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Building Living Organizations

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Recently I spoke at a conference that had about 150 human resources, talent management and talent development executives. I asked them how many of you are offering and teaching explicitly today creativity and innovation classes to your employees. The answer was 2 out of 150 raised their hands!

Unfortunately, we as businesses are not giving time and attention to creativity and innovation.

First and foremost, the journey to becoming a Living Organization is not a short, quick or fast journey. It is hard to find organizations that have demonstrated what it is like to be a Living Organization and create a living culture.

The following steps are fundamental towards building a living organization:

1) Recognizing that this is a journey. The book, Innovation Journey provides a good account of this journey.

2) Realizing that it is not something you can go outside for and bring it in for implementation such as Six Sigma which can be brought in to optimize of your business process. Living organizations are geared towards unlearning which helps to provide more time and reflection towards creativity. Realizing that is a creativity and innovation journey about being alive.

3) Recognizing that this approach is top-down. It starts from the top of the ladder at the level of the CEO, board of directors and senior executives who must demonstrate what it is like be a part of a living organization. Authentic leaders in the organization must start out by clearly demonstrating their leadership. Once they have succeeded at that you can tell others about it. Individuals at the top of the organization must become fully aware of what a living organization is all about through personal education and new-scar development.

For more on Authentic Leadership, please click here.

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