It's almost the first day of Fall, and the season of harvest is a good time to "take harvest" of what we've been learning.
Because we are always learning, right? Life is a wonderful teacher, but we have to find those little moments where we can slow down and 'reflect back' on what wisdom there is to glean from our topsy turvy lives.
To be honest, the last four weeks have been a bit of a blur. September is what I call "retreat season" and I tend to leap from one deliverable to the next like a frog leaping lilypads. What a great month though! Here are some of the things I've been learning lately:
1) When it comes to organizational development, there are tools, and then there are ethics. These two elements work in concert. In short, it's great to know how to influence a team, but your intentions are just as important as your skills. Leaders who want to support, affirm, and empower their teams are using these tools for the right reasons. Using the tools of OD for purely financial aims (we care about money, not people) isn't effective in the long run. Business is as much about heart as it is about head.
2) I love working with engineers and scientists. There is this excellent combination of intelligence, curiosity, and quiet kindness that many of them possess.
3) "Mission-driven organizations" can't be identified by their business structure or mission statement. Some orgs with do-gooder missions are focused on dollars above people, and some apparently "profit driven" businesses have an incredibly strong mission and incredible social benefits. You need to dig beneath the surface to find a good mission-driven business or social enterprise.
So my quiet moment is over, and I'm due for another meeting. But I invite you to find a quiet hour for yourself sometime soon to ask the same question. "What am I learning?"
More to come next week. We have some excellent reader input on coworker conflicts, a guest post from an outstanding executive director talking about her first year in not-for-profit leadership, and a book giveaway.
Cheri Baker is an Organizational Development Consultant who had a blast facilitating leadership training for a group of environmental engineers last week. :)