Growing Capacity

In organizations, real power and energy is generated through relationships. The patterns of relationships and the capacities to form them are more important than tasks, functions, roles and positions.

Margaret Wheatly

If you were to take a snapshot view of your organization, based on the perspective of what Margaret Wheatley suggests here, what would you see? Is there a great emphasis on the task at hand, while relationships suffer along? Are departments and/or individuals operating as silos; islands unto themselves? Is it possible that, if the organization were to invest some effort into the “capacity to form” relationships, significant progress would be made? What could your role as one individual be? How much impact could you create?

Capacity is: the faculty or potential for treating, experiencing, or appreciating

Relationship is: the mutual dealings, connections, or feelings that exist between two parties, countries, people, etc

Capacity to form relationships then would be the faculty (inherent power or ability) and potential to connect, experience, appreciate and treat people in a manner that feels mutually beneficial between the parties.

This seems like it would not only be reasonable, but also desirable…so why does our capacity for relationship suffer? Is it possible that it is simply our human condition of pride, fear and selfishness? We want the credit or prize, we fear failure if we empower others, we don’t believe that it will be “mutual” or reciprocal…and on and on…

Capacity begins with understanding…and someone always has to begin; to take the first step of trust.

What are we trying to get done? What is my part? What is your part? How does these “parts” intersect? What is the challenge that you are facing in doing your part? How might we mutually benefit each other through collaboration?

Challenge: This week try just ten minutes of exploring the reality of a colleagues world.