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Collected thoughts on Camelot and the 360° Assessment #2 Taken from the private notes of King's Author's Fool, Dated October 20, 530 Anno Domini Yesterday, I received a message from the Fool employed by the King of Clueless. Recently they had a kingdom-wide 360° assessment and received some interesting results from the largest city in each of the two largest provinces. I was interested in his observations and asked him to give me a little background on his experience. The Fool explained that Green Province knights lived in the city of Integrity with Prince Perspective. The Black Province knights...
While Donaldson-Pressman and Pressman are focusing on the family system, they do have a few things to say initially about the narcissistic personality. I will use some of my own language to describe three different categories of individual narcissism – building on the descriptions offered by Donaldson-Pressman and Pressman. I wil then turn to the characteristics of the narcissistic organization. The Flagrant (Overt) Narcissist This is the person who is always talking about themselves and engaging in activities that brings attention to them. Their apparent “love” for other people is actually love reflected back onto them. The flagrant narcissist...
Fundamental Question What are the paradoxes, whip lashing contradictions and dizzying changes of which our world is made, and how might an appreciative perspective assist in responding to the challenges of this postmodern condition? Many 21st Century societies today are faced with three challenging conditions. Fragmented and Paradoxical Images First, they are guided by a fragmented and often paradoxical image of their present condition and their future condition. Their present condition includes both a strong trend toward globalization and an equally strong trend toward localization. We live in a world that challenges us to be aware of and interact...
Camelot had many traditions and energetic King Arthur was making even more. One kingly tradition was to give the next highly challenging assignment to the knight who recently performed with excellence. In this case, the White Knight was asked to correct the civil unrest in a nearby province because it had severely curtailed tax revenues. The White Knight performed wonders. Within two months, civil unrest was under control and taxes again flowed into the King's coffers. Another tradition within the kingdom was to perform annual Knight Awards. Per the custom, peasants throughout the land identified their most, and least...
Functional organizations are not places of the body and mind. They are places of spirit and soul. There is no such thing as a “secular” organization—for all contemporary models of organizational life are deeply embedded to the framework of ancient religious practices and have been nurtured in the soil of communal life and traditional societies. Functional and effective leadership requires a movement to soulfulness and spirit—terms and dynamics that are not easily understood or embraced in our 21st Century postmodern society. Don Quixote and Narcissism We must further look to a shift from the modern organizational emphasis on goal-setting...
Fundamental Question How do we lead, consult and coach with in widely differing settings in which organizational culture varies and organizational structures and processes vary so widely? In my previous essays on this blog I described the fundamental nature of societies that might best be assigned the labels “premodern”, “modern” and “postmodern”. In this essay I briefly, but systematically, review many of the elements of three types of organizations and suggest several perspectives and strategies by which the leaders of contemporary organizations can survive in and even help to co-create our emerging postmodern world. Eight dimensions are commonly used...
Fundamental Question How do we lead, consult and coach within highly challenging settings that require the use of new strategies as well as the return to the old strategies and images of both premodern and modern societies? In a previous entry on this blog I summarized the essential differences between organizations that exist and operate within premodern, modern and postmodern societies. In this essay, I focus specifically on some of the most salient characteristics of 21st Century organizations that face the complexity, unpredictability and turbulence of a postmodern world. On The Edge The postmodernists tell us that boundaries and...
We propose that the transition from the premodern to the modern society has produced a comparable transition in the form that organizations take and the roles being played by people who work within these organizations. Furthermore, there are comparable changes in organizational forms and roles that are taking place with the transition from a modern to postmodern society. In many cases, technology is the common element in bringing about the transition from premodern to modern and from modern to postmodern in both social structures and organizational forms and roles. New machine-based technologies created the industrial era, which transformed the...
The new social structures into which the more privileged people of the world are moving offers a remarkable mixture (hybrid/pastiche/mosaic) of the premodern, modern and postmodern. New communities are being formed that in some ways resemble the premodern villages of olden times—yet these new communities are formed around electronic communication systems and the new digital economies of the 21st Century. We are returning to bartering systems, but are now negotiating exchanges over the Internet rather than down at the Town Square. The big businesses of the modern era continue to exist, but are now competing or cooperating with the...
The modern society is a byproduct of Western industrialization. As machine were being invented and built that enabled mass production, there was an increasing need for centralization of both capital (for the machines were very expensive) and a work force (to run the machines). Extended families from premodern communities were broken up as the younger members of the family were lured by the prospect of money and material possessions to the new urban centers of industry. Of even greater importance (especially in modern American life) was the creation of a new form of community—called the suburb. Often identified as...
Fundamental Question: How do we lead, consult and coach in such widely differing social systems that now exist in our 21 Century world? We now live in a world that supports three different types of social structure. One of these social structures has been present for many centuries. A vast majority of the people now living reside in this type of social structure. This structure goes by many names: “traditional,” “primitive,” “developing,” “third world,” “agrarian” and “neo-feudal.” I have chosen to use the term premodern in identifying this social structure, in large part because the other terms tend to be...
Premodern Societies are economically based in the extraction or cultivation of natural resources: agriculture, mining, forestry, fishing, ranching and related activities. It is also founded in craftsmanship—these crafts ranging from the production of tools to the creation of artistic works. While some premodern societies are very loosely structured and formed around nomadic patterns of living (the gathering rather than extraction or cultivation of nature resources), most premodern societies that exist today are founded in small villages or other closely-knit communities. The loosely structured forms of the premodern society are most likely to exist in regions of the world where...