3.9 Looking into the Center: A Leader’s Role
Continuing in our series on Understanding Organization, we started our walk around the organization wheel in the north, the place of organization wisdom. We moved to the east, the place of how the organization works. From there, we walked to the south, the place of the people in an organization. Last time, we discussed the west, the place of reflection. This time, we move to the center of the wheel.
According to the Medicine Wheel, the center was the place of the creator stone. This is the place of creative energy and connection. From here, the creator can look out into all parts of the wheel and draw energy and inspiration from each.
For our spirit warrior leaders, this represents the place from which we make meaning about the organization. It is the place where we constantly evaluate the effectiveness of all of the elements and the fit between them all. Most of all, it is the place where we each stand and feel the connection to the larger whole.
There is one element in the center – Action Learning. This is how all of the aspects of the wheel (or organization) are integrated, and how the individual coordinates their own behaviors with the overall organization
This element addresses the processes, structures, and culture related to learning from your experiences and applying that learning for continuous improvement and renewal. The process involves cycles of gathering data from an experience, analyzing that data to develop a credible “story” of what happened, generalizing from the situation to update your “theories” about how things work, and then applying that learning in a new situation and so on, and so on.
Your learning environment
What are your organization’s most significant strengths that you can build on for organizational learning?
What are your organization’s most significant barriers to organizational learning that you need to address?
What do the members of your work unit have to be able to do to successfully engage in the organizational and personal learning processes?
What information should be regularly disseminated through your work system?
How can you collectively interpret new information?
How can you collectively interpret the results of the work system’s performance?
How will you use work system performance information to learn and improve your processes?
How will you analyze critical incidents in a way that will promote process improvement rather than promote punishment for shortfalls?
How will you capture and share learning gained from your information and monitoring systems?
What sort of access to this knowledge will be available?