Saturday, February 5, 2005

Why NLP?

Some of the people who know me asked me: "what the heck are you doing learning about NLP?" Well, it's a good question. I have been involved for a number of years in IT projects (trying) to bridge the gap between users of tools and makers of tools (IT geeks & gurus) and I hold an Master of Science in Management... So where does NLP fit in the picture?

I guess the answer is simple:
"people make the world go round (or not)"

Another way to put it would be "Talent Makes Capital Dance" as Ridderstrale & Nordström show in Funky Business. From experience I formed the opinion that over 80% of unsuccessful endeavours are rooted in "people" problems, interpersonal issues... in other words lack of ability of all of us to interrelate in a good enough way.

At the same time, we live in a world that is blessed (and sometimes cursed) with the technical capabilities to develop interactions (this blog is an example, email is another one, short messages on cellular phones...) And because I strongly feel that developments in our world happen for a reason ( I even believe that in the long run it's for a positive reason that brings more Harmony to the universe, but that is another topic), I interpret the existence of these tools as a response to something very essential in human nature: the need of a person to relate to other people. This is one of the foundations of team endeavours, which are enhanced when individuals are able to interrelate better day after day. And when it comes to designing an organization, to agreeing on strategy, to transforming decisions and words into action... in short to walking the talk (which is key to good management in my opinion), it's people who make things happen.

Human organizations (NGOs, political parties, sports clubs, companies, entrepreneurship networks...) do not exist because somebody drew a beautiful org chart, or because thick binders with ISO procedures are printed or revisited twice a year before audits of the quality management system... And organizations don't just march when somebody barks marching orders or when headquarters send out directives... These are to some extent things of the past: can anyone seriously think of managing a team or a project today by applying the principles of Frederick Taylor? No, because our world is moving out of the era of "mass logic", of "bell curves" and "standard consumers", giving more breathing space (and great opportunities if you ask me) to

  • individuals not organisations / entities

  • project teams not frozen hierarchies / bureaucracies and

  • communities of practice not once-obtained-never-questioned diplomas

No, because our world needs talent, I mean indecently good talent, and talent does not bow to orders and barks (especially from less talented people).

Of course, there is always the old saying: "it's who you know, not what you know"... That has always been there and will never disappear. The bureaucratic system was invented among other reasons to eliminate this factor... Still the tide is turning in favour of talent and networks of talented people.

So anything that improves my ability to relate to other people, to help them interrelate better, to unearth enthusiasm that will make a business perform beyond its people's wildest dreams, to inspire... Anything that makes me more able to listen and truly understand my prospects, anything that helps me understand better user requirements when working as an analyst... Anything that helps me achieve these goals is good for me. And these goals are amongst the most central to good management in my opinion.

But that's just my own very personal truth and I don't expect anyone to endorse it. I just share it with those who dare asking good questions :-)

"A man is but the product of his thoughts: what he thinks he becomes"
Mahatma Gandhi

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting blog alex. Congrats!
    On the above topic, let me challenge a little bit: where do you see examples - in the business world - of the tide turning in favour of talent ... I'm sure some exist. The question is can they survive in our current environment ... and how.
    Nice subject for a next topic ;-)
    See you amigo