There is a lot of talk these days about REINVENTING - the Organisation, or the Industry, or even just a process or a product. The concept is used superficially and indiscriminately, without the vaguest appreciation of what reinvention really entails. Suffice it to say that you cannot reinvent your Organisation, Industry, Community, Country, Profession, or Products, WITHOUT FIRST REINVENTING YOURSELF.
When people glibly talk about reinventing an organisation, the process, as far as they are concerned, typically involves improvement of some kind. There is a focus on DOING, on fixing, or improving this or that. This is a consequence of the sixteenth-century Newtonian mechanistic and deterministic view of the universe that still guides much thinking today, but which has become increasingly dysfunctional in these times of interdependence, rapid change and even chaos. Typically, re-engineering, incremental improvement, benchmarking, best practice and even Paradigm Shift, fall under the umbrella of the so-called Universal Human Paradigm, with its preoccupation on doing, fixing, or improving.
There is no denying that all these processes are useful, and at times necessary – but they cannot remotely be classified as reinvention. For example, in order to shift a paradigm, you have to have one, whereas to reinvent a paradigm, you have to CREATE one that doesn’t exist in your current reality. Therefore the executive who would master reinvention must journey into a largely unfamiliar, and at times, uncomfortable territory. In this territory a crucial dimension is hidden until we learn to distinguish
it. This is the territory or domain of BEING. Reinvention entails the creation of a new context. It embraces the art and craft of continuously engineering SHIFTS IN BEING, which in turn produce sustainable, unprecedented results, which could even be designated as IMPOSSIBILITIES. The capacity to discover and participate in our unfolding future has more to do with our BEING – our total orientation of character and consciousness – than with our DOING.
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