All Posts By

Tom D'Aquanni

Telling The Tribal Story: The Case For Action As The Wedge For Change

By | Business, Executive Coaching, Leadership Development, Organizational Change | No Comments

People don’t need to be motivated to rush out of a burning building, or encouraged to run toward the lifeboats on a sinking ship.  A clear and imminent danger leads to focused and immediate action.

All people need is a compelling reason why they need to do things differently. The more obvious and urgent the reason, the easier it is for them to shift from “how I do things”, to “how I could do things differently”. A fundamental problem with most failed large-scale change initiatives is that an urgent enough reason to change is never established.

Vision, Mission and Values all address the future. They are the “magnets” that can attract large numbers of people to a new way of being. Case For Action is the “wedge” that pries people out of their comfort zone in exactly the same way that a fire alarm jolts people out of business-as-usual and into emergency mode. It is where all successful change initiatives need to begin.

The Case For Action is a story. It is a Tribal History of the organization. It is the narrative of who we are and how we got to here. As one client likes to say, The Case For Action is “the good, the bad  and the ugly of where we came from and what has brought us to this moment in time”.

Only when people in an organization collectively appreciate and own their past and present are they free to willingly step into a new possibility for the future. When the collective members of an organization share in the creation of a tribal story an energy is released that naturally leads to “what’s next”. When a Case For Action is crafted honestly and openly, and when everyone in the “tribe” has had an opportunity to contribute to and find themselves in the narrative, then an organization is ready to move from where they’ve been to where they want to go.

Often a true catharsis, a release of energy, occurs when an organization sincerely crafts their story. An organization move on from the inevitable shrinking of energy and creativity that results from past wounds and “injustices”. Because the story is captured in a narrative, it is there for everyone to see and to feel again and again. Done respectfully, without pointing fingers or naming names, and yet with an authenticity that is obvious to all, a Case For Action lays out the critical events and the performance of an organization clearly and matter-of-factly.  It captures the story of the culture, business performance, ups and downs, problem and bright periods, leadership attitudes, public perception and competitive position. When done well, an entire organization breathes a collective sigh of relief because, as more than one client has said, “Finally we are telling the truth”.

The development of the Case For Action begins with the CEO and Executive Team. They are encouraged to just tell the truth about where they’ve been and where they are right now. A great deal of attention is devoted to making a safe space in which anyone can say anything. The only criteria is that it is “the truth” for that person speaking. We capture everything that everyone says about people, products, relationships inside and outside, between management and staff, across functions, successes and failures, blunders, anything noteworthy that would be important in telling the “tribal story”. Everything is written down in the words as they are spoken.  Everything is valuable. Everyone’s voice is critical.

From there, we ask one person, maybe two, to take a cut at integrating all commentary and perspectives into a draft narrative that captures the essence of what is being revealed here. The narrative needs to celebrate the successes and highlights of the organization while not shying away at all from the painful missteps and flaws of the organization. All of it must find a home in the story.

We refine that draft for coherence, clarity and balance and then take it to the next level of leaders in the organization. In that session we ask them to each “find your voice” in this story. We use small groups as a way to invite intimacy and real sharing. Again, the comments are captured verbatim. Each participant is asked to insure the authenticity of what is being expressed. Everyone is asked to be a watchdog for having this story ring true, do justice to the strengths, accomplishments, beauty AND the failures, weaknesses and flaws of their organization.

The process of sharing, discussing and capturing the richness of what people see and feel is itself a transformational event. People not only feel heard, but in a very real way, they feel a new level of responsibility and authority in telling the story of their organization.  Additionally,  they feel a renewed sense of responsibility for creating the story that is yet to come. It is a liberating, exciting and sobering process. It is, by its nature, unifying. It brings Executives and Managers together in a way that begins to bond an Extended Leadership Team. People almost always feel more empowered and more motivated. Even before articulating a Plan of Action, this exercise makes it apparent that change needs to occur and it starts to point toward the specific nature of that change.

After this session, two or three representatives, usually one from management and one or two f­rom the group of next level of leaders, volunteer and/or are selected with the task of taking the new input and integrating it into the next, more robust, iteration of this story.

With that document in hand, we approach the rest of the employees in the organization and in one way or another, give them the opportunity to share in the telling of this “tribal story”, the creation of the Case For Action.

