08 Sep 3/3 – Crisis? How can we make our society evolve, when its model does not prepare us for evolution?
Our model of society is influenced by thousands of years of leadership that has been more directive than collaborative, largely derived from our religious past, and solely guided by financial productivity, which is the productivity of production, not of creation.
This model, through the intermediary of school, mainly fashions specialised producers, without giving them an overall understanding of their environment nor any education on how to manage change. On the other hand, by smothering individuals’ identity through the injunction “Do what you’re told”, and by creating competition between them, this model does not develop the necessary qualities in people for the management of change, creativity or cooperation. This results in the compartmentalisation of functions, of cultures and mentalities which adds to conflicts of interests to produce what is usually known as “resistance to change”.
This lack of “change culture” and this conditioning to financial productivity as the sole model have a triple consequence:
- Organisations struggle to make the correct diagnoses and to apply the appropriate solutions to the issues they encounter
- Our personal equilibrium is threatened on a daily basis due to the fact that our identity is continually trampled, resulting in frustration, aggressiveness, malaise and conflict
- Our society struggles to make our human condition slowly evolve, and then only through brutal conflicts when people’s discomfort level is such that it sparks off bloody confrontations.
Today, exclusion is certainly the most oppressive of the threats which hangs over society as a whole, since it is constant and nobody can feel really protected from it due to financial speculation which goes on without any checks and balances, and which has no regard for human beings, recognising only money as a symbol of success in our society.
To fight against this threat, will we wait, as usual, for the breaking point, to massacre one another again and, finally, to fall in step with the laws imposed by the future victors, before doing it all over again?
Is there any possible approach other than successive conflicts in order to make the human condition evolve, an approach which would be proactive and not reactive, an approach which would bring people together, and which would not divide and rule? How can we grasp this issue? Which strategy should we develop? Which action plans should be implemented?
If we refer to the example of the companies which are confronted on a daily basis with competition and technological evolution, their survival depends essentially, on the one hand, on understanding their environment and its evolution; and on the other hand, on the reliability of the resulting diagnosis they make of it. From this evaluation, a vision for the future can be drawn up and translated into an evolution strategy and the will to implement it. This vision is all the more relevant since it is shared, which requires that the diagnosis must also be shared, and before that, the understanding of the environment and its history must be shared too.
This approach does exist, but is not widely used. It is called Collaborative Leadership. Having practised it for more than 30 years, I know that it is much more successful than directive leadership when it comes to managing change within organisations, whatever their size.
To be able to apply it to managing the evolution of our human condition in a proactive way, and thereby avoid bloody conflicts, you have to convince a majority of people who have only been formatted to directive leadership.
Alone, this is an impossible mission. But with the help of others, and with time everything is possible.
The objective of the Rix Think Tank is to initiate this approach. The Think Tank, which is also a research centre, is open to contributions from all. Its primary ambition is to facilitate an understanding of this problematic for as wide an audience as possible to enable the search for solutions.
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