The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Losing the storyteller

Over the years, the organization had shifted its activities. No one had noticed.

The group had come to like being together and their focus slowly had come to revolve around activities allowing them to enjoy being together. They appreciated developing themselves and seeing things through the lens of being together they searched for places to become better at something where they participate together and ended up attending training together. To have more time together, they also started more and more to travel to events together.

However, much of the core of the organization had been around being actively involved in the community. They contributed to it through projects run by members of the organization. The high turnover in the organization had contributed to disconnecting members from its past. Those people able to tell the story of what the organization did in the past, what it stood for had disappeared.

With the momentum slowly shifting, less and less time was available to run projects as they had done in the past. At the same time, with fewer stories being shared, experience had been lost and the connection with the organization’s origin had been lost. The vision of the organization and its mission were drifting apart.

The “what it is for” was fading away.

The how was disappearing in large and complex projects allowing for less creativity. In these projects, people had come to do small and pre-designed tasks. They were becoming cogs in the system. Individuals had become bored. They found less satisfaction allowing them to see what they had achieved or satisfaction which the organization would celebrate them for.

People had started to keep the system alive instead of shaping it.

In doing so they started aiming at making things better.

The way people most often choose to make things better is by focusing on the problems they experience. That is they now worked on making problems go away. As a preference for coming together had become part of the system, most problems identified were based on sensed discomfort.

Their “what it is for” now had become “avoiding discomfort”. Their “how” had become “make things better”.

By disconnecting from what effective meant in the organization, they had lost themselves in efficiency.

Without storytellers, no one was there to help them see whereto they were going as an organization.

Stories tell people who one is as an organization. They make the organization visible. And stories tell what the organization is about. They enable vision.


Share this post:

Leave a Reply

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