Organizing reflection 10

This is a post in my series on organizing ”between and beyond.” Other posts are here. The purpose of this post is to reflect on subjects occupying my mind. I make no claim to fully believe what I write. Neither do I pretend that others have not already thought or written about the same subject. More often than not, I take up, combine, and add to already existing thoughts and ideas.

What is on my mind?
I’m currently reading Simon Robinson and Maria Moraes Robinson’s book Customer Experiences with Soul. Simon and James Souttar, a designer and communication consultant, both studied with Henri Bortoft. Simon and Maria have had many conversations with James in relation to Henri’s philosophy and how it relates to design of customer experiences.1 James says the following, which I find interesting:

The fundamental flaw with ‘design thinking’ is that it prioritises a perfected outcome over a fulfilling journey. This is giving us a world of constantly improved things which are yet strangely unsatisfying and increasingly inhuman in their perfection. … It is a paradigmatic example of what Henri Bortoft called ‘finished product thinking’, missing completely the dimension of ‘coming into being’.2

I think this applies, as well, to leadership, to organizational design, garden desing, and even to architecture.

  • Here is my review of Harrison Owen’s book The Spirit of Leadership, which, one might say, is about leading with soul.
  • Here is my review of Mary Reynolds’ book The Gardening Awakening, which is about designing with soul—in this case, gardens radiant with life, bursting with energy.3
  • And here is my review of Christopher Alexander’s book The Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earch, which is about building with soul. The purpose of architecture, according to Christopher, is to provide opportunities and contexts which support and enhance life-giving human situations.4

The dimension of ‘coming into being’ is essential to generative organizing.
What’s generative/genuine/authentic requires ‘coming into being’.

1 Simon Robinson and Maria Moraes Robinson, Customer Experiences with Soul (Holonomics Publishing, 2017), pp.67.
2 Ibid., pp.68-69.
3 Mary Reynolds, The Garden Awakening: Designs to Nurture Our Land and Ourselves (Green Books, 2016), p.42.
4 Christopher Alexander with HansJoachim Neis and Maggie Moore Alexander, The Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth: A Struggle Between Two World-Systems (Oxford University Press, 2012), p.7.

Related posts:
Organizing in between and beyond posts

Published by Jan Höglund

Jan Höglund has over 35 years of experience in different roles as software developer, project manager, line manager, consultant, and researcher. He shares his reading, book reviews, and learning on his personal blog.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *