For some time, I’ve agreed with those who maintain that the brain doesn’t control the body unless the mind has surrendered its position. (My actions haven’t always aligned with this belief, granted, and every now and then health events remind me to align my actions and my beliefs.)
For about the same period of time, I have used the brain-body analogy to better understand organisation success. Yet, I had not fully explored the mind-brain connection with this until this past week.
During reflections, I came across this organisational change story (abridged here from Peter Hawkins’ The Wise Fool’s Guide to Leadership):
The Change advisor asks: What is this organisation you want to change? He is shown the glossy annual report.
You want me to redesign this report, he asks? No, the executive replies – this is what we tell our shareholders. The organisation we want you to change is reflected in these company accounts. The advisor flicks through the accounts and asks: Your organisation is made up of figures, all neatly lined up in rows on paper? Not at all, the executive replies. Here is our organisation….. and shows him an organisational chart. I see, comes the reply: your organisation consists of a series of boxes, each joined to the others by straight and dotted lines. In exasperation, the executive says: All right, the organisation is not the propaganda, the accounts nor the written structure. As the organisation is really the people, I will clear the car park and get all our employees out there. Then you will really see our organisation.
The reply? So, your organisation is a large crowd in an empty space, wondering what the $%#@ they are doing there?
If, as some maintain, the mind programs the brain which runs the programmes (the effects of which show up in the body), what programs the mind?
Before this slips into the esoteric, consider the average organisation – the organisation brain-body has elements of:
- mid-brain purpose and drive
- right brain genesis, creativity, passion, relationships
- left brain roles, structure, plans and systems to execute on potential
- practical functions to carry out daily actions
But what, where or who is the mind?
Considering that many rely on the average organisation for livelihood, for services and for returns, I would prioritise the soundness and health of the organisational mind.