THE MAP IS NOT THE TERRITORY: A Love Song of a LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® facilitator Feb.14, 2017 - Serious Play Pro

When drumming out the red sky edge of tonight -‘ how many times can we win and loose? How many times we break the rules between us?’ – we feel it unbelievably hard to find our ways to go on. ‘We only get ourselves to blame – It’s such a shame‘ -‘Only Teardrops

Fiddling with bricks with LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® cannot plaster the whole world.

But there are fewer and fewer universal development tools that can. This is not only about cross-cultural contexts questioning HR models and diversity training, which turn only 10-20% effective in the long run, with calculating ROI never an easy work at all (Birdi et al, 2008).

“What’s gone between us? Has come between us?”

The main HR point – people as the resource/asset, they are there first and foremost to follow organization’s goals,– demands more comments and work when applied to the millennials.

The second our assumption is that when developing people we DO have the RIGHT map and we CAN manage the territory: our map is complete, up-to-date, and scientifically approved.

But it depends:”A map is a political instrument that presents the world according to its maker and each maker uses the map in pursuit of a different interest.” (Roos: 85).

If the map is to control the territory and the (organization) borders, then it is hardly UP-TO-DATE now – with technology development, the borders are not there any more.

Do you still hope to manage something that is endless as our universe?..

If we still believe that the map is scientifically approved, it does not mean it is reliable tomorrow. The new inventions about the human brain are already on the way. Also Science is not the only way of learning.The smartest learners are children – BEFORE they have heard of science. Yes, adult learners are different, but it does not mean that play should not be taken as serious work that really matters for grown-ups too. We might play not toys, but it matters HOW we play, for example, with excel budgets.

The more changes take place, the more challenges of unexpected and uncertain we face.Therefore the more we hear about the disruption of development maps used before. Calling for other kinds of leadership, – built on trust, culture values and ethics, instead of control, managing and manipulating, like global mindset and zooming out.-is the demand of the day. Learning to collaborate over the big picture, seen as a complex system, will become more and more the agenda of the day. Agility is not about IT “nurds”. It is about the culture of collaboration and inclusiveness that becomes the CORE VALUE we cannot move on without. It is the only key to the effectiveness.

Sounds easy and obvious – but in large scale we do NOT “leave the past behind us”. We replace Performance Appraisal with AI and BigData combatting workplace bias, still drumming the past. If we replace paper maps with Google navigation, we still do not move closer to the future, because STILL, THE MAP IS NOT THE TERRITORY. It is not the map, but the stubbornly local ethics and the moment, which matters what we do out there.

Our problem that we believe in maps, bringing us to the final point the shortest way.

In real life, how many times you dropped Google navigation on the way? It is the gut (brain) feeling over the instructions, that win, simply because ‘ this old scrap is not here in real life’. Too tight shoes, hamburger smell on the street, no snow-cleaning, orange sunset, a neighbor unloading firewood and other important things will influence our getting out there, -and we LOVE to be distracted from the straight lines – since we are still HUMAN. We prefer ‘our things’ and betray rationality again and again.

We communicate with the world all the time, learning and understanding its meaning in harmony with the play of our imagination, – dropping maps – exploring and giving meanings through metaphors – complicated and connected to the world as in Eliot’s poem:

….Would it have been worth while

If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,

And turning toward the window, should say:

That is not it at all,

That is not what I meant, at all”

Our humanity, our ‘being’, our ethics incorporated in our cultural identity, is INSTANTLY CHANGING – communicating and learning – making is connecting.

When it comes to the unexpected, change and ‘becoming’, it is the play again that helps us to learn and adapt, making changes psychologically safe. We also need to get honest feedback to make decisions – because we hate to be alone out there on the road, when we discover the difference between the territory and the map…

Links and references

Aston, R. (2016) The Zoom-Out Workshop for collaboration and well-being: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/zoom-out-workshop-collaboration-well-being-rob-aston

Birdi, K., Clegg, C., Patterson, M., Robinson, A., Stride, C.B., Wall, T.D., and Wood, S.J 2008. The impact of Human Resource and Operational Management Practices on Company Productivity: A longitudinal study. Personnel Psychology, 61(3), 467-501.

Bowman, S. (2017) Global Mindset at http://www.globalmindset.info/home.html#c49

Dobbin, F., Kalev, A. (2016) Why Diversity Programs Fail. Harvard Business Review: https://hbr.org/2016/07/why-diversity-programs-fail

Eliot, T.S. (1915) The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, In: Collected Poems, 1909-1962, Harcourt, 1963.

Gauntlett, D.(2011) Making is Connecting. Polity Press, seethe site.

Holch, G.(2016) The loneliness of leaders: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/loneliness-leaders-gabor-holch

Hood, M.B.(2016) D-Day: President Eisenhower, Team Building and Psychological Safety” https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/d-day-president-eisenhower-team-building-safety-hood-cfe-mba

Marr, B.(2017) The Future of Performance Management: How AI And Big Data Combat Workplace Bias: http://www.forbes.com/sites/bernardmarr/2017/01/17/the-future-of-performance-management-how-ai-and-big-data-combat-workplace-bias/#74d9aad50d5d

Rikhof,R. (2017) “HR transformation” is dead. Long live HR Disruption, how we evolve to next generation HR: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/hr-transformation-dead-long-live-disruption-how-we-evolve-ruud-rikhof

Roos, J.(2006) Thinking from Within: A Hands-on Strategy Practice, Palgrave, Macmillan.

Contact the author : Tatiana Gavrilova

www.brickzy.com

tatiana.gavrilova@icloud.com

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