Rethinking Goverment

3 10 2010

I’ve been exploring the concept of holacracy—a new form of company and leadership dynamics. If I understand it correctly, it’s based on the principles of holism, where the whole is greater than the parts. It also involves being in harmony with something beyond yourself. It may be a social unit (family, nation) or an ideology, or even creation (or perhaps beyond that to the creator).

I’m excited by the possibilities of applying these ideas to business. Management expert Gary Hamel, ranked as the #1 most influential business thinker in the world by the Wall Street Journal, believes that to build a company for the future it must excite passion in its people. People who care about the company and are invested in it will be its greatest resources. I believe a company can harness that passion by freeing those who work there to find their unique purpose and to follow their higher calling.

Holocracy frees a company to evolve beyond the limits of set values. Rather than polarizing toward one value, say innovation, which then automatically excludes its opposite, stagnation, this construct embraces both values. Redefining stagnation can mean maintaining the status quo and retaining ideas and systems that have worked well in the past. It may encompass stillness, reflection, and stability. Innovation without balance can result in exhaustion and instability, and change for change’s sake. By allowing room for both values, the company can make the wisest decisions.

That also means a diversity of personalities and backgrounds are vital within the company. Each person brings a unique take on the world, with varying ideals, values, and thoughts. A company that appreciates these differing viewpoints and integrates them into a meaningful whole greatly benefits from the expertise of each person. It also means doing away with the top-down structure and empowering people to work autonomously.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could apply these principles to government? Perhaps a blend of the best of the traditional political parties would work wonders for balance, unity, and harmony.

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Endless Possibilities

15 07 2010

Today I watched as ants crawled across the ground and into a gully that must look overwhelming to them and labored to the other side. Yet all it would take is a tiny bit of help from me, and they could cross that span in seconds with no effort. But they have no idea I’m even there or what I’m capable of or that I’m willing to help.

Even the ants who are aware I’m there don’t comprehend the vastness and power of me. They crawl over parts of me or climb across the bridge I make of my hand, but do they ever see all of me? And if they did, would they know who or what I am? Or would they just see me as another obstacle in their path?

Then I wonder if people aren’t doing the same thing as ants as they scurry around oblivious to a major source of assistance, to possibilities, to wondrous miracles that could take place in their lives if only they knew the source of help sitting beside them is so huge it’s unfathomable.

And even those who are aware of the source…can they ever comprehend the vastness, the power, the totality of it?

I’m wondering if atheists are the head-to-the-ground worker ants who see nothing but what’s in front of their noses, and agnostics notice the changes in their environment, but aren’t sure what to attribute it to. And each of the various religions are like ants scrambling across various body parts, reporting the world as they see it. But like the blind men and the elephant, they’re missing the whole picture.

Can anyone step back and see the whole? Or are we, like the ants, incapable of viewing, comprehending, grasping the full reality, the wondrous possibilities?