We want to trust in our good intentions– to say that because we want to break old habits, to work in a new way that matches the emerging world, we’ll be able to do it. Since we ourselves are on board, we reason, the challenges are going to come from external forces, not inside.
We’re wired for consistency, for pattern recognition responses, for reactions that don’t use up our brain energy by always creating something new.
So when we do want to create something new, we actually have to work against our own brain’s deep urge to go back to the familiar ways. And sometimes we go back to those while still thinking we’re doing something new.
Tribes and early civilizations needed certain behaviors from their members, so they created myths and stories, and later rules and regulations and social standards, that placed a structure, a system, around those expectations. Relying on good intentions wasn’t enough. A thriving human community required a social system that added an external pressure to the internal desire to be approved and included.
We’re not different. The only thing that has really changed is that we don’t have hundreds or thousands of years to work out these systems anymore. That’s why, no matter your business, your organization, or your intent for yourself, one of the most important things you can do is set up the systems around you to help those good intentions become more than intentions.
That might sound like diet and exercise advice (not bad in itself). But it’s also advice for the ways we conduct ourselves in our work, especially in our work with other people. If we truly see the necessity of moving from red ocean to blue ocean thinking, if we believe that it’s our responsibility to help people around us grow into our potential, or if we know that we have to reinvent some element of our organization’s approach to its work, then we cannot rely on the kinds of good intentions and assumptions that we often lean on to guide how we interact with others.
We have to put systems in place — conscious, intentional systems — to help us deal with one of the biggest challenges to our growth and improvement:
#growth #business #community #systems #organization #management