Is there a way to foster smarter and more meaningful management?
Dr. Domenico Lepore, international expert in systemic and sustainable management, continues his series on the Thinking Process Tools from the Theory of Constraints.
Triggering a superior level of consciousness
In the past few posts we have looked at several Thinking Process tools which provide powerful logical and emotional support to the decision making process. We may say that rather than emotional intelligence, they foster ‘intelligent emotions’. The distinction is subtle but important: in management we are dealing with rational thought processes that inevitably trigger emotions, and we have to be able to manage those emotions in a constructive way.
Dr. Goldratt developed the Thinking Process Tools (TPT) to help people think better and faster. The TPT support what have been called the three phases of change: What to change, what to change to, an how to cause the change.
I think it is important to understand that the successful completion of these phases can only be achieved if we strengthen our ability to leverage the faculties of our intellect: intuition, understanding and knowledge, and trigger a superior level of consciousness. (We may translate intuition into ‘birth of an idea’, understanding into ‘analysis’ and knowledge into ‘implementation’). There is no word in English to describe this kind of intelligence, but it does exist in Hebrew and the word is sechel. I believe that what ignites the desire to achieve more sechel, to be more “intelligent”, to go beyond the somewhat comfortable boundaries of “common wisdom” and the platitudes we are accustomed to, is a desire to live in and contribute to a better world.
The new covenant based on meaningfulness
Addressing and overcoming the restraints we experience and the cognitive constraints that limit our existence is emotionally burdensome. However, it is ultimately rewarding because each time we do it we access a superior level of ourselves and with it we acquire a more meaningful level of existence.
The new covenant with work that management has to create must be based on that meaningfulness. What we do must have a purpose; it will generate monetary wealth that everybody will benefit from, but money cannot be the prime motivator. The purpose of what we do cannot be disconnected from the creation of shared, fairly distributed and comprehensive levels of well-being.
The philosophically fundamental conflict between body and soul, between the physical and the spiritual sides of our being as humans, cannot remain confined to scholarly and religious debates; it must find a solution and its embodiment in the way we act in the world and in the workplace. It is a precise responsibility of management, capital and institutions to rebuild on these ethical foundations the work of industry and organizations at large.
The tools for Intuition, Understanding and Knowledge
If the Core Conflict addresses our intuition, how about making understanding and knowledge equally strong? Once we are able to invalidate the assumptions (limiting beliefs) that make up our cognitive constraint verbalized in the Core Conflict, and tested them so they are negative implication free, only then will we have a full understanding (analysis) of the pattern in front of us. We complete the solution with the Future Reality Tree, but that is only possible if we have embraced the vision and the method that supports it; the vision is that of a company that takes very seriously its commitment to the future, that sees itself as an ongoing generator of wealth for all its stakeholders and society at large. The method is the orderly, relentless identification of all the cause-and-effect relationships that are likely to shape the future if certain actions are carried out successfully.
The path to knowledge (implementation) is completed by building and applying the Prerequisite Tree and Transition Tree. The Prerequisite Tree and the Transition Tree are the backbone of an actionable plan. They pursue the goal of providing guidance and a logical pattern as well as detailing all the steps that have to be taken in order to achieve the stated objective. They provide the actions for a robust project that is scheduled taking into account finite capacity.
We will take a close look at these tools in the following post.
An extract from the book: