The Other Climate Crisis
January 15, 2009
"One climate crisis is probably enough for you right now. I think there is another one. This one is just as urgent as and has implications just as far-reaching as the crisis we're seeing in the natural world. This isn't a crisis of natural resources. It is a crisis of human resources. I think of this as the other climate crisis. [...] The fact is, though, that human organizations are not at all like mechanisms. They're much more like organisms. They are made up of people driven by feelings and motives and relationships. Most people who work in organizations know that it's their relationships with the other people in it that influence their contributions and loyalty or otherwise. Organizational charts show you the hierarchy, but they don't capture how the organization really works or what it feels like to be in it. This is why agricultural metaphors better illuminate the growth of people and organizations. Farmers base their livelihoods on raising crops. But no matter how good they are, farmers do not make plants grow. They don't attach the roots, glue on the petals, or color the fruit. The plant grows itself. What farmers and gardeners do is provide ideal conditions for growth."