Towards A Science Of Life As Creative Organisms ~ Norm Hirst June 1, 2008
Read Norm Hirsts paper published in Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy  Click Here

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Transforming the Workplace into a Life Giving Experience by Tess Jette

 

Six pillars of process that must be maintained to insure a life giving, productive workplace.

 

I.              Embrace change; it is the essence of life and growth.

II.            Get personal and be present

III.          Work is a privilege and it is creating

IV.          Create a nurturing and sensory rich environment

V.            Love the workers and the workplace before the work

VI.          Make time for community and celebration

 

It begins with an understanding of the value of each individual as singularly unique and as a significant part of the whole.  It begins with a philosophy that everyone is here for a reason and that there is a reason for every result.  It begins with a desire to create, to be aware, to be involved, to be passionate, to relate, to nurture and to love.  It begins with an act.

 

Every act contributes uniquely to the makeup of who we are. Recurring results of specific acts become stored data that form our physical and emotional reality.  That reality is confirmed each time an act is repeated and causes a similar effect.  The reality from that act becomes a rule for living that we incorporate into the conceptualization of who we are and what we can expect.   If the act of a child is to reach out for affection and that child is pushed away or abused that child eventually stores the information that reaching out for affection is not an effective act. 

 

The living being is continuously acting out on its environment. If a person matures cataloging negative results the outcome is an erosion in the trust of oneself to effectively act with positive results.  The reality we begin to form from the moment of the first act, whether it is a conscious memory or not, is the emotional reality that we draw on every day to make decisions.

 

When a group of people are drawn together in a work environment,   each relates and communicates according to his/her own accumulated set of rules.  They bring with them a singular perception of the world, their value in it and an expected result of how they will be received and treated.  The possibility of ending up in a work environment that includes only people who feel well adjusted, centered, self-assured, confident, and valued is probably zero.  We live in a culture that glorifies technology and we live and work amongst people who have learned to not trust in their own felt sense.  They no longer act from the heart but rather based on the result of information received from external sources, hence the lost of trust in their own “gut” feeling of what is good or bad for them. 


Our first acts are based on instinct. The act is formed from within, from a feeling of pure self-interest, self-motivation or self-protection.  It is only in an environment that allows freedom of action without retribution that each being can truly follow a path that is genuinely true to that being’s sense of self.  Each individual, allowed to test acts without fear, in a trusting environment, is then truly in a place of learning.

 

The highest and best goal for any manager is to try to create this learning environment.  The only way to achieve this is with trust.  By trust we mean trusting that each person’s activities, creations, ideas and feelings are no less valued than anyone else’s.  One must trust that every person is emotionally and spiritually exactly where they need to be in their life and that you have no control over their unique decisions for themselves.  The role management plays is to serve, to create a safe haven, a trusting environment that allows people to feel.  Once a person truly believes that it is o.k. to feel and express those feelings honestly without fear of injury something wonderful  begins to happen.  You get to know the people you are working with. 

 

   

The structure of the workplace, both physical and spiritual, is key.  What is apparent is that fewer rules and regulations make managing easier and allows the community to self-organize.  Some parameters, however, are absolutely necessary.  Boundaries are required to establish a safe environment and maintain a sense of fairness.   Rules and regulations should be reviewed periodically to determine if they still apply to the entire community, and whether they still make sense at all.  Every community is dynamic and evolving.  It is also important to make sure that rules are not being put in place as a reaction to a single incident.  Each incident should be handled on an individual basis taking into consideration the circumstances surrounding the event.  Always look at the SYSTEM first, not the individual.  The first reflection should be with management.  Ask the question, “Did we provide the right support, were we completely clear, is there a way to avoid a similar event in the future without adding restraints to our entire community?”

 

As an example, a small manufacturing company in Connecticut had multiple errors with shipments.  Even with all the signage, notes, meetings and paperwork provided to insure that every possible question was answered prior to shipping mistakes still occurred.  Management was at an impasse as to how to make clear what needed to happen.  The first instinct was an old one; just say it louder.  Instead of jumping up and down and berating two genuinely committed employees about how they had failed the company, management completely turned the “traditional” table.  The two employees came into the conference room with heads bowed completely expecting to be shamed into doing a better job.  Management began the meeting as follows:  “When a ship runs aground who gets blamed?  It’s not the guy steering the ship, it’s the captain.”  Management took full responsibility.  They admitted that even with all the systems created they had failed to provide one that worked for everyone.  The solution presented was for these two employees to remain in that conference room and design a new system that would work for them.  They were given an unlimited timeframe to accomplish this task and were assured that the company would purchase whatever tools necessary that they felt would assist them.  In a matter of 2 hours they submitted a completed presentation (which included the purchase of lime green labels).   Management affected the changes immediately.  The system was in place for quite some time and worked for as long as it needed to….which was until the next change.

