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How can we create workplaces where every voice matters, everyone thrives and finds meaning, and change and innovation happen naturally?
Dianne Collins: I love you’re asking that question, Bill, because, in today’s world, it is more important than ever.
People more than ever desire self-expression, authentic connection, and I think also, we want to experience mastery.
We are in this age where people can communicate in so many ways because of our wonderful technologies. We want to engage, and there’s a level of engagement people yearn for. I see with executives and leaders in major corporations that everyone wants to be recognized for their unique contribution. And it really should be that way!
Step into Our Own Leadership
Imagine that every one of us is being called upon to step into our own leadership—whether we are formally in a leadership position or not. Every single person is on the team, part of the group, and part of the organization and has something to contribute. Each one can contribute their unique perspective. Gifts they were born with. Talents they’ve developed. That person is you and only you. And I think if we become enlightened and aware of this in one another, we truly see every one of us as a leader. When we recognize this, then we are all listening to one another.
Being in One Conversation
One of the distinctions of the QuantumThink system is called Being In One Conversation. We realize we’re many voices in a conversation of creative dialogue. Or what I refer to as a relational field of communication and relationship. When we’re in this one conversation, we can all be conscious of what each of us contributes to the workplace, our team, our organization, and this project we’re all working on together.
From Industrial Age to Quantum Age
We’re also seeing our systems and structures undergoing a great transformation. Restructuring is one of the energies of the time because we’re making a leap from the Industrial Age to the Quantum Age. This is the overarching premise of QuantumThink—that we’re in a Quantum Age still using Industrial Age thinking, and that’s limiting us. When you look at how our organizations were formed, it was based on Industrial Age thinking that relied on “command and control” management styles and silos—a separation-into-parts type of thinking. We’ve moved beyond that now because of our technologies. What if our thinking was as up-to-date as our technology? That’s the leap.
When you QuantumThink, you think from the perspective of wholeness-interconnected whole systems.
That’s what makes it natural. That’s the leap. It’s time for us to recognize the value each one of us brings as integral to the whole—regardless of position or stature in the organization.
In an earlier conversation you and I had before this interview, you talked about how the events of 9/11 led you to learn how to fly, and you discovered an appreciation of a higher perspective.
A higher perspective is one of the essential aspects of what would be an enlightened and forward-thinking workplace.
Context vs. Content
It’s important that we distinguish between context and content here. When you step back to look from another QuantumThink principle, we call the Perspective of All Perspectives. This is the context that enables you to think from possibility. Most of the time, we’re in content-oriented conversations, meaning we look at the options in our immediate view. Conversations may start with a vision, then devolve into the either/or sticking points. We get into the content that brings up my way or your way. I like it, I don’t like it. I agree, I disagree. It is in these situations where we can get trapped in stalemate communications.
At the same time, yes, the content of what we’re doing is vital. We live in content daily—in life and business. The idea is when you can make this distinction between the context of the conversation and the content of the conversation, then you can step back, and you will create a space for new possibilities. From a quantum worldview, reality is context-dependent, so we know context will shape the field of actions and communications. And the results.
It’s also important to distinguish here that the question you’re in is also creating a context and giving a trajectory of where we will go. It’s going to influence what line of thinking and actions we will take.
As a simple, quick example, let’s say your team is trying to decide on a business model to implement. You can see two options in front of you. Yet, neither of those business models will lead to the accomplishment of the desired goal. You can pose a new question, and something new will open up.
Past-Based Formulas May Limit the Future
Right now, we’re in three undeniable conditions of the world. First, the pace of change is speeding up. We have rapid rampant change. It keeps getting faster and faster. That’s a scientific fact, and we experience that. The second condition is the increasing complexity and number of choices we have. And the third condition is, because of the changes, for the most part, unprecedented change, we have daily uncertainties. Some of them are unfathomable. We never know what to expect, and I think that has been the case since 9/11.
Now we find ourselves in these three undeniable conditions where we can no longer rely upon whatever formulas we used from the past—in business and our lives. We can’t even rely on knowledge because it changes so quickly.
Isn’t that very interesting? And so, what do we do? How can we be effective in these three undeniable conditions? We can move into the mastery perspective.
Think of yourself as a martial arts master. You don’t know what will be coming at you. But what you do know within your own being is that you’ve trained yourself. You know you can be so present now. You are open to possibilities. You know whatever circumstances arise in the world or come your way, you have the wherewithal and the confidence to be in right or masterful action.
I think that’s what people want right now—to know within yourself you have the wherewithal to be effective in this changing world. We’re in a time right now where everyone you speak to and I speak to—we’re all looking.
We all want that 30,000-ft perspective where you look at your life and think about, what do I want now?
How do I want my life to go moving forward in this environment? How do I make my contribution? How do I live my purpose? How do I live in the state of being joyful every day living my life? We all want that. Those three conditions in the world—change, complexity, and uncertainty—are causing people to step back and reflect on it.
Note: This is a preview of the full interview. The complete interview was selected by Apress for publication and continues in The Future of the Workplace.