Organization and the collective
A Releasing Your Unlimited Creativity discussion topic
Copyright 2008 by K. Ferlic, All Rights Reserved
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Any organization will have an interaction with a collective in two primary ways. One way is any organization forms a collective and will take on a life of it own seemingly independent of the individual pieces. The other way an organization interacts with a collective is the it or its members interact with, or is influenced by, the human collective.
A collective arises to one degree or another any time more than two independent entities interact to form a group and share a creation. The collective tend to arise based on the shared attributes, shared beliefs and/or shared experiences of its members. A collective tend to give rise to our understanding as to what it means to be part of that collective. For example, the human collective gives rise to what we think it means to be a human being. Our social collective gives rise to what we think it means to be part of our society. The organizational collective gives rise to what we think it means to be part of or a member of the organization. What is interesting about a collective is that it can take on a life of its own independent of the individual pieces. Yet, without the individual pieces, there is no organization. But any one individual seems to lose their ability to move separate from the collective.
This in ability of individual of a collective to freely move separate from the collective is one of the difficulties in a true creative endeavor where there is the influence of a collective, especially a large collective. In many ways it is like rocket trying to escape the pull of gravity. The effective of gravity on each individual mass in the planet is the results of all the pieces being together and pulling on each other. If any one piece of mass, like the mass of a rocket, tries to escape, there is a tremendous pull of all the other pieces pulling it back. It takes an enormous energy to escape the pull of gravity. The larger the planet the greater the pull. Similarly with our creative endeavors. When we must transcend or move past beliefs held by the collect to manifest the desired creation, we must escape the pull of the collective. The larger the collective, the greater the pull.
The effects of a collective are often subtle because they often occur at the subconscious or unconscious level. Our belief are layered and the beliefs shared in collective tend to lie lower in our nonconscious mind. For example, the belief of what it means to be a human being lie deeper than the our beliefs of what it means to be a member of a particular society.
Often the effects of the collective are felt more of a feeling and/or some unseen resistance or influence on what we do. We responds as a member of the collective in ways we would not respond if we were free of the collective. Some would say the effect of the collective on our response to a situation is not so much the collective as it is our taking on a role or persona of the group or organization and we are simply doing what we are expected to do as a member. But then what is the real difference. If we are not free to be true to ourselves but acting as a member of a collective group, then we are being influenced by the collective.
The organizational collective
Any organization is about harnessing the creative life energy of a group of individuals and focusing them into a common organizational goal or mission. Any organization is about combining the individual pieces, the individual members of the organization, to make a whole. What is shared among the individual members begins to from an organizational collective. The experiences of the organization gets codified in the rules of the organization and the way it does business. In time, the organization takes on a life of its own seemingly independent of the individual pieces.
As with any collective, the organizational collective gives rise to what we think it means to be part of or a member of the organization. Although we may think it only affects what we do at work, we carry the organizational collective with us wherever we go. How big an influence it has on us and our lives totally depends on what other types and kinds of experiences we have in the same areas as the organizational collective. Since we have many social interactions in addition to our organizational social interactions its affect on our social interactions will be minimized. However, if organization is responsible for all our professional interactions, the organizational collective and organizational way of doing business will have a great impact on us and how we live our life.
Another way to look at the organizational collective is the mind set or tunnel vision any particular group of individuals develop. The main different between the organizational collective and the organization mind set or tunnel vision is that the concepts of mind set or tunnel do not readily reveal how the beliefs of the mind set or tunnel vision are reinforced because they are shared with the organizational members. It is not a matter of simply changing the beliefs of a mind set and tunnel vision. Rather the individual also must deal with the fact they moving to go in a direction different from those with whom they work. They will feel a pull that seems to keep calling them back to the previous way of thinking.
Relative to a creative endeavor the impact and pull of the organizational collective will be greatest in those areas where the organizational experiences dominate our experience and minimized in those areas where we have a larger experience pool. This is one reason why creativity consults often try and get the members of an organization with whom they are working out of the workplace to some other location. Another environment offers the potential for some different types and kinds of experiences relative to the work issue that helps to break free of the pull of the organizational collective.
