1: The answer?

Self-coaching. Then, coaching others to coach themselves. Who coach others to coach themselves.  

I learned about self-coaching from my friend, mentor, and coach, Dr. Danny Friedland, who passed away 18 months ago after a year-long battle with brain cancer. He wrote a brilliant book Leading Well from Within.

So far this week, we’ve examined the power of: (1) asking questions and (2) starting with purpose.  

2: Today, we add an additional capability: Trusting in the power of emergence.  

Which is different from our standard go-to: Self-reliance. A.k.a.: When the going gets tough, the tough get going.  

What if instead of muscling our way through, as coaches self-coaching ourselves, we focused on asking ourselves a question?  

What outcomes matter most and why?

What’s been most successful in the past?

What are our current strengths?

What is our vision for success?

Or even: What is the best question I could ask right now?   

Asking powerful questions opens up inspired thinking, unleashes energy, and creates new possibilities.  

3: In his book Reinventing Organizations, Frédéric Laloux shares two metaphors for how organizations operate.  

First, the organization as a machine. Leaders and consultants design strategies that are implemented precisely according to the plan. The goal is to optimize the parts so the machine will run more efficiently. We humans are resources to be deployed.  

The organization hums with energy and motion but may feel soulless and dehumanizing.  

Also, while this type of organization works well when conditions are stable, it does not adapt quickly because there is distance between the decision makers and where business is happening on the front lines.  

The second metaphor sees the organization as a living, breathing system or organism. It evolves and changes as conditions evolve and change.  

By asking powerful questions about what matters most, leaders inspire growth and unlock potential and capacity. There is dynamic connectivity throughout the organization. Instead of incremental change, quantum change is now possible.  

Which speaks to the power of asking questions, starting with purpose, and trusting in emergent thinking.

More tomorrow.


Reflection: Do I view my organization as a machine to be optimized or as a living, breathing organism?  

Action: Have a conversation today with a colleague about an envisioned future for our organization.

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