I recently had lunch with the president of a major automotive parts supplier. Both he and his company had experienced their ups and downs, especially through the 2007 recession, but they’d wrung success out of the most challenging situations and were growing and expanding.
I asked him what, as the leader of a successful and dynamic company, he still needed or wanted to see in his organization. “Peace”, he said, “I want some peace”.
The chaos that often surrounds us is a major contributor to this very real desire for peace. But not all chaos comes from outside – we create a lot of it all on our own.
An organization at peace not only feels like a good place to work it is one. Silos, competing projects, regional friction and internal politics are only some of the internal causes of organizational chaos. Reduce these situations, and so many others like them, and you’d have organizational peace.
And, you could invest your “peace dividend”. When people work together rather than against each other, when people share goals rather than compete for resources to drive competing outcomes, and when people stop to help rather than plot to win, real changes occur.
At 3 Gaps, we’ve focused on three fundamental contributors to a lack of organizational peace. When people are motivated by different values, beliefs and goals they place themselves at cross-purposes to each other. And those “crossed” priorities drive chaos in place of peace.
We believe that more real effort invested in understanding what the organization and the individual really value, believe and seek makes for a better, more productive – and more peaceful place to work. When individuals, teams and organizations really look at their prime motivators – their values, beliefs and goals – and then seek common ground in those areas (what we call “overlap”) they start investing in shared direction. That investment calms the organizational waters of contention and creates the “peace dividend”.
Why would organizations/we care about something as “soft” as peace in an organization? Because when you’re at war with yourself you’ve nothing to bring to the external battle – nothing left, after all the internal winning and losing – to invest in winning new markets, new products, cutting edge technologies and global competitiveness.
“All I want”, my friend said, “is peace.” Could you use a little in your organization?