We made a public commitment to share what we had done on the book each day, starting on Wednesday March 7. Here are this week’s updates, in reverse date order.
Thursday, April 26
Michael & Michele – Making ITS Come Alive – We are all familiar with value stream mapping – part of making the work visible is to draw a map of the steps along the way that create customer value, including the value added time, the wait (or waste) time, and the total lead time. This data oriented way of analyzing and ‘seeing’ the system is useful – to get objective data to compare pre- and post-intervention, to know what our customer experiences in terms of their wait, comparing ourselves to others in our industry. What it does not capture, however, is the more human side of things. When we use an Integral lens, we can look at the outside of ITS (the default position), but we can also look from the inside, the more human experience of the system in action.
We can setup a constellation of the steps: one person representing the step where the loan request gets filled out, a second representing when the loan request is considered, a third represents getting a Credit Check. Each point in the value stream has a wait time and a value-added time. What is it like, from a human perspective, to be the Credit Check that has 53 applications waiting in its queue an average of one and a half days for a 90-second process? It might be frustrating, demoralizing, anxiety producing in a way that later turns into numbness and apathy. We cannot see this kind of human data from the numbers, yet it is also part of the picture, part of the story to be told and to be understood. Likewise, the human story of frustration, anxiety and eventual apathy is not clear without knowing the number of people affected at any one time, and what is possible (the Credit Check only takes 90-seconds and there are 53 of them to do at a typical point in time). Taking an Integral view means looking at both. When we do, we can gain interesting new insights into how value is delivered and where opportunities exist within the system to change.
Wednesday, April 25
Michele & Michael – Partnering – When we co-lead a class, we don’t do it in a “my turn, your turn” kind of way. When we co-lead, a bigger entity takes over – not me, not you, but us. The ideal partnership is one that allows this bigger entity to emerge, the one that draws from the ‘field of the future’ rather than the stories of the past. This is true whether we are partnering with one other person to pair, or when we partner between one organization and another.
When we try to partner from our past stories — from our fears of how we could be let down, of what we want to avoid — we play not to lose. When we partner from the field of the future, we release our story, surrender into the longing that is stalking us, and create things we never dreamed of before; we play to win. It is exhilarating, scary, unknown; creative, brilliant, awe-inspiring. We are partnering with spirit, co-creating with the stillness inside. Our ego at times is disappointed — we didn’t get to make that cherished point we thought was so important because our partner went in a different direction in that moment. But we make different points, surprising points, delightful ones. We partner with the future because it is alive. It may feel safer to draw from the past, but the past is already dead. Partnering with the past diminishes our life force; partnering with the future creates life, moment by moment.
Tuesday, April 24
Michael & Michele – Dealing with Resistance – Resistance can come in all forms: in them, in us; in predictable ways, in surprising ways. Resistance is information. Sometimes it is information we do not want to take in; sometimes information we cannot believe; but always information we need. Resistance may tell us we need to change our message, or change our thinking, or it may be telling us we need to change our team. Resistance may be a reflection that our way of conceiving the situation is wrong-headed; it may be a reflection that the client is not ready for what we have planned; or it may be a reflection that someone needs to be removed from the situation to allow the change that is trying to happen to occur.
With all these possibilities, all these choices, it is critical for us to be clear, to disentangle our ego from clear seeing of the situation. We don’t want to be blocked to hearing what we need to hear: to change our mind, change our approach, change our understanding. At the same time, we can’t be naive: sometimes a given person does want to undermine the change: not a likely scenario, it should be the last place that we look, and in the end, we cannot be afraid to look there.
Monday, April 23
Michele & Michael – Working in Flow – Being in flow has an external aspect and an internal one. On the external level, the ingredients must be laid out in harmony – the parts of the “recipe” that will be used first, should be in the first position; those that are later should be later in the physical flow. On the internal level, the hearts of the participants must be in harmony; their wills must be aligned, or at least not in conflict. When the outside is out of flow, it is harder for the hearts to be aligned; when the hearts are not in harmony, it is easier for the parts to be in the wrong position. The outside reflects the inside, and the inside the out. We can take our view from either position. Hey, we could be onto something….