes of departments, functions, and hierarchies and reporting lines. In many ways this replicates social status achieved through the control of information and resources, and reward mechanisms to derive power from status.
The white space between the black lines and black boxes is the real human organizational system. It is where important handoffs between functions happen, and where an organization has the greatest potential for improvement. It is a space where things often “fall between the cracks” or disappear into black holes, resulting in misinformation, misunderstanding and missed opportunity.
Powerful dimensions of organizational life are invisible. A shift of attention to re-humanization of leadership needs to occur in order to illuminate critical human qualities that shape organizational life, the experience of the workplace, and the capacity to deliver results. We must become aware of the connection between our experience of others and the systemic conditions we are in, and we need to develop and maintain partnerships and strengthen our relationships. In other words, instead of fixing one another, we need to work together to master the influencing conditions.
Since people are the vectors of those relationships, understanding and nurturing their intrinsic motivation is key.