Culture versus Strategy
Maria’s Midweek Mindfulness
The Wednesday Whisper
Sustainable change in communities
For the last few years, David and I have been working with diverse communities including Indigenous people, Faith groups, businesses, non-profits, boarding schools and, prisons. It seems that no matter how well-intentioned, community members will find themselves in conflict. Without agreed and proper procedures for conflict management in place, what starts as small tensions can easily build into a culture of defensiveness where the need for safety is alleviated by sharing narratives with likeminded community members who have no conflict resolution skills and, worse, receive these narratives as confirmation of their own fears. This creates ‘sides’ and before long the division is felt and community members are judged by which side they are on.
Of course no one meant it to be like that. There was no plan for it. In fact, everyone was doing their best, except, of course, for the people on the other side.
In the mainstream, a consultant is brought in and everyone gets excited about a new strategy. And, if only everyone can get behind the strategy everything will be OK and the old ways will be left behind. It isn’t long before the new strategy falls by the wayside and everything goes back to the way it was.
You see, the culture of an organisation will prevail over any new strategy. As Management Guru Peter Drucker famously said, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast”.
That’s where the DRM comes in. The DRM operates at the individual, interpersonal, systemic and organisational levels. It holds change as a heartful process that takes us out of the intellectualising, strategizing and other ‘fix-it’ problem solving methodologies into a REAL change of heart.
Only at that point can we begin to creatively explore the strategies that will sustain the change of heart.
Maria’s Mindfulness Moment
Last weekend David and I have been facilitating a transformational process within a Sufi Community. We have been on this path for almost a year. The journey of love and discovery and energetic connection is exciting, inspiring, scary and joyful.
The Wednesday Whisper
Are there tensions in your community? Are they being avoided, fixed or transformed?
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