September 25, 2019
by John O. Burdett
In reinventing the very nature of what it means to be an organisation – as we must – there is a case to be made that we need to add a new metaphor to our vocabulary.
To Cooperate, To Collaborate, To Co-tangle
Today, things are the slowest they will ever be … if it can be digitalised it will be digitalised … exponential change is becoming the new norm … globalisation and disruption continues unabated …. the organisation itself has to be rethought anew … and much that is captured under the term “talent management” is tired and ineffectual. If ever new metaphors were needed, it is now!
At the heart of a “change mindset” is the conversation we have with ourselves. Central to that conversation is the language we access … same old language, same old behaviour. Cooperation is indispensable, collaboration is essential, but in reinventing the very nature of what it means to be an organisation – as we must – there is a case to be made that we need to add a new metaphor to our vocabulary.
It’s tough (one might argue that it’s impossible) to achieve something that you don’t have a word for. Entanglement is an intriguing metaphor. It captures, in some ways, the new challenge of smart and unbridled connectability … of one element in the system impacting other parts of the system without those involved fully understanding how. Except, as a term, it is way too esoteric, way too bizarre to have any real currency. If Einstein didn’t really understand it we shouldn’t go there.
May I suggest an alternative, one that builds on the notion of entanglement but without the unfathomable implications. To Cooperate … To Collaborate … To Co-tangle.
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John O. Burdett is founder of Orxestra® Inc. He has extensive international experience as a senior executive. As a consultant he has worked in more than 40 countries for organisations that are household names. John has worked on organisation culture for some of the world's largest organisations. His ongoing partnership with TRANSEARCH International means that his thought leading intellectual property, in any one year, supports talent management in many hundreds of organisations around the world. Get in touch with John O. Burdett »