Civilisation needs a new operating system


Have just read that - 'Civilisation needs a new operating system' in a quote from Hawken (Ecologist) in Leadership Team Coaching by Peter Hawkins. This is based on the fact that humans, like other animals, could become endangered species. The view is that humans can be different because they can collaborate, and must do so to survive. No longer can one person change things on their own. Rather critical dialogue is increasingly needed to understand consequences of what we're doing.

Working together implies teams. They need to engage in quality, critical, challenging dialogue and inviting diverse views rather than drifting to communal consensus. This suggests that conflict is good. If it is, we must learn to live with it. And of course we do. We enjoy social banter which can be quite ruthless and supports our penchant for human interactional 'psychological games'. It seems we must learn to cope with exchanges of views, to steer a course to survival.

Leaders are encouraged by Peter Hawkins to be 'more competent, more articulate, more creative, more inspirational, more credible if they are to win the hearts and minds of others'. This means driving the team. to adopt constant efficiency and creativity and any other 'y' improvement we might need. Competition adds to this drive because new companies and teams aim to oust their rivals.

Yet he also suggests that leaders must facilitate others to engage in quality, critical, challenging dialogue and create the environment where no-one is scared of offering an 'at-odds' view. i.e. facilitate and contain conflict.

If conflict is healthy for our survival, how well are we prepared to cope? I observe we'd all prefer to go to the beach because thinking and discussion is hard! How can we make thinking and conflict (and critical dialogue) easier?



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