Each of these steps are done alongside the development of a Vision for the Future, a set of Values that the organization will live by and a Plan of Action with the most critical initiatives that the organization will undertake to move from where they are to where they want to be. Every meeting, starting with the Executive Team, through meetings with all employees, explores each element of this package, allowing each to develop and become more rich with each iteration.

D'Aquanni & Associates

Org Change Made Easy: Give Them A Better Option

By | Organizational Change | No Comments

One of the most pervasive “truths” about organizational change is that change is hard. It’s “common knowledge” that people resist change. We all “understand” that change is difficult, change is slow and that change initiatives often fail. We have ample evidence to  believe this. There are estimates of upward of 70% of all large-scale change efforts fail. We say, “It’s difficult. People don’t want to change”. It’s obvious. We hear things like “A leopard doesn’t change its spots” and “People don’t change”.

I’m going to suggest that all that “truth” is just not necessarily true. I’ve been part of many large scale change initiatives where the total opposite has happened, where people freely, gladly, quickly and dramatically changed how they thought and behaved. Water does not have to be motivated, encouraged or convinced to flow downhill. It does so naturally. Neither do people when there’s good reason to be different.

It’s quite simple. People change when they are inspired by what they see and feel is being offered to them. When that happens they move naturally towards it. It’s not complicated and it’s not hard. It’s exciting, energizing and fulfilling for everyone involved.

The first time I saw this was at the Fleischmann’s Division of Nabisco Foods some 20 years ago. Fleischmann’s was the poorest performing division at Nabisco Foods. It was losing money year over year. People we despondent. Leaders came and went. They had the most off-trend products in the company. A new leadership team was brought in. I worked with them to craft a clear direction – The Recognized Leader in Innovative Refrigerated Foods – and a compelling culture of openness, teamwork, trust, innovation and collaboration. Within three months the entire feel of Fleischmann’s began to shift. Levels of enthusiasm and pride began to rise. Willingness to get out of their bunkers and interact with each other increased. Fostered by cross-functional breakthrough teams focused on cost-savings, new product development, and other exciting initiatives, people across the division, and those who supported it, began to feel that Fleischmann’s was the place to be. One Senior Manager who had left Fleischmann’s and returned as we were mid-stream with the Fleischmann’s Revival, looked me up and asked what had happened. I asked him what he saw. He said, “You’ve created a blame-ectomy here”, adding that when he had been here everyone blamed everyone else when something went wrong. Now he saw people pulling together to make things right when things didn’t go as planned.

Why was it so easy to change? Five things happened, none of them complicated, each of them critically important:

  1. A Leadership Team was aligned on a clear and compelling purpose for this Division.
  2. The Leadership Team created a way of being for themselves, a culture of openness, collaboration, breakthrough results, trust – and then offered it to everyone in the organization to live by it. They modeled it and people saw, felt and experienced it every day.
  3. We created avenues for people to participate in new ways – breakthrough teams where people were given the opportunity to work together in new and exciting ways
  4. Everyone participated in this journey from the beginning where we wrote the Case For Action which was brutally honest about the good, bad and ugly of the way it was then, to the organization-wide embracing of the vision and values, everyone had a voice in the process and they took it.
  5. All along the way, progress and failures were celebrated and communicated so that everyone stayed invested, involved and engaged.

The simple truth is that we gave everyone involved a much better option. Given a choice of being depressed or excited, isolated or connected, failing or succeeding, doing something big or barely surviving, being trusted or being suspect, everyone gladly chose the new set of options. It wasn’t hard. It didn’t require much persuasion. It didn’t take long. Even the most cynical and resigned employee had a revelation and a total change of heart when after an all-day meeting with the Senior Executive Team he said, almost teary-eyed, “I’ve worked here for over 15 years. In that time I’ve never sat in on an Executive Team session, let alone ever being asked my opinion about anything.” It didn’t require much for him to get on board and ride/drive that train! He was convinced and emotionally all-in.

These simple principles have held true for every successful large-scale organizational change initiative I’ve been a part of. Give people a much better option and they will take it. Get them involved and get them to believe and they will run through walls to win. Why not? People feel more fulfilled and excited. And the business results started to follow.  It is in their self-interest to change and to create something they will remember forever.

Next Blog: Org Change Made Easy: Breakthroughs Start At The Top. The Tale of The Two Rons.

