… I’m almost finished reading an inspiring book by Margaret Wheatley and Myron Kellner-Rogers called A Simpler Way. It was recommended by an associate as a ‘must read’; a book that was first published in 1996 (any book that has 103 pages of text, and 90 references in its bibliography just has to be good). The authors describe the central question the book is trying to answer as “How could we organize human endeavor if we developed different understandings of how life organizes itself…?” A fascinating provocation.
As one moves through the chapters, one discovers the depth to which the authors explore the essence of organization,… as individual cognition, as group interaction, as life itself. They say “life’s natural tendency is to organize, into greater levels of complexity to support more diversity and greater sustainability.” The book represents that business processes often are at odds with nature’s intent to organize. As one example, take how many companies solve problems. They try their best to discover the one ‘right’ answer by over analyzing everything; spreadsheets, numbers, charts. When in fact it is the ability to ‘keep finding solutions’, finding what works not what’s right, which is most important,… as there is no permanently right answer; any one solution is merely temporary.
The inside cover of the book has a quote I absolutely love. It reads – Thus, the task is not so much to see what no one yet has seen,… but to think what nobody yet has thought about that which everybody sees – by Schopenhauer. Not knowing much about Schopenhauer, I looked him up. He is a German philosopher (1788-1860) known for his clarity and aphoristic style,… oh no, another word I’m not familiar with. An aphorism is a concise statement containing a subjective truth or observation cleverly written. Whatever,… for me it was the best definition I’ve ever seen for what a research ‘insight’ is – think what nobody yet has thought about which everybody sees…! Understanding how the world is organizing before others do. Have any insights…?