Organisational Happiness

If youGardener want to be happy…

If you want to be happy for just a while – there are many things that will make you smile. Life’s passing pleasures lie all around and there’s many a brief joy to be found.

But if endless happiness is your aim – a joy that burns with a lasting flame – it’s a garden you’re wanting, a patch of ground to plant and sow as the years come around.

For every hour on such labour spent – will yield a harvest of rich content. When it’s time to rest and your strength gives out – you’ll still have the garden to dream about.

Patience Strong aka Winifred Emma May

When studying leadership philosophies, process improvement methodologies and other things to do in order to make an organisation work it always strikes me how short-sighted and limited each such approach typically is.

We are looking for quick fixes, looking for ways of making the next quarter better than the previous. And we want to make it happen with this or that new idea. We believe in new ideas, possibly because we noticed that the old ideas didn’t work. As we do not know what to do, we are clutching at straws – trusting anything possible to believe in. If it is new but with some other organisations already having had a good experience with it; this might be the magic bullet, we are hoping for.

In the poem above, Patience Strong back in 1955 managed to pin out the problem – and its solution – in just a few nicely put words. The poem is from a pocket-book called Flowers of Friendship.

I guess that each new generation of people is trying to find the truths of life. They believe that the world is so much different today that they cannot use old wisdom, old knowledge (or old people). They believe in the young world: the world of young people with fresh ideas.

But what if people are really the same species throughout history – if each new generation is facing the same challenges of life and doing about the same things to find about the same solutions? Would the world then not be the same old world, just with new people?

When grouping together in families, workplaces, clubs, and other kinds of organisations, people tend to behave like people. Not looking very far ahead seems to be connected with not identifying with the past – believing that we are new and cannot use the old means that we cannot understand how what we do now could be useful for the future. So we do not pursuit the idea of gardening, of building up lasting value. We dwelve instead with todays problems on positioning ourselves in the flock, securing our lives for tomorrow, but not for the day after tomorrow. We live in the now.

Organisations consist of people. Gardening should lead to lasting happiness amongst these people – the feeling of having created a connection between the present and the future will last as a good feeling. Seeing the effects will make us proud, the memories will continue to feed our dreams for the rest of our lives.

Think of it for a while – what  would organisational gardening be to you? How could you create something of lasting value, something that would feed your dreams till you die?

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6 Responses to Organisational Happiness

  1. Reblogged this on Fremtidens Verden and commented:

    Organisatorisk lykke… når organisationer består af mennesker, vil det så ikke være sådan, at en organisation kan have en højere grad af organisatorisk lykke, hvis dens medlemmer er mere lykkelige? Og hvis langsigtet tænkning og havearbejde gør folk lykkelige, skal organisationer så ikke begynde at tænke langsigtet – og engagere sig i “havearbejde”? – Fremtiden er lys for de, der forstår denne tænkning…

  2. rjourns2k says:

    Thank you and appreciate your link back !

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