Assumptions and Other Deadly Sins

By | Executive Coaching | No Comments

D'Aquanni & Associates Images

There’s a story about a young and enterprising new teacher who had heard stories of the long hours the head of his department was said to keep. Not one to wholeheartedly believe the lore surrounding Dr. Joseph, the young teacher took it upon himself to find out what time this legend actually arrived in the morning. Every day for two weeks the young teacher came in progressively 15 minutes earlier until he was arriving a full two and a half hours before school began. Nonetheless, every time he drove into the teachers parking area, the head’s car was already there. He was both amazed and perplexed. He told another teacher about his experience and his wonderment about what time Dr. Joseph actually arrived at school. The teacher recommended that the next day the young teacher feel the hood of the department head’s car when he saw it. Much to his surprise the hood was cold.  The young teacher was now even more mystified.  Later that day the young teacher sought out his adviser and told him what he had found. The teacher looked at the young teacher and calmly said, “Dr. Joseph lives a few blocks away. He walks to school. His car hasn’t moved from that spot in two years.”

It’s the things we assume that limit and shape what we can see, think, feel and do. We live amidst a matrix of assumptions and a network of beliefs about what is true, a system of assumptions that colors and influences everything , giving us a web of interpretations about ourselves, the people in our lives and every situation we face – every one.

We may think that the story above is an anomaly. We may ASSUME that this experience was unique. That would be natural since we, as humans, like to believe about ourselves that we approach the world in a fresh, open way, ready to embrace what new experiences come our way.  I would suggest that far more often than not we are prisoners of our fixed beliefs about everything we encounter, allowing very little new experience or fresh perspective. We are creatures of habit, as the expression goes, not just habits of behavior, but habits of thought, feeling and perception.

The rules are not all of our own making. We inherit a comprehensive set of beliefs of how to behave, what is good, what is bad, what we are like, who we are like, what is possible for us, what is impossible for us. And we lock in to a set of them and live inside them as if they were real.

Years ago, I worked in a hospital as a psychologist. I ate breakfast in the cafeteria every morning. One morning, after ordering my breakfast, the short-order cook who I know fairly well, said in a slightly annoyed tone, “You know, you drive me crazy!”. Quite surprised, I asked him why. He said, “Because just when I think I know what you’re going to order you change it. I said, “You mean people get the same thing every morning”. Now it was his turn to be surprised. He pointed to the door and said, “You see that guy walking through the door now? I know exactly what he wants. As soon as he walks through the door I can start his order. How do I know? Because he’s been getting the same things for over 10 years”.

How many years have I been thinking of the people in my life in the same way every time I see them, every time they open their mouth, every time they walk through the door. Locked in, a prisoner of what I assume to be true.

What do you assume to be true about your business? About your manager?  Your co-workers? Your customers and suppliers? Your career? What do you “know” to be true as certainly as Europeans in 1491 “knew” the world was flat. What is possible if you could see that what you unquestionably believe to be true about yourself and the people and situations in your life was merely interpretations, not facts? What possibilities could you discover by challenging the limits of the known in favor of what is possible?

I was coaching breakthrough teams in a consumer package good company some years ago. We were pushing the limits of how fast a product could go from concept to shelf. The team was struggling to make substantive changes that could significantly accelerate the timeline. Each step was laid out in sequence and each one could be compressed only so much. We were stuck. Then, out of the blue, someone suggested that the very linear model we were using – one after another, one following another – may be an assumption. They asked if it would be possible to do things in some form of parallel processing. Could we be doing a number of steps simultaneously, rather than sequentially? That notion, radical as it was at the time, opened up whole new ways to accelerate the process. No one had challenged the linear, one-step-after-another assumption. In challenging it, the team saw possibilities for a style of working where they were sharing what each of them was learning from their parts of the world real time, as they were learning, so everyone was growing together, and moving as one. It turned out to be a much more satisfying and enormously productive model.

What are your assumptions, the ones you inherited or formulated, and now hold as true?

