A paradigm shift: the past and present of the organizational model
Can we create organizations free from politicking, bureaucracy and internal corporate struggle? Organizations where employees are not in perpetual stress do not experience resentment or bitter apathy. Companies where the “above” do not pretend to be important, while the “below” operate as hard labor. Much depends on your answer! A fundamentally new look at the development of organizations, which will help move to the next level of development and build a conscious and integral company of the future.
To see is not to understand, to understand is to see! You see things not as they are, but as you are.
Can we create organizations that are not affected by diseases that are too familiar to us? Organizations free of politicking, bureaucracy, and internal corporate struggle. Organizations where employees are not in eternal stress, do not burn out at work, do not submit to circumstances with indifference, do not experience indignation or bitter apathy. Companies where the “above” do not pretend to be important, while the “below” operate as hard labor. Is it possible to rediscover the organizational principle, invent a new model that will make our work more productive, bringing real satisfaction and fulfilling true meaning? Can we humanize places of work – schools, hospitals, commercial and non-profit enterprises – so that our talents are revealed, and our tendencies and vocation are paid tribute to?
If you are the founder or head of the organization and want to create such conditions for work, a lot depends on your answer! For the most part, your environment will reject this idea as a wonderful fantasy; you will be persuaded not to waste time and effort. “People are people,” they will tell you, “they have their own selfish interests. We play political games, like to blame, criticize and gossip. It’ll be this way forever”. Who will argue? But, on the other hand, everyone, when working in a team, experienced an emotional upsurge when everything turns out without the slightest effort, of course, effortlessly. At such moments you understand: human ingenuity knows no limits. Something fundamentally new sometimes appears completely unexpectedly, as if from nowhere. Who dares to say that we will never be able to create more comfortable conditions for collaboration?
Can we set the right course for new shores, sailing from the reliable mainland of modern management? Or do you need to decide and go nowhere, because, apart from the world we know, there is nothing else?
Part of the answer to these questions unexpectedly came to me from the past, not from the future. In the course of history, mankind has several times discovered new ways to combine the efforts of people, each time creating significantly more advanced models of organization. Moreover, looking at the historical perspective, we see: a new organization model is literally just one step away from us and is waiting for the opportunity to fully manifest itself.
Interestingly, the key to understanding lies not in the history of organizations, but in a wider field – in the history of mankind and in the psychology of development. The types of organizations invented in the course of history are always tied to the current worldview and to this stage of development of consciousness. Each time, as a biological species, we changed the way we know the world, we went up to new, more effective types of organization.
Historians, anthropologists, philosophers, mystics, psychologists and neurologists enthusiastically seek the answer to the most important question: how did the consciousness of mankind evolve from the early stages to the complex state that is characteristic of our time? Some scholars are exploring the related question of how we human beings evolve from a relatively simple form of consciousness given at birth to the full maturity of an adult.
The problem is being studied from all possible points of view. In a famous study, Abraham Maslow tracked how human needs evolve from basic psychological needs to self-actualization. Others look at development through the prism of a worldview (among others – Gebser), cognitive skills (Piaget), values (Graves), moral development (Kohlberg, Gilligan), self-fulfillment (Levinger), spirituality (Fowler), leadership (Cook-Greuther, Keegan , Torbert) and so on.
Independently from each other, these studies indicate a phased development of mankind. We do not grow continuously, like trees. We evolve with sudden leaps, like a caterpillar becoming a butterfly, or a tadpole turning into a frog. The existence of the stages of human development today is very certain. Two scientists – Ken Wilber and Jenny Wade – did an interesting job comparing and comparing all the main stage models and found their noticeable similarity. Each model can be imagined as a mountainside (one researcher looks at needs, the other looks at cognitive abilities, etc.), but nevertheless it is one and the same mountain.