Natural Wisdom — The Organic Organization™
by Jim Cathcart
Several generations now have been raised on the assumption that organizations behave as machines. Our language reflects this: "output, supply chain, production, human resources, organizational structure, departments, divisions, work units, person hours, efficiencies, raw materials, finished products, inventories, re-engineering, etc.".
The problem with the above is; organizations are living systems. They behave as organisms, not mechanisms. Think of your organization as I give the following description of an oak tree. See how the description parallels the functioning of your company, institution, organization or team.
Our society has reached the stage of advancement where we need a more realistic approach to leadership, management and organization. We are ready to explore the natural order of things and to see the links between nature and "nurture."
Let's discard the old organizational charts with lines and boxes (even the inverted ones). Let's replace them with a tree. One which shows the roots and resources, which indicates growth cycles and expansion. One which enthrones our "genetic code": the values, beliefs, vision, mission and culture that make us who we are.
It's time we learned to: discover our nature, explore our nature and nurture our nature for optimum growth.
Each person is like an acorn in that they contain a package of possibilities and are predisposed to be very good in certain areas and not as good in others. The key to developing the individual is much the same as developing the organization: discover their nature, explore their nature, and nurture their nature.
The Acorn Principle™ is: People who know themselves grow themselves, (those who don't are miserable.) So Nurture Your Nature.
The stem of the acorn represents its history and background, its roots. The cap represents its parents, teachers, mentors, and managers. The seed represents its potential. The seed separates from the cap only when it is ready to take charge of its own growth. From there, it may grow a forest full of other acorns.
Biology tells us much more than physics when it comes to understanding the nature of growth. Study the biology of business and the nature of yourself and others.
To a machine, change is a threat because the mechanism must be re-engineered to cope with it. For an organism, change is the spice of life. Every day presents new connections, new opportunities and self-directed transformation. It never stops evolving in cooperation with its environment.
Jim Cathcart is author of The Acorn Principle, CEO and Founder, Cathcart Institute, Lake Sherwood, CA.
©Copyright 2004 Jim Cathcart. All Rights Reserved.
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