I often conduct a team exercise where the team members take turns sharing what they “know” about the functions represented on the team. We start with consultants. What do we know about consultant? Well, they’re expensive, they ask a lot of questions and then tell you what you already know, they don’t like to work so they are always telling other people how to do it, and on and on. We go around asking what we know about people from Finance, people from R&D, people from Marketing, Sales, HR, Legal, each one in turn getting an opportunity to hear what others think (aka know) about them as representatives of their function. Finance people are boring, “bean counters” and always say no. People from Sales always overinflate their numbers. R&D people “live in another world than the rest of us”. And on and on. All assumptions – not without some experience behind them – but assumptions about what John or Joe, Beth or Barbara are going to be. We put people in boxes and then relate to them as their boxes, not as who they are. And create defensiveness and shallow decision-making when people can’t fully express themselves and be heard because others already “know” what they are going to say.

This is a fun exercise and what is interesting is how much more room there is, more freedom, when we have gone through this exercise. It loosens the hold the assumptions, prejudices and beliefs have on the people there.

 

What are your assumptions and beliefs? What “unquestioned truths” are constraining your thinking and your actions? Challenge yourself to see those things you “know” to be true rather as assumptions and beliefs as opposed to facts. With that simple shift you will be able to go beyond those limiting beliefs and feel the freedom and power you can access from this. New thinking, true innovation is possible only when you can challenge every aspect of how you see and relate to the world and everything in it. Only then can you discover anything new.

Often organizations feel that they need “new blood”, “fresh eyes” to see now possibilities. People are brought in from “the outside” to offer those perspectives. And, sadly, more often than not, unless an organization has readied themselves for these new perspectives and views on what s and what’s possible, these people are “tissue rejected” by the very organization looking for their new thinking. Their unique views do not fit in with the prevailing views of what is or can be. Their ideas  and contributions are minimized. Ultimately they themselves will either be marginalized or they will conform.

Honestly, how ready are you to hear things dramatically different from what you “know” to be true? How willing are you to experiment with new and “different” ways of thinking and doing things. How radical can you be in challenging your version of reality in favor of one that may be outside your comfort zone? Can you create an organization that is truly open to diverse opinions and perspectives? Diversity, after all, is not simply a matter of race and gender balance. It is more fundamentally a matter of valuing each unique perspective, inviting those on the fringes into the middle, giving them each a voice and a respectful listening and allowing them to influence the direction of a team, department, division or organization.  How new are you willing the world, and all those in it, to be?

D'Aquanni & Associates

Women Mentoring Men

By | Leadership Development | 3 Comments

The comment was recently made on a LinkedIn Change Management site that Male Senior Executives need to mentor female high-potential employees. While I assume that the intent of the suggestion was positive, and the logic of it (people in power coaching those candidates emerging into power) obvious, it immediately struck me as somehow off-the-mark.

A female friend of mine just completed an “Iron Woman” Triathalon. It was, of course, an all-women event. When I asked her how it was, her first comments were not about her performance. She had much more to say about the feel of the event than she did about her performance. She was impressed with how fellow participants related to each other, how, for instance, when they were passed by other participants, everyone cheered for and supported each other. She was touched and inspired by the spirit of everyone being in something together as opposed to competing against each other. I found myself thinking, “That would never happen at an all-men’s event.”

Do you agree? Most people I’ve shared this with agree. How, do you imagine, a “men only” event would be? Fiercely competitive, no doubt. Focused on winning, Being the individual best, for sure. Would it be an environment where a new participant was as moved by the support and comraderie that the event exuded? Not likely.

In the drive to be gender appropriate, it is important that we don’t ignore the ”reality” that women do often think, act and interact differently than men. Whether culturally derived or in some other way determined, women and men are different. Having worked in many corporate environments over the last 25+ years I would like to share a few observations, and make a few generalizations.

Men tend to control and take control, accumulate and defend personal power, build fiefdoms, hold onto and tightly manage the flow of information, think and act in terms of hierarchy, hard results and position and title. Men tend to look for what they can achieve and how they can win. They expect and crave competition and, often, conflict in the process .

Women, on the other hand, tend to think and behave consistent with values of team, winning together, building community, sharing information, creating a healthy culture or environment and mentoring and developing people. Women demonstrate a bias to achieving results through communication, collaboration, creativity, harmony and with social impact.

Putting aside debate about the total accuracy of this set of distinct values and perspectives (“I know women who don’t behave like you say women are” and “I know men who value communication, people, and culture”) can we step back and look at the “fact” that there are differences and tendencies for men and women, and consider that the tendencies are in the direction I’m indicating?

Aside from that there are differences, what is perhaps most significant is that the male orientation could be said to represent the currently dominant, but fading, corporate culture we see all over the world, and the female orientation, the emerging and rich, full corporate culture of the future.

