You Can’t Think Your Way Into Reality

Here’s an invitation: Turn on the news for 10 minutes or read the front page of any major newspaper and get really still — relaxing your face and jaw, letting your belly go, feeling your feet on the ground, opening your eyes wide. What do you notice?

If you’re anything like me, you might start to tune into a creeping feeling that something major is lacking in our society as you scan or listen to the headlines. I’ve experienced a similar phenomenon inside of the companies and corporations I’ve spent time in over the past five years, working on culture and developing leaders. There is a lot of talking happening about plans and strategies about things like collaboration, psychological safety, innovation. Very rarely in the organizational consultant/executive leader client relationship do these concepts about these desired ways of working give way to the here and now the reality of becoming a collaborator, for example. That is to say, the assumed alignment on a definition of a concept often carries the weight necessary for folks to feel like they’re doing the thing they’re espousing when they aren’t.