Seeing the Dynamic Whole

Recently a person of authority confessed that he has never understood vision. Another said, “I do not see the whole, I cannot envision strategic actions that will move the whole.”

In nearly every discipline we are trained to see and analyze technical problems. This tends to be a fixed perspective that assumes knowledge and employs deductive reasoning. This is a good thing. It makes us useful to an organization.

As we move up, however, there is a need to do something more than solve technical problems. We must begin to see and envision strategic actions that will focus, unify and move the human system.

Seeing the whole means recognizing that the parts are interdependent and in constant change. The whole is continually ebbing and flowing. We have to train ourselves and others to see the whole and turn it into a symbiotic system.

This is leadership and it begins with a personal transformation in which we become a symbiotic system. It is often referred to as becoming whole or congruent. When we finally tie the logical mind to the personal conscience in pursuit of the common good, the heart and the mind become symbiotic and we begin to co-create symbiotic systems. When we live in purpose, passion, knowing and learning, we attract others.

This requires operating in four domains. First, we see, expand and elevate the domain of collective action. We identify the collective contribution of the system, the highest purpose that can inspire the commitment of all and focus the action of all.

Second, we see, expand and elevate the moral domain. We identify and inspire the closing of the collective hypocrisy gaps that are normally undiscussable and increase the authenticity of all communication.

Third we see, expand and elevate the emotional domain. We legitimize the reality of feeling and we transform negative emotions into positive emotions so as to enable trust and high quality relationships.

Fourth, we see, expand and elevate the learning domain. We envision the future and legitimize experimentation and adaptation.

 

Reflection

  • Who is our organization is a symbiotic whole, an inspiring leader?
  • Who in our organization sees and nurtures the whole social system?
  • How could we collectively see, expand all four domains of our unit?
  • How could we use this passage to create a more positive organization?

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