Earlier this week, I had an exchange with a colleague about Spiral Dynamics and Holacracy. The whole discussion started around the topic of how we could foster a truly agile organization, so that innovations can flourish to bring the organization and people in it to adapt to the future of work. What I love about Holacracy and self-organization, it that it creates a mechanism so that people in it can all be leaders, and bring their whole self to work. Imagine a world with that level of authenticity! Efficiency and profit are just by-products.
One thing essential to embark on this journey, is our self-leadership. To connect with our individual purpose to tap into that immense resource. My colleague somehow got me to share my story, and I cannot help but allow this stream to flow.
My journey to connect with my purpose started with a desire for change. Early in my studies and my career, I followed what a typical business focused path. I went to a top school and one of the biggest names of consulting firms. All the while, I know I was leading a dual life, putting on a corporate mask, as my inner competitiveness did not allow me to be falling behind. This mask also meant suffering, perhaps even subconsciously, of not truly connected with myself.
My spiritual quest started with mindfulness meditations. I followed the instructions of my Buddhist teacher, of just sitting 5 min every day. Then 10min, then 20min every day. It is quite amusing what I observed. Because my body was confined, I couldn’t do anything but to watch what was going on in my mind. My mind was like a waterfall! Resulting from the busy business life, my mind was turning around and the thoughts would not stop. The idea is not to stop thoughts, as my teacher said, it is purely awareness. Like the sky, everything is allowed. Just watch!
As I continued, my mind became like a river. I gradually saw the thoughts coming, staying, and going. Later on, after going to a 10 day Vipassana retreat, the deep level of clarity opened a door for me. I know I’m very much a beginner, but I could peek through that door and see the life one can live. Because there is such deep wisdom within every one of us, naturally. When our distractions calm down, the inner wisdom and compassion will naturally rise. Of course I face many challenges continuously, including serious injury when my daughter was born. Despite all that, I could never forget the experience of looking thought that door, and I cannot give up the quest for true connectedness.
Regarding connectedness with myself, I was reflecting on my purpose and my meaning of work. I honestly didn’t even search for my purpose, it came naturally when I was updating my linkedin profile. When I was writing my title, I realize, I need to voice out, why am I here in the society. It took me 10 seconds to write: foster authentic, mindful and purpose driven organizations. Only when we can be ourselves, be mindful, can we really connect with our purpose. And only when our purpose aligns with the wider organization, can we be truly motivated and inspired. Innovations, growth and profit will come as by-products. Holacracy/ self-organization happen to be a good mechanism to foster that. Good leadership in traditional hierarchies can achieve that too. The organizational structures are just tools to allow the organization to thrive.
Since I always know I’m good with people, I have a passion for people and connections throughout my career. I know I will have an impact in promoting organizational development, in traditional structures as well as new ways of organizing. When I dive in the world of OD, agile working, digital transformation, I got immense encouragement from my fellow colleagues. The communities that live the change we want to see. #grains #grow2glow
The passionate colleagues who’re dedicated to bring new concepts such as Holacracy, purpose discovery, adaptive leadership, coaching, agile working etc. These are the real pioneers who will transform the status quo. If my work can contribute to just a bit of that transformation, this is a path worth going!