Friday, September 26

Working with What Exists

My favorite meals are those in which we create a nutritious, yummy meal from ingredients already in the fridge and pantry.  With Halloween in the air, I realize that same principle applies to my favorite Halloween costumes over the years—working with what I already have to create something clever and fun.  I recently did a garden renovation which left my next-door neighbors Ann and L. with a very long, monotonous span of gray wood fencing between us.  Guess what Ann did?  She took some roof flashing that she had lying around and a pair of shears and created a sculpture that runs the length of the fence—making her side even more interesting than mine!  As the light changes throughout the day, the sculpture takes on different looks—sometimes subtly blending in, other times reflecting light and creating shadows for a 3-dimensional contrast to the fence.
My friend Ann and her sculpture.
What does this have to do with organizational performance?  Healthy connective organizations don’t blame others, make excuses, or wish for what they don’t have—all stances my neighbors could have taken.  They accept--even embrace--what is, and move from there.  They use what they have and develop creative solutions.  If they don’t like their boring view, they invent a new one with materials and skills they already possess.  Thanks, Ann, for modeling what resilient organizations around the world need to do to adjust to the fences built by others.  I am so fortunate to have you and L. as friends, neighbors, and an inspiration!
My dad always liked to paraphrase a Bible quote, “What did you make of it?”  As a child and today, I always think of that:  not what I don’t have, but what am I doing with what I’ve been given?  Ask yourself if you’re using all of your talents and gifts as fully as possible, and if not, what you might do to turn a bland wall into a work of art.

No comments: