We are all familiar with the scenario. One author coins or uses a term, it gets picked up by someone else, both are quoted in a third source and so on. Pretty soon, it is on the pages of Harvard Business Review and now it is the latest bona fide management craze. Lately, there has been quite a crop of articles on resilient individuals, resilient organizations, resilience as the new skill no manager can do without, revenue resilience, etc. So I decided to do some research (OK…more like poking around) and see who is actually talking about what, based on what evidence.
Recently, I read an interview between Bernie DeKoven (who has aliases as varied as: Major Fun, The Shaman of Play, and more) and Barry Joseph (Associate Director For Digital Learning, Youth Initiatives, at the American Museum of Natural History). While the whole interview is delightful, and I recommend it, I was particularly struck by the game called “The Out Blessing Game” or “Endless Blessings.”
There’s this thing…as Jim (James Shore) and I have mentioned before, in the early days of Agile we would visit teams and hear, “This is the best job I’ve ever had. I love this work.” People who were doing Agile (usually Extreme Programming) were excited about it, they shared it with others, who did it, and got excited. But at some point, someone shared it with someone who got excited about it and shared it but didn’t DO it, so their sharing lost a bit of fidelity, like a copy of a copy.
How do you set conditions for organizations to become “learning organizations” and how do you support the self-organizing teams that emerge from this transformation?
Trying to save others from the discomfort we’ve experienced is a worthy impulse. When the pain we are trying to help them avoid is embarrassment, physical harm, disappointment or a lot of wasted effort, we mean well. However, too often we communicate the message in a way that is difficult to hear.