It seems that man is always breaking his own boundaries, and at the same time, wondering how could he get any farther? For centuries, prevailing thoughts have stoned progression by claiming “This is it!”. Religions have closed the heavens by exclaiming “God has revealed all he has to reveal!” People tend to shut the future by saying, “It will never get any better”. Teams win the Super Bowl, and then what? Well, they go to Disneyland.
Whether ignorance or depression, the truth is that we do progresss, there are new frontiers to explore, the sun will rise and we will find ourselves with more to learn and greater opportunities. In fact we, as humans, tend to shut down and mentally and spiritually die when we cease to learn. And our organizations are the same.
Legacy organizations, those that have been around and will continue to be around, seem to cultivate the ability to learn from themselves and their members. Their learning becomes a chief organizational competency that fuels their capacity to create value for stakeholders. That’s a shift for a lot of people, especially those who are in business to merely turn a profit. Such self-centered management reflects self-centered leadership, and like all unsustainable, dying ecosystems that cannot serve a greater good, such behavior will ultimately fall away into extinction, along with its possessor.
But living organizations that learn and deliver greater value than their mere products, reflect a sinew of constant discovery that winds itself through the structure of the organization and into all of its constituents. The resulting fabric becomes a tapestry of value and productivity that gives meaning and life to all stakeholders.
What is the purpose of your organization, and where is it heading? Think about that as you enjoy these pictures of a new solar system. What frontiers might you find as you pioneer new organizational boundaries?