One indicator as to how big an influence the organizational collective will have on any one individual is the answer to the question "What is the motivation for the individuals to come together and remain together to function as an organization?" The more the motivation comes from aligning with the intention for our life, the greater the influence. The more it is based on a success criteria of the mind the influence of the organization will be as strong as the mind desires success based on the success criteria which brought the individual to the organization.
The human collective and the concept of the organization
The human collective influences an organization in two ways. Some will see them as the same but their effects are different. One way is that the very concept of the organization ties us to the collective much the concept of money ties us to the collective. The second way is being tied to the collective we have an inherent beliefs as to what we think and organization should be and how it should function for us. For some, the social collective idea of an organization is stronger than the human collective’s idea.
The concept of the organization: We all are connected to the human collective. Any group of individuals are similarly tied to the collective. As a minimum the human collective affects what we think and believe about the way a group of humans need or should respond together. The concept of the organization holds us to the collective in how we expect a group of humans interact together.
The concept of the organization is tied to the larger human collective as to how groups of individual should work together. The issue here is just thinking about an organization ties us to the past the past human thinking about organizations. Although its effects are subtle but nevertheless real. In many ways it is the underlying issued discussed in the topics "Creating Money and Wealth." That is, the concept of money as a social agreed upon medium for exchanging creative life energy. Thinking about money causes us to be pulled into the collective thinking as to what money represents. Similarly, the concept of the organization pulls us into the social collective thinking as to how a group of human should and/or need to interact together.
Where this comes into play is we all have some ideas as to how organizations should operate. These expectations are often subtle but we nevertheless expect certain things. For example, we all tend to look to someone to be in charge. We believe there needs to be a leader. Humanity has no real model of a group of individuals working off a common vision where there is no leader. For example, a situation where the lead comes from a truly shared vision. Similar, most do not have understanding of the reverse pyramid where the individuals at the bottom of the pyramid are the most important. In this kind of arrangement it is the job of the individual at the top to see the individuals at the body can effectively do what they need to do.
Our concept what an organization is to do: As said above, as a minimum the human collective affects what we think and believe about the way a group of humans need or should respond together.
Creation/creation is not done alone and humans tend to look for a mate and to be a member of some type or kind of tribe to help us have an experience of life. How we are suppose to be and act within any group of individuals. Probably the most profound impact is the belief we need to look externally for someone to tell us how we should live and/or move through life. We look for that external authority. Yet, there is a inner awareness and knowing. There is an alternative way to move through life. However doing so takes us on the left hand path and most find the pull of the collective too strong to look to follow an alternative way.
Another inherent expectation is that we believe the organization will provide for our needs to give us what we cannot get by ourselves. Most become confused, puzzled and/or disappointed when they find an organization does not meet our needs and/or nurture us in the way w think we need to be nurtured. Yet that too is part of the collective of what many believe is the human experience. Many come to believe we must look out for ourselves and look to give with some expectation of return, either a reward in this life or the next.
Organizational change and the collective
For any significant organizational change, there is the need to change a collective mind of the organization and how the organization will go about doing business after the changes are made. How this is best done depends on the organization. The most common way is to train the individuals within the organization on the desired change. However, training may not be sufficient if there are deeply habits and/or beliefs. It may be necessary to move into what is best called shifting the culture of the organization. Shifting culture is harder to do that simply teaching individuals. Shifting culture requires what is taught to be backed up with the experience as to why a shift is necessary. If the individuals cannot or do not understand why they need to shift they will not do so. Of course, penalties can be imposed to force individuals to become different but in doing so motivation and loyalty to the organization is lost.
Organizational creativity and the collective
The issue of the organizational creativity and the collective is that any collective of which we are a part will act as a pull to the past relative to any creative endeavor we understand within the span of influence of that collective. We need to realize to think about an organization and how an organization should function ties us to the past and the human collective. However, any organizational creative endeavor takes us into the unknown and outside of mind and the collective thinking. As a result there is a natural tension which arises in opposition to any organization creative endeavor that affects how the organization will do business. How significant the tension and how much of an obstacle it becomes depends on the organization and how closely tied it is to the human collective and how the human collective functions and how strong the organizational collective hold to the past.
We need to remember the concept of the organization pulls us into the social collective thinking as to how a group of human should and/or need to interact together. Any creative endeavor which attempts to change the human collective model of how humans should interact will have a great resistance pulling the effort to the past.