As a rule, corporations today suffer from excessive emphasis on hierarchy, unproductive competition and individual drive for power, a me versus you, win/lose attitude and the fear and greed which are a necessary consequence of organizational cultures built on those biases. Some of the most creative, imaginative and successful organizations are being established on an alternative model, one of collaboration, team, mutual support, sharing – the same qualities that my friend observed and felt so strongly in her all-women athletic event.

I want to suggest that successful organizations of the future will, quite simply, be built more on the values of collaboration, trust, team and sharing than those of power, hierarchy and “me versus you” winning. Women leaders exhibit a natural bias toward many of the values that organizations desperately need to embody. These “female” values stand in contrast to the traditionally “male” values that are no longer working well in the organizations of today.

The notion of reverse mentoring is gaining popularity especially in high-tech environments where the “younger generation” has a facility with and knowledge of technology far superior to those of us who did not grow up with that technology. And because technology is developing and evolving so quickly it is often those coming right out of school who hold the keys to invaluable and leading-edge technology solutions and trends. Their superiors are wise to access that knowledge and expertise as much as possible. Reverse mentoring, in this context, is happening with a younger generation educating Senior Management in breakthrough technologies, innovative solutions, even entirely new ways connecting with customers, marketing products and developing innovative solutions to current and emerging customer needs. The value of this kind of knowledge transfer is dawning on companies as a value-added exchange worth having. Reverse mentoring is happening now in this context.

I am proposing that a similar exchange could occur, not in the area of technology, but in the area of “culture”. I am suggesting that high-potential female women leaders could mentor male Senior Executives in those skills critical for building the successful cultures and organizations of the future, those skills having to do with building community, valuing people, sharing information, effective communication, being vulnerable and open and promoting collaborative, creative environments – and delivering great business results in the process. Not only could they mentor Senior male Executives on these skills but they could even design and co-lead interventions with the intent of shifting the culture of their companies in the direction of these values.

At the same time, male Senior Executives have a wealth of experience and capability to offer emerging women leaders. Traditional strengths in producing satisfactory business results, being focused on the things that move the business and understanding financial needles, how to be strong in challenging situations in front of analysts or media attacks would be natural topics for male Executives to share with emerging female talent in their organizations.

What a beautiful and productive balance that could be! A series of relationships built on a premise of recognizing and valuing mutual strengths, developing leaders “up” and “down” the organization, powerfully evolving the culture of an organization and strengthening the organization’s capacity for delivering superior business results, all at the same time.

D'Aquanni & Associates

How Beautiful Is Your Organization?

By | Business, Leadership Development, Organizational Change | One Comment

There are so many things we routinely call beautiful. Why aren’t organizations one of them? People, nature, animals, art work, buildings, food, drinks, cars, profound experiences, certain actions, hairdos, even shoes, can be and are deemed beautiful. It’s hard to think of some class of entities members of which might not be called beautiful. There are standards of beauty for many of these categories, rules by which an entity is judged to be beautiful or not. There are “beauty pageants” and ”beautiful baby” competitions. There are experts who have credentials in assessing aesthetics. In this celebrity-status world we live in, the “beautiful people” occupy special positions of importance and stature.

Having said all that, however, I imagine it would be as strange for you as it first was for me to consider the notion of a Beautiful Organization. Why is that? A well-designed suit, a creatively engineered building, a carefully aged single-malt Scotch could all be deemed beautiful. We would all “understand” even if we didn’t agree. And, yet, an organization being called beautiful likely would make almost no intrinsic sense to anyone.

When we say something is beautiful, we are, of course, making a judgment. We are saying that it satisfies some standard of excellence or aesthetic standard. We are saying that it brings pleasure to the observer or participant. A beautiful sunset, after all, induces a certain awe and appreciation. It makes us pause to enjoy it. Being in the presence of something beautiful brings us closer to a world beyond the day-to-day ordinariness  of life into the presence of something wonderful and rare, something worth savoring, taking in. Seeing or experiencing something beautiful  touches us, providing us with an experience beyond the normality of daily life. When we are in the presence of something beautiful, even for a brief moment, we are transported in a joyful and uplifting way. We come away from an encounter with beauty enhanced and enriched. It feeds us in a way some term “spiritual”. When we are in the presence of something extraordinarily beautiful, like a timeless work of art, a profound poem or a person we can be transformed. We have all had this experience. We know what it feels like.

