As I discussed in my last post, Self-management, Wholeness and Purpose are the basic ingredients to create amazing exponential growing teams. In this post I want to focus on the most important and the hardest to adopt ingredient, Wholeness.
Relatively it’s easier to understand and implement purpose and self-management. They are more concrete, easy to understand and therefore easier to implement. Wholeness on the other way is vague, hard to grasp and requires behavioral change from all (or in best cases most) of group members.
First we must ask the big question, what is wholeness? For me there are two main elements of wholeness:
- Wholeness of groups : is the understanding that each individual is part of the group(s), which then becomes a part of a bigger group (that contains all the sub groups). all of these sub-groups create one big group, or a “whole”. This concept of wholeness contradicts with the classical departments or groups that you’ll find in most of current organization ( Marketing, IT, Finical, Operations, etc).
- Wholeness of individuals : is the understanding that people have different views and personalities, and those people need to work and behave as one coherent group. A coherent group refers to people walking on the same path towards the same goal, what I mean by this is understanding that people have different behaviors and different ways of doing tasks. These differences can cause one individual to view another in a negative way, because that individual is doing the task differently when in reality they are both trying to accomplish the same goal. We all know already that cohesive team is better than one lonely genius, we just don’t know how to achieve it. This contradicts with the concept of the lonely hero and the request from people to show up to work with a narrow “professional” self and to check other parts of the self at the door.
Even if I managed to help you understand the concept of Wholeness and make it more concrete, you will still probably be puzzled about how to implement this concept into existing organizations culture. To be honest the hardest part in creating an exponential growing team is implementing the concept of wholeness. Creating Wholeness culture in new forming team is much more easier than installing wholeness in existing culture. In this post I’m trying to share what I’ve learned about injecting wholeness into existing culture and change this existing culture from within.
I can share my experience and the purpose of Marram is that other people can share their own experience, to help each other or anyone else that want to start this journey as well.
I’ve learned that although those two aspects (wholeness of group, and individual) are going hand in hand, it’s easier to introduce the concept of wholeness of groups than wholeness of individuals. At first I tried to change group wholeness several times without much success. What I learned from those failures is that you need to break the current teams and departments that exist formally and informally into groups that have mixture of needed people from the previous teams and departments. The only successful way that I found was to use the overall “Whole” purpose as a common purpose. Once you have common purpose, the next step is to brainstorm what are the main functions that are needed to reach the common goal. Once you have the main functions it is easier to identify what are the needed expertise from the old structure to reach the newly formed functions. Following this approach you’ll end up with new structure that is far away from the artificially created structures that mainly exist today. Although this new structure has logic and if you involved your group has buy-in as well, it’s still takes time, care and attentions to details to make the new structure as the de-factor organization structure. This is not easy task, but significantly easier than individuals wholeness.
There is simple method to implement Individuals wholeness, but it takes more time, effort and resistance. The best way that I found to work is pairing two group members with opposite personalities, needs and behaviors. Next you need make the two people understand that each of them behave in a certain way, because that is how they function and do their best work and not because they hate the person or try to be a negative person. In this long process two people learn what motivate other personalities and how to appreciate and work with people with different or opposite personalities than their own. This process also slowly teach people that they can and need to bring their whole personality into work. For example, it’s better to discuss tensions between group members, rather than let some professional entity to do the work for you. This approach is working for us, the only limitation is the time and resource needed to drive this change.
In this post I tried to share my experience and what is working for us, I’ll be happy to hear what is working for you. If you have any additional questions feel free to contact me in the comment section.