Curatorview [Alfredo Cramerotti]

From one to many

Posted in Thoughts.Coaching by Curatorview on May 8, 2008

This was posted here by Derby-based Graham Bennett. It’s food for thought in relation to organization management. Not that you have to be CEO of something to make sense of it. it works also if you work alone. especially in the creative sector. Thank you, Graham.

Changing organisational cultures

At a presentation given by Kevin Williams (at the time Chief Executive of YMCA England) we were shown a photograph of the people responsible for running YMCAs in the 1960s. They were all grey suited men.

Kevin then went on to explain that, currently, the majority of the larger YMCAs are now managed by women.

Clearly this cannot be the whole story – so what other changes have also taken place which might support such a change in leadership? And what might we learn from this?

I began by drawing a line down the middle of the page, putting “Male” at the top of the left hand side, and “Female” at the top of the right hand side. The following is a list of changes which seem to have happened in the world with which we work, during the same period of time:
Male to Female

Heavy Industry to Service Industries

Machines to Ideas/Knowledge

Strength to Nurturing

Specialisms to Multi-tasking

Power to Influence

Hierarchies to Networks

Control to Encourage

Command to Persuade / “sell”

Mono-culture to Valuing Diversity

Facts to Intuition

Books to Internet

Vote to Buy

Membership to Shareholder or User Group

Grants/Subsidies to Social Enterprise

Competition to Collaboration for mutual benefit

As with all caricatures, this needs some careful handling – but much of the world we work in is undoubtedly moving this way, and we all need to be able to respond. Even where organisations still need to work to the left side, some of their activities will need to work to the right side if success is to be achieved.
It seems likely that some of us are more comfortable when working in the way shown on the left side, others to the right. The solution to this must surely be:
* awareness of the issues;
* recognition of the inherent tensions between people, disciplines, organisations, and sectors; and
* having the right teams or partnerships in place to cover all bases.

If, from where you see the world, you feel that there are any other issues which should be considered, or added to the list, I would be delighted to hear of them.

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