Things are not going as planned. Goals, commitments, areas of concerned are not being reached as you thought they should this year. You believe it’s those incompetent employees, unreasonable customers, challenging market conditions, prices skyrocketing are to blame. Anyone and everyone, including yourself is to blame. Something is wrong and you do not know where to begin to fix it. And even if you did, would it work anyway?
Now, here’s the question: If you had a say in the matter, would you have had it turn out that way? Of course not…
Sidebar: Lou, a good business colleague and I were having coffee at Starbucks… he was expressing some sadness around having problems in his relationship. He was considering leaving. I said, you know, there are over 450,000 books on relationships through Amazon.com. There’s books on how to get along, how to make money work, how to have great sex, how to communicate, all the tips and solutions one would need to get things to work the way you want them etc. I said Lou that now tells me something. It tells me nobody knows anything about relationships. There ought to be maybe one or two books that actually make a difference when practiced. Then I said, when you look, you will see that not one of those books said anything about what is a relationship as we live them? Not one! Well how can you fix something, improve something, make it better, when you have no idea what it is. That’s ludicrous…he said loudly! I suggested that we are blind to the fact that there is a default design to relationship. We are so fixated with improving them, we do not see them as they are. As we live them. This was a huge eye opener for me as I could transpose the insight to organizational life as well.
We heroically battle to change our organizations, hire consultants, trainers, fire employees and replace them with new untested hopefuls, blame the CEO, EVP or whoever, and things still do not work out. 75% of improvement efforts inside organizations fail to provide what is necessary in implementation. Why is this the case?
Because we cannot see the source of people’s actions, we are lost at how to impact what we are dealing with. We try to be nice, cordial, helpful, straight, forceful etc. And it does not work. People act out of perception of what’s going to happen. Not what is so. Their perceptions act them.
This translates to organizational behavior as well. We are blind and blame everything around us but what is at play. So what do we do… by waking up and starting to recognize and embrace the paradigm using us, we are free to act in ways that matter and make a difference. It takes honest looking and thoughtful thinking to embrace the truth. Then you can see things without the blinders.