Lately, I've been reflecting on what MBM directs individuals to do. Reading (and re-reading) the Guiding Principles as well as studying the bottom layer of the Science of Human Action chart (see pages 48-49 of The Science of Success if you'd like to study it along with me) have been my main strategies for trying to understand how individuals can practice MBM. However, reading all of those things right in a row left me feeling a bit overwhelmed and reminded me of when I first started working at the Foundation.
Those feelings led me back to another topic I've been thinking a lot about lately: courage. Recently, I've come to believe that courage has an important role in the workplace, especially in an MBM organization. New employees, often overwhelmed with new mental models, especially need courage. I started bouncing this idea off of my husband and he asked, "what do you mean by courage in the workplace?"
Peter Senge says in The Fifth Discipline, "Courage is simply doing whatever is needed in pursuit of the vision" (page 208). This article (which is fascinating) says, "the ability to act on a perceived good for the organization, even in the face of fear or reprisal." I must admit that I don't have a good personal definition of courage, but I am starting to think about it more and more.
After all this churning on courage, I've started to organize my thoughts around two things:
- An MBM culture calls on us to embrace the challenge process. The challenge process takes courage: the courage to question a supervisor, the courage to admit that something might be failing and sometimes the courage to just speak up as a single voice in a crowd.
- Once we've worked someplace for awhile, we can forget how scary some of these things might seem to new people. Moreover, individuals may find different situations require more or less courage.
So, after all this thinking about courage, I've concluded that part of my job as a supervisor and contributor to culture means finding ways to help people be more courageous. What do you think about courage in the workplace? Have you found ways to help people around you be courageous? Am I on the right track here?