Practice #3 of 8 Become Bi-cultural
Organisational learning projects are often launched as essential for maintaining relevance in a changing world. However, people will inevitably resist such projects when they cannot see their own relevance in the changing world.
There is a long history of change makers with brilliant ideas that failed to spread. Very often it is the change-maker’s passion that becomes the source of their difficulty. Their passion blinds them to how they are perceived by others. They do not see that others see them as lacking in empathy for how their efforts will impact.
Dealing with this requires political intelligence, or in the language of Peter Senge the capability to be bi-cultural. This means having the ability to connect with and communicate with differing worldviews; that which represents the open and learning-oriented worldview of the change maker AND the more traditional and conservative worldview of the mainstream organisation.
You need to change the culture without raising red flags. Initiatives need to be designed and communicated with the language and values of the incumbent in mind. In other words, empathetically!
Craft goals in the language and worldview of the prevailing culture while enabling people to make sense of those goals in their own terms.
This is the work of the bi-culturalist.
Practice #2 – Start with Ripe Issues
Read about the Five Disciplines of Learning Organisations
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