An organization is a social system. And any social system is made up of individuals, peopel who all have their concerns, purposes and circumstances, their own mental maps and their very personal drivers. Everybody is an agent of change and nobody can be left out in a change process .
Practices for self-reflection are part of any ancient tradition but have been disregarded in scietific management practices until recently. It was Peter Senge
in 1990 who called Personal Mastery as one of the five core disciplines for learning organizations. And it was Otto Scharmer
who at the turn of our century stressed the importance of a deep reflective learning cycle.
People with a high level of personal mastery live in a continual learning mode. They never ‘arrive’. Sometimes, language, such as the term ‘personal mastery’ creates a misleading sense of definiteness, of black and white. But personal mastery is not something you possess. It is a process. It is a lifelong discipline. People with a high level of personal mastery are acutely aware of their ignorance, their incompetence, their growth areas. And they are deeply self-confident. Paradoxical? Only for those who do not see the ‘journey is the reward’. (Peter Senge 1990, The Fifth Discipline, p. 142)
Organizations, in order to grow, need to make sure that people have ample opportunity to reflect on their purpose, their relationships, their skills and attitudes. Without common practices and rituals, this point usually gets lost in the daily business.
Questions for Deeper Exploration
- What are the assumptions on which we base our thinking and how can we challenge them?
- How do we deal with uncertainty and complexity?
- What intra-personal skills do we need to develop for being able to see the future unfold?
- Can we turn to somebody to talk about our deepest concerns, circumstances and needs?