disease

The Power of Pain

Laura Novakowski  -  Jul 26, 2012  -  , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,  -  No Comments

Pain is symptom and effect, it is not a cause.  It shows up in a multitude of forms.  Pain slows, staggers and often stops us from functioning.  Understanding that pain presents itself helps to get to the source of deeper issues and problems; this is important for growth and change.

The most obvious pain is physical pain. Early manifestations may show up as mild aches and pains.  If the source of the problem is not identified, the symptoms become more acute and debilitating.

Symptoms such as backaches and headaches can range from slightly annoying  to severely debilitating.  The causes are too numerous to list, but if prolonged in duration it becomes important to medical advice.  Other more subtle symptoms may be overlooked and if not investigated can result in devastating physical problems.

Granted a lot more time could be given to pain in the physical realm, but what I believe is just as important to identify the pain shows up in our offices or workspace as well.   I often say to my clients, we can have this conversation in a hospital room or in a boardroom.  Allowed to go unchecked, undiagnosed and untreated, the power of pain can be catastrophic and cancerous to an organization.

Consider the pain that shows up in the office or workplace.  If left undetected, can fester to the point of irreversible damage.

Examples:

  • Employees come to meeting late, unprepared and non participative and leadership allows it.
  • Employers ridicule and reprimand in public and employees accept and scurry away to try to do better or staying below the radar.
  • Communication is unclear, no one questions or challenges.
  • Departments compete and derail and management lives lost sales and customers.

Obviously, this is a very, very short list. When the source of the pain is not assessed, the affects are lethal.  Turnover increases, firings are rampant and arbitrary. The toxins become like nails in a coffin. Reputations are destroyed. Resources are compromised.

Just as, in my opinion, no physical disease is hopeless, neither is cultural disease.  Using a simple model can ultimately heal the organization.  I’d like to reinforce the power of ACTS  to alleviate pain.

  • Leadership needs to assess the results and identify the gaps.
  • The entire organization needs to create a clear vision and values that people can align their goals and performance.
  • Plans and strategies need to support motivation and innovation to transform problems and obstacles into opportunities.
  • Teams  need to be held accountable through best performance practices and standards to overcome challenges in order to sustain and support success and growth.

Yes, it is uncomfortable when pain shows up. That being said, there is power in pain, if one is just willing to investigate and diagnose the true causes of cultural disease.

Too Much Disease, Too Little Health

Laura Novakowski  -  Nov 16, 2011  -  , , , , , , ,  -  Comments Off on Too Much Disease, Too Little Health

Today, the emphasis seems to be on disease. Disease in a person. Disease in a business. It seems that everywhere we go there is an emphasis on disease.  This macabre approach has caused me to invest perhaps a life time of study in attempting to understand what quite frankly makes very little sense to me.  My personal preference has always been to emphasis health, to seek opportunities and growth.

As a starting point, let’s look at some definitions of disease:

  1. A disorder of structure or function that affects the  condition of a human, living animal or plant body or of one of its parts that results in impaired normal functioning and is typically manifested by distinguishing signs and symptoms that affects a major system or function.
  2. A particular quality, habit, or disposition regarded as adversely affecting a person or group of people.
  3. A harmful development.

In  my opinion, these definitions can apply to a human or a business equally as well.  While it is extremely important to pay attention to issues, challenges, pathogens that can and do cause a great deal of harm  and distruction; it is becoming so prevalent that most of the dollars in healthcare and business are being spent on repairing disease because it has reared it ugly head so largely that a person or business can barely function let alone survive.

We fight disease to stay alive.However, in fighting disease, we are failing our health.

Now let’s look at some definitions of health:

  1. The overall condition of an organism at a given time.
  2. Soundness, especially of a body, mind or business.
  3. Freedom from disease or abnormality.
  4. The optimal level of functioning.

As with disease, these definitions for health can apply equally as well to humans and businesses.  The last definition for health is my personal favorite.  What person or business doesn’t want to “function at their optimal level“?

Unfortunately, when we focus too much on disease, we will always, always get not enough health.  Why not shift our focus to health and see if that doesn’t help to control the disease more effectively.

I would love to hear your thoughts.

 

 


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