From Battlefield To Garden

In recent blog posts I’ve talked about business ethics, cost cutting and authentic leadership, plus the impact of these on employees, which – for more than two thirds of the work place – has resulted in burnout. This very much reflects the current situation in many organisations, even if its not obvious or openly admitted …

are leaders experiencing the dark night of the business soul?

are leaders experiencing the dark night of the business soul?


How many of you have received emails from supermarkets recently telling you about the changes they are making to ensure their supply chains are more open? Is this enough? Is it just the supply chains that need to be scrutinized? Surely the way in which these organisations work and the pressure they were putting on their suppliers and manufacturers also needs to be considered?

Some might say that these businesses have entered into the “dark night of the business soul”. But no business soul is without the influence of the business leaders, so one wonders if they too are experiencing that dark night and how they are managing it and making the changes?

We hear, all too often, that large corporates are like oil tankers and can only change direction slowly; but we don’t have time for that do we? Neither are the quick fixes ones that will really make a difference, as by definition they can only be superficial.

Organisations need to find a way to have more agility when it comes to change, but not by just jumping on the latest band wagon, they must consider exactly how the change can be lasting, sustainable and resilient.

For only when they start to do that will they be able to truly engage with the workforce, their customers, business partners and their suppliers.

Is now the time for leaders of these organisations to really look to their business soul and think about who they are and what they stand for? And it’s not just about shareholder value, ROI for investors or, in the case of the public sector, cost cutting to meet budget cut after budget cut. They must understand the impact, both in the short and long term on service delivery.

Inspiring the workforce is more difficult now than ever before and yet without that inspiration there won’t be full engagement.

When reading back over my recent blog posts and thinking about the latest business commentary, I was reminded of the work of Richard Olivier and Mythodrama who use Shakespeare’s plays to explore leadership. A fascinating way of doing so and it is very successful in the organisations where it’s used. Perhaps more leaders should be reading Shakespeare?

In Henry’s journey in the Mythodrama model, the last act is about turning the “battlefield into a garden”. A tall order perhaps, but in gardens there is a great mix of resilience, beauty and the fruits of the work; It reminds us that it needs constant attention, but if planned well, with early hard work, ongoing work is not hard work. Weeds can be as beautiful as the flowers just by changing perception; nurturing is the way to ensure plants thrive.

Much for leaders to consider me thinks.

If you’d like to find out more about anything I’ve mentioned here, then it may be a great idea to call me on +44 (0) 1296 681094, click here to ping me an email or even leave a comment below.

Until next time …

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