What would an organization need to look and feel like to be felt to be, and called, beautiful? That is the question.  It taxes the imagination to conjure that.

Perhaps we need to first come to grips with why organizations routinely are not beautiful to us. What is there common to organizations such that they we do not experience them as things of beauty. Are they corrupt? Are they mundane? Are they so intrinsically “normal” that we do not experience anything like being in the presence of something beautiful when we encounter them? Is it the nature of organizations in and of itself, because they are big and impersonal, that they don’t allow us to encounter them in that way?

Let’s entertain the question, “What would an organization need to be for it to be called beautiful?” Let me meander a bit. Please allow yourself to do the same.

One frame through which to answer this question would be Organizational Purpose. A beautiful organization would almost certainly have an inspiring purpose and would do something of outstanding social value. As someone suggested, “It would give more than it received”. It would be concerned about something in a way that would be seen as remarkable. A truly inspired purpose and an organization true to that purpose could, in itself, elevate an organization to the “beautiful” stratosphere. We think about Mother Theresa’s organization, the Missionaries of Charity. Their purpose is “wholehearted free service to the poorest of the poor.” They work with people dying of AIDS, lepers, social outcasts and refugees. They take nothing. They care for those no one else will and they do it “wholeheartedly”. Does that feel beautiful? It does to me. It feels noble, extraordinary, selfless. It certainly gives more than it receives. It gives asking for nothing in return. And it gives to those suffering people neglected by everyone else.  Beautiful, yes?

A second lens through which to assess its “beautifulness” might be Organizational Culture.  “What would it feel like to work in a beautiful organization?” is an intriguing question. Several things come to mind. People would be uniformly happy and fulfilled, leaving work at the end of the day more alive that when they left home at the beginning of their day. They would feel they have a valued place, they make an important contribution and they are recognized and rewarded for that contribution. Workers would trust their managers and management and vice versa. Employees would support and develop each other. The processes, systems, procedures would be formed with both the care and well-being of everyone and the success of the organization in mind. They would fluidly grow, change, morph to best achieve both objectives.  People would feel at home in the best sense of that word. Everyone affiliated with a beautiful organization would feel proud to belong. Perhaps they would even feel loved, valued, taken care of. That would be beautiful, yes?  When I worked with the MPO organization at Intel years ago, we gathered frequently over a year first to craft a vision and set of values, then to design a way of working together and then to establish and manage a number of breakthrough projects that we hoped would lead to them being extraordinary. I remember at the last of those meetings talking with the members of the group about what had been accomplished. I remember saying, “What we’re all feeling here is perhaps the closest to what love looks like in an organizational and business setting”. The caring, belonging, sense of purpose, selflessness and generosity that was part of the culture in MPO then was remarkable. It was clearly beautiful.

A third and final lens is that of Organizational Leadership. Leaders would inspire everyone in the organization through their example. The Executive Team would embody the values of the organization in a way that was exemplary. They lived to inspire, mentor, develop everyone in the organization, to treat people and groups outside the organization fairly and honestly, and always would be looking to partner with others in a way that benefited everyone. They would be perceived as caring about everyone touched by their organization. They would foster that sense of family and deep common purpose that is uplifting and intrinsically motivating.

I’m hard pressed to think about any other lenses which when looked through would yield the same kind of richness and texture as Purpose, Culture and Leading By Example. Certainly Business Results need to be produced at a level sufficient for the organization to prosper. But, it’s hard to think about anything within Business Results that we would universally see as beautiful. Of course, I know CFOs who would vigorously argue with that comment! I can hear one saying now, “There is nothing more beautiful than making our numbers quarter after quarter, and doing it in a quality way. That is beautiful! And I see what he was saying. The precision, reliability and quality of how they were produced is almost like the beauty of an elegant mathematical solution, or the gracefulness of a thoroughbred horse in full stride. Is it useful for us to speak about beautiful financial performance?

Perhaps this line of thinking merely a flight of fancy, a journey to the land of the imaginary beautiful organization. On the other hand, perhaps there is a need for us to bring an aesthetic appreciation to the design and evaluation of all our organizations. Is it possible that if we all held ourselves to a standard of excellence around beauty in the same way we hold ourselves to standards of performance around business results we could be living in a different world? A more beautiful one?