A blog about organizations, change, design, leadership, and general topics.

  Organizations as Catalysts

At the heart of all work is this human structure we know as the organization, where work occurs mostly in small groups. When we think of change in the world, we must recognize that most of this work occurs in small groups working in organizations. Therefore, it makes sense that we focus on improving the intent and structure of our organizations if we want to improve our world, because organizations are, in many ways, the catalyst of change.

The dictionary defines a catalyst as—something that causes activity between two or more persons or forces; a person or thing that influences an event or change. Organizations can be forces that inspire and influence the world, if we design them better, as communities, for example.

But how do we get there? Streams offer a useful way to look at organizations. A stream's purpose is to return home to its original nature, the ocean. All of its energy and focus is centered on this intention. Streams are agile and can change form as needed.

Organizations, with the right intention, can also stay to their course—their original nature. Connected together, with a shared vision, the combined force of many organizations is unimaginable. Think of the Red Cross and all the organizations that work with them, and what they are able to accomplish. But without an authentic purpose—like meeting a social need, all organizations risk issues with identity, integrity, reputation, productivity, and survival. Like a stream, organizations can be agile too, able to change form to meet their evolving future, but not as structured today. Most organizations today are too rigid in structure and strategy to keep up with the current of change.

Intention Reflection Transformation

At Mindshift, we view the single most important area of focus for an organization as intention.Intention is the cornerstone of an organizatio, stating why it exists in the first place.Often referred to as core purpose, organizational intention describes the social need that its founders intend to meet.

Organizations continually move through a cycle of relection and transformation. Reflection is about taking time to see what you've become and assessing changes in the environment. Transformation is the activity of an organization changing form to meet current and future needs. Intention is to the organization as constitution is to the individual. It is the rudder that steers all work. Our intention here at Mindshift Consulting is to share our knowledge and expertise on the psychology of helping people work together to meet the needs of society and on designing organizations as communities, as well as sharing our thoughts about connecting the world.

Most human accomplishment happens in small groups of people working together in an organizational setting. At Mindshift, we help people come together to create and give life to shared visions. When we peel back all the window dressing, organizations are simply places where people connect with each other, share ideas, and think of new ways to do things. All too often, they are places that fail to nourish human connection. Our specialty is transformation, intentional design, and managed change.

On a global level, the overall vision is not a mystery. People around the world have a shared vision of what a better world looks like. What we want is to create a global community of connection and compassion, a world where we take care of each other and the beauty of nature that surrounds us, a world where everyone is respected, a world where we share our abundance with each other. If not for greed, the desire for power and control over others, and the inequity of profit taking, we'd already be there.

The End