 

The entire event was positive, learning and empowering.  They “owned” this system; it was their creation, not management’s.  In turn they shared in the responsibility to maintain it and take pride in the overall results.  No one was admonished.  No one was written up.  Everyone walked away feeling valued, appreciated and energized.  Even though the occasion revolved around task oriented issues the premise for the solution was to first look at the emotional impact of failure and admonishment towards the employee.  Every time you take away the employee’s ability to find their own solution you are decreasing their power and adding to your own list of things to manage.  They become lazy in their thinking and lose interest in what they are doing if all the decisions are made for them or they are constantly dictated to.

 

What the entire workforce learned from this experience was that it’s o.k. to make a mistake; that is how we learn.  Knowing what to leave behind and what to take forward is the mark of excellence in management.  The ability to change is an absolute necessity.  The ability to change with immediacy is what makes change effective.  It is possible to change policies or systems very quickly, within hours or even minutes, if you are not entrenched in rules and control.  Employees adjust very quickly to change if they see it often enough and have a sense of confidence that their feedback will be acknowledged.  Management must be responsive to the needs of the employees.  If long periods of time elapse the general consensus is that management does not care, that the only time change occurs iwhen it affects management personally.  The crux is that unresponsiveness and stagnancy affects the entire entity. If changing one small item that is problematic for a person in the shop is not important to the manager sitting in his office then there is a complete failure.  Over time, an employee becomes increasingly disassociated from management and less and less effective in his/her job.  This is a clear example of acts and their effectiveness. 

 

Six pillars of process that must be maintained to insure a life giving, productive workplace.

 

I.              Embrace change; it is the essence of life and growth.

II.            Get personal and be present

III.          Work is a privilege and it is creating

IV.          Create a nurturing and sensory rich environment

V.            Love the workers and the workplace before the work

VI.          Make time for community and celebration

 

Each of these pillars support evenly but not necessarily simultaneously.  They are equally important and must be exercised accordingly.  Remember, the environment is organic which means it is in constant change.  It must be tended to, watched over and cared for as a living entity. Tedium is a reality.  The work needs to get done and you may not be able to compromise the physical aspects of the task.  You can, however, affect the environment.  When employees trust that they are being cared for and valued they respond in kind with increased motivation and a feeling of joy in the workplace. Onerous tasks become secondary to the overall sense of well being.

 

 

 

         

 

Recent Papers


Value-Intelligence In All Creative Organisms ~ Skye Hirst with Assistance from Norm Hirst. August 2010

Robert Hartman discovered a value intelligence inherent in all life as early as the 1950's but he was ahead of his time.  Now learn how this value lens is formed within and how we can access it using the HVP.

Using the Hartman Value Profile as used in coaching by Hirst she discovers the absolutely unique inner landscape within that each individual has developed, we discover the world of values and value dynamics/intelligence from which we human beings and perhaps all organisms find effective action for life and living.
 
Published in The Robert S. Hartman Institute Annual Journal CLICK HERE

What People Are Saying

 What I Learned from Norm and Sky Hirst And How It Changed My Life
by Rodney Plimpton

Before I met Norm and Skye I had a pretty good handle on how Life worked, or so I thought.  I had a PhD in Social Psychology from Stanford, had studied Human Potential for Five years with Jean Houston, knew all about stimulus-response and something about cybernetics.  I didn’t consciously realize how much my model of life was based on a popular concoction Darwinism, materialism, elitism, and computer science.
Read more...

Medicine in a New Key

Conventional medicine is dying ultimately because it is based on an obsolete dominant mechanistic model that does not recognize the coherence of the organism

Dr. Mae-Wan Ho explores how a science of the organism could underpin a new organic medicine that would best serve the nation.

Visit www.i-sis.org.uk to learn more.

New organic Way for Medicine

The philosophy of Hans Jonas inform this paper by Schwartz and Wiggins to surmount the mind-body dualism plaguing Western thought. They show us the ways of organism; the difference between inorganic and organic reality and how each being must begin from its own direct experience of life in self and in others; and then how the two meet in the living being.  Since life is ultimately one reality, their theory presents the polarities that must be reintegrated by psyche with soma such that no component of the whole is short-changed, neither the objective nor the subjective.  Here they define the polarities within living beings and the requirements of organisms to live and thrive.

CLICK HERE

Inspiration

"There's nothing more complex than concrete facts without a theory." ~ Norm Hirst

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