Recently I raised the idea of shifting the focus of our field to developing conscious leaders – potentially a revolutionary idea! But what would a conscious leader skilled in the perspective and skills of organization development be like?
First and foremost the conscious leader understands that the effectiveness of his/her technical and operational systems is dependent on the effectiveness of the human systems that develop, operate, and maintain those systems. Second, the conscious leader would have feedback loops in place regarding the effectiveness and health of the human systems that are commensurate with those for technical and operational systems. Those feedback loops would monitor, for example, communication dynamics, leadership issues, the management of differences and related power dynamics as well as decision-making efficacy. In this manner, corrective action could occur before they begin to impact the technical and operational systems for which they are responsible.
Typical organizations have feedback loops regarding their sales and manufacturing in-puts and outputs that are attended to weekly if not daily. Critical machinery and computers are routinely maintained to assure their continual productivity. Conscious leaders would do the same for the effectiveness and health of their human systems as well. As the human systems go so go the technical and operational systems. Together they drive overall productivity and fiscal success!
Stay tuned to this blog for more about conscious leaders and the ways they impact the power dynamics which can be so harmful or advantageous to organizational dynamics.
Your reactions and thoughtful responses would be welcome. Please leave a comment!
The educational process of the field of organization development has focused on developing consultants (external and internal). These consultants work with organizational leaders toward improving the health and well being of their organizations. Even our OD membership organizations (OD Network, the Organization Development Institute, regional OD networks, NTL, etc.) have been focused on serving practitioners who work with organizational leaders. Academic programs have proliferated in the same vein.
That may be overstated but not by much: In essence, we have created an OD skill-stream that is only adjunctive to where it is most needed—our organizational leaders.
Imagine if our field really focused on developing conscious organizational leaders just as we focus on our own conscious use of self! Imagine if we focused on developing conscious organizations! Imagine if we began to emphasize the need to inculcate OD skills and sensibilities into the entire management cadre of our client organizations!
I’m still thinking this is true so your reactions and thoughtful responses would be welcome.