“Our life is a series of moments. let them go. Moments. all gathering towards this one” from the beautiful film Now is good (Parker, 2012)
Svalbard. I always repeat that word when I think we lost the north. Svalbard is the last inhabited village in the further north of this world. Sometimes we should remember our north just to remember where we are exactly. Lately when I make a proposal or maintain a conversation or say my opinion about something related to business, I´m always advocating a known formula: BACK TO BASICS.
In this time when most consultants and businessmen are seeking a miracle formula, I defend the recovery of basic values. Because I think we are looking for the forest while losing each tree of the road. And I also believe that in this way we have lost too much. Most companies and employees have forgotten what we did to get here. There was neither the ISO9001 nor EFQM methodology nor open innovation, design thinking nor gorgeous theories on management of the great gurus of our time. It was common sense and incredible resilience throughout history what made you sit there reading this. Everything else are useful tools that should help somewhat basic. But if we ourselves and our team are not honest, humble, eager to sacrifice, if we are not bold and have no sense of effort or merit, if we do not talk or say what we think in order to live, if we abandoned our dreams to live, we have nothing on which to work. You can not make a vase without mud and no mud without clay, water and earth. It’s as simple as that.
Every day I find highly skilled people to the technique, great innovators who could explain convincingly the way they do. But is terrible to dig a little and see that the base is not solid. What I find most offensive is that we are losing some respect for our elders and we forget and spit down the History as if it were something too small to be taken into account. One of the partners of the initiative shared something with me the other day: “Revolutions that make changes are cultural ones. The rest is violence or marketing ”
Svalbard. I´m back now from my little trip to Finland -incredible picture of the place along these lines- where I have met again the international community of Team Academy and where I could meet fascinating people as always. I shared with them -at breakfast, on the street and in night meetings- some life and business thoughts that I want to write today for the family members and audience of this blog:
- Simplicity and naturalness. Find answers to your surroundings and never go beyond the problem through complex thought to find the solution. 90% of the world’s problems could be solved immediately by our grandmothers
- Humility. For me today this point is critical for the world in which we live. Not wanting to be the best but the best for others. Do not believe too much in yourself. Neither too little. When you´ll suffer in front of the mirror uncontrollable attacks of egocentrism, read some information about the history of the universe, the Earth and Humanity and your tiny role in all of them.
- Love and let yourself be loved. Above the conflict, class struggle, market competitiveness and survival of the species, every person in the world has the need to be loved. If we can not do it, it´s enough only to listen and let him/her flow. You only have one mouth but two ears. It is no coincidence. Remember that worms called “crisis” the birth of butterflies. Don´t worry about them.
- Respect the past. Remember the lessons learned helps deal with more courage today’s challenges. Ignore the experience of others or their efforts is to deny that before you there was a way. And that is always false and has never worked.
- Consciousness. From around you and those on which you project. Knowing the environment and think on perspective involves spending time to make time for it. If your schedule does not have at least one free hour a day, even if you work for liberty, you are not free. Sure.
- Sense of responsibility. Know your weaknesses and strengths, and how to play with them. Sharpen your commitment to something really acceptable for you and for others.
- Honesty. Build and make visible to others the bridgethat link the personal commitment between what I say, what I do and what I think. We call it the red road of the team and is an ancient native concept common to many cultures throughout history
- Confidence. Generate commitment from others through our own commitment
But my authentic proposal to know the north on a team is the Gandhian way of understanding lfe & work. As a pacifist, I must admit that most of my tips for teams are quite aligned with some basic teachings of wapu Gandhi. Pacifism, contrary to what most people think, is not only a culture approach to politics but has learned some lessons applicable to our immediate team environments. In fact, pacifism is an ancient way of life that has been used with great success throughout history in businesses from mesopotamia.
All bases on Gandhian thought are substantiated on one simple thing: the birth of the common good must start from the self-imposed proper good. His phrase “Be the change you want to see in the world” reflects clearly each of these individual and team commitments. certainly my favourite BACK TO BASICS list for teams:
- TAPASYA. Self-sacrifice. For Gandhi had remarkable value the self-sacrifice (tapasya) and not the foreign demand of sacrifice. Don´t demand something you’re not doing. However tapasya is also the renunciation of personal interest and one’s own desires, on the other hand does not mean passive self-destruction.
- SATYAGRAHA. Search for truth, respect for truth. It is a fundamental principle of pacifism and is related with emphasizing the proactive nature of non-violent behavior, which is very different from the cowardly and selfish nature of passive behavior. Sear the truth beyond limits and by your actions, not only the current truth but also what we believe really true among History. INMO dignity is the highest form of truth for pacifism. The lesson learned is that there are many different truths depending on the time and people but only a few common realities that are useful for everyone. Build from there, it will be easier.
- SWARAJ. Self-rule or autonomy with moral and ethical meaning. Implies control and team discipline. The control is not necessarily rigid but of course a real knowledge of the team. That is the highest level of team evolution. It´s related with the ability of a team as a set of people to govern themselves successfully and admirable.
- AHIMSA. Non-violence in speech or actions. No harm, damage, injure or kill to achieve express your vision to others. The less badly-off, dañemos, hiramos or kill others, our message will be more respectable
- SARVODAYA. The welfare of all and not only the greatest number or most. That´s the final goal of everything because we can not be happy without the happiness of others. We have to build the common good in order to make valuable our individual nature. We are nothing if we are not on any other of the team respecting each differences and wealth.
- SWADESHI. Self-sufficiency. In terms of resources, energies, creativity, knowledge generation and value you must depend on you or the team for basic needs of life, raw materials, methods and ways of making. It is a principle of autonomy in the material based on the defense of the local space and neighborhood. Swadeshi has implications not only economic but also cultural and social. The first application for teams is this: you must value the closest without underestimating the outside, but in this order. It is a principle of efficiency for building real identity and sense of belonging in a community.
Last but not least, constructive engagement and gradual methods!!! All actions should be focused on building and all media used must be scaled and can be applied to different scenarios. The black and white does not make sense here. The only social rule or law valid for teams, communities and colectives in pacifism is the conviction that every human being is worthy of being part of a greater reality itself. So… Svalbard here we are!! ;)))