“One must always remember that motion does not always mean progress” – Peter Drucker.
(Are you still relating movement, motion, and mobility to progress? If so you are not alone!)
Most company leaders in the past two hundred years have been concerned with mobility and motion in their business adventures. Today, a lot of business owners that I know, are still very concerned with the same issues. These matters are issues such as travel to see their vendors overseas, making frequent visits to their customer’s place of business, making sure that their employees are at work on time, etc.
In other words, the physical position of their body and their employee’s bodies are still a huge concern to them. And because they put such high priority to these issues they allocate a lot of money and resources to take care of what they assess, with low level of grounding, needs to be taken care of.
However the issue of motion and movement in the new networked age is very much obsolete. In his recent book, “The Age of Turbulence” Allen Greenspan states that most economists unanimously agree that due to the arrival of the internet the death of distance is here. What this means to me is that the challenge that shaped the ontology of Industrial age in the business was based upon motion, mobility, movements, and distance, but in the Information age the notion of motion and movement is replaced with different priorities such as KNOWELGE, MOODS, EMOTIONS, and other metaphysical issues for the knowledge based worker.
In other words making sure that your white collar employee to be on time takes the back seat to making sure that your employee fulfills his promises, he/she is engaged with personal growth, that there is enough sense of trust in your team, and that everyone shares your company’s mission. These are critical yet very abstract matters, nevertheless they must be taken seriously. They have come to focus as the new permanent domain of concern of the new offices around the world, especially among the more advanced nations such as United States.
In his Book “Post-Capitalist Society” Peter Drucker says the following:
“Every few hundred years in Western history there occurs a sharp transformation. We cross what in an earlier book* I called a “divide”. Within a few short decades, society rearranges itself- its worldview; its basic values; its social and political structures; its arts; its key institutions. Fifty years later, there is a new world. And the people born then cannot even imagine the world in which their grandparents lived and into which their own parents were born.”
He goes on to claim that the divide that has occurred, due to information revolution, will be the most dramatic and severe Divide, affecting not only the western economies, but rather the entire planet. Simply said, understating progress and more importantly achieving meaningful progress is now a very serious question that each of us in business must learn to tackle.
What does this mean to you and me as leaders and owners of business in the new age? How should we assess progress?
I can state with certainty that Drucker’s analysis is well grounded and true. Today’s business must become concerned with accumulation of knowledge. However the key question is that accumulation of knowledge is not only about reading books for the sake of getting new information. This understanding of knowledge is a very narrow view and is what causes a lot of leaders and companies to fail. In fact I will go as far as claiming that a lot of our problems are caused due to such interpretations about Knowledge and learning.
When we interpret accumulation of knowledge only as an act of reading for the sake of getting new information we become stuck in descriptive mode. Since most of us have limited common sense knowledge of “language action model” we then look for descriptive progress. We develop plans that lack proper understanding of today’s world challenge. Normally everything in the plan must be executed in a controlled environment and all events that have been spelled out in the plan must go according to the plan in order for the desired results to show up. The fact that there have been so many failures in the business world must be strong evidence that this model or approach will no longer work. Desired outcomes cannot be accidental.
Business owners and the corporate world have been fed up because of so much failure. These failures have been happening, because businesses have been listening to their consulting firms. Actually, the word on the street is that business consultants no longer demand the kind of wages that they used to get because most of what they offer no longer works. This has become so, precisely because most management gurus with advance degrees are stuck in the old notion of knowledge and they lack proper competencies that are necessary to address the new uncertainties that are now present. The recent financial meltdown is a perfect example. There is little dispute that most of the responsibilities for these failures lie mostly with educated people in financial sectors and/or government offices around the planet. These people possess degrees from the most prestigious universities in the world, yet their education has not been enough to deal with what has happened.
What does Ontological Coaching address and why you as business owners should not only learn about the Coaching world but also Hire a business coach who has expertise in Leadership and Organization coaching field?
Ontological Coaching is a new discipline that is concerned with the role of language, body, and emotion http://humancoach.com/ontological-coaching/. With the new ‘’Language action model approach’’ that offers a new ontology of action, coaches who are properly trained in this practice, bring the necessary skills to their teams. Skills such as concrete relationship building practices, identifying shared promise for team members, new execution practices and more. This common sense approach to coordination for the sake of identifying proper conditions of satisfaction, i.e. PROGRESS, in business world does not yet exist in the workplace.
When looking at the previous “Divides”, as Drucker put it, you will see that as new challenges rose it became apparent that new disciplines had to be invented and come into existence as new practices in order to address the new uncertainties. I doubt that when Mr. Ford started his company he thought that he will need a Human resource (HR) department. But once the discipline of Management took hold later in the workplace, The HR department became as important and critical to the growth of The Ford Company as the factories where they build the cars.
Ontological Coaching is that new category that we must now become concerned with, not only know about but also allocate resources to. This is not a new wing of a HR department rather a totally new category. As business owners we must address this missing category. Just as we need a HR, accounting, and sales department we must now create Coaching departments.
In closing, since the game theory is a good metaphor among business management circles and in fact a coaching and a teaching vehicle for ontological business coaches, I would like to ask any sports fan to tell me when was the last time that they saw their favorite team to play a major game without their team’s coach and his staff present. I am a huge Lakers’ fan, every time I watch a game, it is very apparent to me that Phil Jackson, Team’s head coach and his staff, has as much to do with every team’s win/loss as any of the players on the court.
By Ebby Benelyahu