Experiences, explorations, and insights.
Common Mistakes in Self Management: The Takeaway
Self-management is hard. That’s because self-management isn’t just a different way to allocate tasks, distribute labor, and make decisions. “Self-management” (along with “horizontal,” “democratic,” “sociocratic,” “teal,” etc.) is just a word to stand in for something indescribable. It’s just an index finger pointing toward a fundamentally reimagined way of working together: a way that lets us feel alive, fulfilled, connected and nourished as we spend our energy serving purposes that benefit people and planet; a way that weaves the wisdom and light of each individual into a tapestry that reveals the true potential of our species; a way that frees us from the structures and patterns that are destroying our communities and environments and invites us into the world that our hearts know is possible.
So, yes, it’s hard. And no, implementing the practices we read in a book isn’t going to get us there. The entire field of self-management is just an invitation into the unknown. The people doing the inviting may have been there a bit longer than the people receiving the invitation. We may have some guideposts, some frameworks, some tools, and some wisdom but that doesn’t mean we have the answers. It just means that we know how to be in that magical space where groups of people somehow create unprecedented innovations.
Whether or not self-management works really comes down to two questions: (1) Do you think our dominant ways of organizing collective activities are serving people or planet? And if not, (2) Are you willing to work with what comes up when we try to transform them?
If you are willing, then you will need the courage to commit to a new way even when things get so tough that it feels like regressing to the old way is the only option. You will need to learn from the experiments of others, and be ready to try your own. You will need to be ready for the moment when the only thing that will lead you is your heart and your love for the people who surround you.
And if you aren’t willing, take a good look at the rigid hierarchies that pervade our economy. See how they dehumanize workers and focus the collective energy of humanity toward generating profit for a small group while debilitating the Earth. Ask yourself if that’s the world you want to live. Look at it. Feel it. Then ask yourself again what you are willing to do to change.