ASQ - Team and Workplace Excellence Forum


December 1997

Articles

Whole Foods Includes Whole Self
Capitalizing on Human Resources Encourages Growth at Whole Foods Market

Making Waves With Employee Recognition
Rewards and Recognition Practices at Sea World

Honeywell's High Flying Division Shows Company The Way To Participation
Union-Management Relations Help Airplane Part Manufacturer Excel



Columns

Freedom's Just Another Word
by Peter Block

Highs and Lows Of Participation
by Cathy Kramer


Features

Brief Cases
Business News Briefs

Views for a Change

Pageturners
Book Review

 

Freedom's Just Another Word
by Peter Block

Next time you start to enroll others in a change,
Stop.
Ask.
Do you, too, want to be enrolled?
How would it feel if,
Someone else had a plan for you,
A business plan and
You were their targeted customer,
You were their niche market,
You were demographically ideal,
You were their target for transformation?

All presented to you as a response to your needs.

You will have become:
A code, not a person,
An income level,
A job title,
A consumer,
A desire waiting to be discovered.

So in their business plan, their change strategy, they
Are meeting today to decide how to get you on board.
They think you are adrift, in the water.
Ship is leaving soon, better get on board.

Can we count on you? Are you aligned?
Do you feel the heat of the burning platform?
Are you ready to enroll? Readiness is everything.

We don't want to rush you. We need your whole person.
Spirit, mind and soul only, need apply. We already have
Your body. Boring. Not enough.

If you are not ready, then we have a literacy problem.
You could not possibly disagree, you must not understand.
You can not see the whole picture.

So now, be enrolled, relax, be aligned, team player.
Help cascade the change down. They have become we.
Take it to scale.

But what do we do with the deadwood?
Start a fire, perhaps a fire sale.
Clothe them with some portable skills, portable pension.
Transition management, not caused by us,
Caused by the inevitable restructuring of the marketplace.
Adam Smith, the invisible man, guilty again.

Since we can't fire anyone, we help them see
It is a problem of fit. Their foot and our shoe.
No one's fault.
No fault divorce. No fault insurance, no fault termination.
Counseling on the way out, see it as a growth experience.
God's way of telling you that your work in this place
Is done.

Now just us. Survivors. Enrolled. Aligned.
Common language, common skills. Rowing together.
Market driven, customer focused. Value analyzed.
Incented, One mind, one purpose.

What a country.
What a healthy place to work.
Find a mall. Shop by phone, by net,
Keyboard conversations.
Come as you are. Unseen.

What's on T.V. tonight? Maybe a video.
Set the alarm. Wake up to easy listening. WFIX.
Forty-five minutes of talk free, commercial free Listening.
Lead, follow or fall asleep.
Freedom's just another word.

Change that offers hope,
Based on faith is
A state of mind first, body second.

Transformation is becoming more of who we are.

The mind that needs shifting is our own.
Their mind is just fine.

If there is deadwood, let it be us.
We have choice only over what is in the mirror.
Want top management support?
Want allies, constituency, be part of a larger movement?

Find a mirror: There is top management.

There is your role model

On November 9, Jimmy Carter said, "America is a country whose highest possible achievement is to be a citizen."
In this sentence he wrote the book.
Now we just have to fill in the pages.

So we are in search of citizens

Others who care for the whole, willing to engage.
Surrender to an idea.
Find their voice.
Willing to speak of doubt. Failure. Answerless questions.

Citizens know they can not bowl alone.
They care about place,
Yield on territory.
See capacities, not needs.
All the wood is alive when we are all we've got.

Change happens when we find others.
Invite them to come together.
Convene those who do the work, form a circle, no wagons.

The circle will decide on strategy for itself.
It knows what it needs for fuel and knowledge.

We know what we don't know, we just pretend
We have forgotten.

Faith is what is required.
Betting on what is possible. That we can
Overcome our own history.
We can motivate ourselves.

Use the language of reception, surprise.
Not knowing.
Offer freedom in exchange for failure.
Discovery.

Bosses join the circle. Sit as members.
Crown left at the door. Partners, no parents.

Enrollment and alignment occurs the moment we enter the room.
Language of invitation, nothing driven or installed.

What do we want to create together.

Freedom's just another word for what we have
Given away.

And can reclaim.


December '97 News for a Change | Email Editor
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