Truth, Society and Your Organisation

Orwell was clearly talking about Society as our Social Support System when he wrote this: the sociological, economic and cultural fabric that enables our community to function. Or not.

The similarities between our Society and our Organisations is striking and not a surprise to those who study and work within Organisations and find their structures and interactions fascinating. Well run, achieving, functioning Organisations remain grounded in truth and honesty, unafraid to have – or to hear –  difficult conversations, and they foster Trust and Openness. The further an Organisation strays from that ideal, the less it functions and the less it achieves. There is a cost to avoiding honesty, to shooting the messenger, and an arrogant Organisation that forgets these principles or becomes lazy in upholding them risks losing the qualities that maintain success. I wrote a piece recently about Trust and Confidentiality. These are assets in an innovative, achieving, developing organisation. Without them it is all smoke and mirrors.

Some businesses lose their underpinning values as they gain in achievements and their bottom line expands – there is the drive to acquire, to develop and to grow, and the time available to devote to Values and Principles diminishes –  or appears to. In reality that is the very time the Organisation should retain control of those V&Ps – if they slip away too far it will impact the business, will strip away the very tools that can maintain and nourish.

Devote time and energy to your Values and Principles. Hear the truth even if it hurts. Remember what it is that keeps you sailing and keeps you from drowning. Remember: if you stop people talking about the real issues, if you prevent good people from sharing their good ideas, it is the loss of the Organisation. Literally.

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