We were recently asked if, as coaches and consultants, we could go in and “fix” an organization. It is an interesting question because while we make a significant impact on an organization and we support organizational success, we don’t “fix” the organization as much as we teach the individuals in the organization to step into their power and create an organization that they value and respect.
Think of it this way –
There are painters, called pointillists, who create amazing paintings that consist of thousands of individual dots (points). When you first glance at the painting, it appears to be solid brushstrokes and solid figures; yet, when you step in close to the painting you see that it is actually thousands of individual dots of paint in varying colors and widths. Just dots. To change the picture, the painter must change the individual dots either by making them a different color or hue, shifting how large they are, or clustering the dots in a different way. In pointillism, each dot matters, smearing them together or trying to change them en masse would distort the beauty of the image.
Like pointillists, we work with organizations one dot (one person) at a time. We encourage the development of systems and structures that support many, many people . . . one person at a time. Over and over we find that leaders are more effective when they can remember and reflect on the impact that they have on each individual and not think about the members of their team as a single entity. An awareness of how a policy or a change in structure will affect each individual allows leaders to create policies and structures that have the greatest likelihood of success with everyone.
This week, we would like you to take a moment to look at your life as if it was a pointillist painting. As you reflect on this image of your life, consider how honoring each individual (each dot) will enhance your ability to create success in your life – either through your organization, at home with your family, or in your community. For example, if you are a leader considering a policy change at work – we certainly are not suggesting that you discuss it with every individual in your organization – but we are suggesting that as you consider making a change you first ask yourself what it will mean for the various individuals in your organization and use that information to refine, implement, and/or communicate the change in a way that respects the differences and richness held in each of the individual dots.
We hope that you will be in awe of the many and varied dots that make up the image of your life.