When things go wrong inside organisations, simply replacing one leader with another will not facilitate the systemic change needed. The corporate world is filled with predator-prey relationships where one benefits over the other. A colleague in a foresight-based writing programme, Fazidah Ithnin, shared a Malaysian proverb; it is like saving us from the crocodile and throwing us to the lions. How do we nurture the forest instead, creating an interdependent ecosystem for all involved?
Living in a DELA world
How does anyone obtain success these days? It is no longer a question of who you know, but rather who knows you. How do you build that reputation and network? Where do opportunities for growth, progress, and reward even come from? Is it worth the sacrifice we make just to be seen, heard, or considered?
We can apply the DELA framework to help us make sense of the story that is unfolding, and to shape our own narrative going forward.
We are quick to place the blame on leaders as individuals and forget that they operate in a bigger context that supported them in obtaining this position of power. By incorporating a culture of questioning norms and challenging the status quo, we can encourage organisations to learn and adapt as they go. Leaders are intended to be representative of the whole, and to guide the collective on a journey towards a shared vision. They are neither above nor outside of but very much part of the system. It would do a whole lot of good for businesses to function as safe spaces for taking chances, distributing consequences, and changing without pain or punishment. As a Eugenio Molini of GAIT says, we can start by respecting ourselves, empathising with others, and being considerate of the whole.
First published on Marklives