Margaret Wheatley is a progressive leader in organizational development whom I greatly admire. I recently read her her newish book, So Far From Home and loved it!
I didn’t love it because it was fun to read. In fact, in some places it was actually stressful! But, she’s offering us a paradigm shift in thinking and being that although provocative, ultimately holds great promise. I think it certainly applies to much of the chaos we are experiencing in healthcare systems.
Why Was it Stressful?
She’s challenging us to stop trying to save the world! In Chapter Two, ‘Do You Want to Save the World?’, she writes, “These hopes and dreams [of world-saving ideas/motivations] are quite normal in my experience, and it is hard to let them go. But they are based on an assumption of rational human behavior-that leaders are interested in what works-that has not proven true. Time and time again, innovators and their highly successful projects are ignored, denied, or pushed aside, even in the best of times.”...we cheerfully choose a new role, transforming from savior to warrior.--Meg Wheatley Click To Tweet
Can you relate to this? I have to admit that at least some of my motivation in blogging is to have a positive impact on things like patient safety, workplace violence and respecting nurse and consumer voices. And some of my ideas about “Medical Improv” in hospitals and schools are motivated by a desire to help make healthcare safer and more compassionate for patients and providers of care. Yet there is something compelling about letting go outcomes and focusing on doing the work simply because it is the right stuff, hence her invitation to become warriors for the human spirit!
Why Was it Hopeful?
She goes on to say, also from Chapter Two; “But we do not give up our work. We act with greater clarity and courage, once freed from oppressive ambition. And we cheerfully choose a new role, transforming from savior to warrior.”
I don’t want to give too much away, but I will tell you that I am already reading it again! In it’s less than 200 pages and for less than 15 bucks, she takes readers on a voyage explaining how we got to this world so full of aggression and discontent and with wisdoms involving acceptance, leaves us with a very inspiring message. One in which I am excited to be working on!
Thanks to Meg Wheatley for writing this wonderful book, So Far From Home: Lost and Found in Our Brave New World!
P.S. If you read it and want to discuss, let me know: firstname.lastname@example.org